With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the latest in trendy buzzwords upon us, digital can no longer be ignored. Yet. only a handful of South African businesses have put together a concise digital roadmap. This is not down to a lack of effort though, and things are evolving rapidly. But identify a specific starting point remains a bone of contention. The ability able to show real ROI is the greatest hurdle, yet even the most risk averse budget holders know that something needs to start happening.
The key factors involved in building out a new digital strategy include the understandable ROI, but also further headaches when it comes to ensuring greater security when potentially opening up to greater risks, reducing costs and increasing efficiency, empowering employees to do smarter work, embracing agile methodologies and embracing new ways of leadership that truly put the customer first.
I would argue that your digital strategy is in effect your overall business strategy. This means going back to the drawing board; craft a new vision statement, set measurable KPIs, understand the current technology setup and the challenges that may be faced, and ensuring that all key stakeholders are actively engaged. It means revamping core leadership culture to drive a digital first vision. Taking initial steps with back-office automation could be a start, or shifting more storage into the cloud, or incorporating agile thinking into all departments, or developing AI applications and other cognitive solutions be it for the customer or internal users.
But how these fit into the business holistically should always be front of mind. Doing for the sake of doing holds no benefit. This needs to be part of an overall strategic vision that clear maps out the digital transformation journey.
Ryan Matthews is the Content Director for Corinium Intelligence MEA. His primary concern is to help companies and individuals navigate the mystifying path to digital nirvana.