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Creating a Digital Strategy for a Post-Pandemic World

illustration depicting data analytics and digital strategy review
illustration depicting data analytics and digital strategy review

More than ever before, businesses recognise that digital technology has the power to help them achieve their strategic goals faster. The world has changed greatly over the last 12 months and existing digital strategies are fast becoming obsolete. IT leaders are now in the position to generate greater business value however, to do this, they must have a robust digital strategy in place that can accelerate digital transformation initiatives, underpin growth and drive economic revival.

What has changed?

Remote Working is Here to Stay

The office, as we once knew it, is gone forever. Businesses have already shown they can get thousands of workers set up remotely in just weeks and this shift to remote working is expected to persist even after the pandemic, with 52% of CIOs* saying they expect an increase in working from home in 2021 in a recent Gartner study. CIOs also ranked Digital workplace technologies as the top priority for implementation in the next year to support work from home.

Expect to see organisations accelerate and enhance their digital transformation initiatives by investing in solutions that not only support remote working but importantly greatly improve the capabilities to deliver seamlessly an increased range of digital services, securely.

Steady Progress is no Longer Enough

Failure to accelerate digital transformation will result in the reliance on expensive and inefficient legacy systems that will ultimately become obsolete and increase the risk of poor customer attraction, not enticing new customers. Doing nothing will also increase the risk of losing existing customers to competitors who invested in digital innovation.

According to the Gartner’s Board of Directors Survey, nearly 70% of Boards chose to accelerate their digital strategy** in response to the pandemic. The demand for digital products and services shows no signs of decreasing with 83% of CIOs expecting a further increase in 2021***

A Digital Strategy for a Changed World

Now is the time to look deeper at digital transformation initiatives to enhance your business operations like never before. When reviewing your existing digital strategy, IT leaders should consider the following:

  1. Focus on creating and enhancing digital services that deliver the highest value for your customers first. Think Pareto principles; 80% of the value from 20% of the cost.
  2. Adopt a clear and robust cloud-first approach, ensuring your business is ready for the next phase of disruption. Availability, security, resilience is higher with lower infrastructure management costs. This Cloud push will also develop your hybrid strategy pragmatically, if such is required.
  3. Consider how technologies such as Automation, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics can enhance your business, removing labour-intensive processes and reduce cost, safely.
  4. Secure your data and ensure integration doesn’t create supplier “lock-ins”. As cloud services increasingly commoditise you need to be able to take advantage of progress and cost reduction. Not least take advantage of the available tools.
  5. The digital workplace is not just an add-on or “nice to have” anymore. It is a strategic technological environment that needs managed. Remember it is more than solely products. Ensure its safe, secure and scalable and part of your digital strategy.
  6. Ensure your supply chain is sustainably intact and that they too can deliver for you in the “new world”. Lessening cross border dependency may also be wise in some instances.

One thing is certain in an uncertain world: failure to adapt will leave a company being left behind. Or worse still, not surviving. Bottom line? Invest in your organisation’s digital footprint, be led by cloud-based systems that are readily accessible to significantly enhance your ability to respond swiftly to future change.

Above all, approach such change with a positive mindset and belief. The latter is extremely important as we all come out of the worst pandemic in one hundred years with new and dynamic digital ways of working.

*Source: Gartner 2021 CIO survey
**Source: Gartner’s Board of Directors Survey
***Source: Gartner 2021 CIO survey

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