Digital strategy: ways to keep your project on track
Digital strategy is a pretty broad concept, stretching from the implementation of cloud-based services to the introduction of emerging technologies and new ways of working to support a shift in business models. Seven digital leaders give us their tips for delivering tech-led change.
Any digital leader who doesn’t work with other IT and business executives to identify key requirements first is setting themselves up for digital transformation failure.
Adam Miller, group head of IT at Markerstudy Group, says delivering great digital projects is all about maintaining strong relationships with other C-suite executives.
1. Identify business requirements digital strategy
“Make sure you get airtime with each other. You need to put the effort in to make sure you get that regular contact and remain aligned,” he says.
“My role is very much about making sure I’m delivering what my organisation needs to be successful across finance, HR, marketing, our broking division, and brands like Auto Windscreens – it’s quite a broad group. I need to make sure I’ve got those relationships maintained and we’re delivering what the business units require.”
2. Prepare to experiment [ digital strategy ]
Mia Sorgi, director of digital product and experience at food and drink giant PepsiCo Europe, says business leaders who want to get the most from digitization will need to experiment.
Her digital organization’s partners with external specialists to find innovative solutions to business challenges across a range of areas, including connected coolers, dispensing systems, and other machinery that relies on technology.
Sorgi says continuing to explore innovations is very important to PepsiCo. Her team ran a gesture-based project recently that allowed customers in a KFC restaurant to be served by moving their hands.
“What we’ve learned about experimentation is how necessary it is,” she says. “It’s not an experiment if you know how it’s going to work. You don’t always know the end of the story before it’s written. And so you have to commit to that kind of innovation and that kind of risk in a measured way to arrive at something new.”
3. Put your people first [ digital strategy ]
If you want to turn great ideas into tech-led business change, then people are critical to your success, says Stephen Booth, CIO at Coventry University.
“You’ve got to start with culture,” he says. “One of the mantras we have is to build the team first and then bring the work to the team. Don’t build the work first and then try and cobble the team together.”
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While focusing on developing the right culture among people who will deliver the project is crucial, digital leaders must also look beyond the IT department. Bring the people who will use the techno log.
4. Manage the change process
Daniel Smith, head of analytics at fashion house PANGAIA, is another digital leader who stresses the importance of culture to transformation success.
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