Our CEO sat down with Bill Magee of the Institute of Directors magazine and gave some insight on key factors to successfully deliver a digital strategy {Part 2 of 2}.

Assuming you have an appropriately defined digital strategy, then based on our experience of working with clients across different sectors, I believe that, while no means exhaustive, the following areas are absolutely key to create and deliver a successful digital strategy:

Strength in Leadership – social, mobile, analytics, Cloud and the Internet of Things (loT) offer innovative business opportunities. But in order to realise benefits from these technologies, organisations need to re-imagine their business. This requires executive buy-in and management effort from the top down to create the vision and roadmap and drive through the associated operational changes. Leadership drives transformation, not technology.

Digital capacity and capability – many organisations have yet to determine the most effective way to organise and skill-up their IT operations for the digital age. Often, they don’t have the requisite in-house skills and developing these internally can take many years. Additionally, while most organisations have development and service management methodologies in place these are likely to have been designed for traditional requirements-led initiatives. These methods are inadequate for digital transformation, where projects require rapid and iterative delivery cycles to assess what will work in the market or workplace. Understanding what skills are required, sourcing these skills and ensuring appropriate delivery methods are implemented is critical for digital transformation success.

IT architecture and change – organisations will need to assess the impact that newly developed digital services and products have on their current infrastructure. Like all change, digital transformation comes with a price tag. The IT architecture and operating model necessary to support such technologies requires significant planning and must allow for the rapid integration of new technologies to support your objectives. Many organisations also need to consider how they simplify and rationalise their existing architecture, as overly complex legacy Infrastructures can hinder progress towards your digital goals. If the transformation is not developed towards an agreed architecture framework there is a risk that costs, complexity and availability could all be adversely impacted.

Governance and accountability – who owns the digital strategy, who is leading the transformation and are there agreed policies that underpin design, development and delivery? As well as having an integrated strategic vision and roadmap, it is essential that effective decision-making and governance is put in place to ensure that competing ideas and implementations do not undermine the overall business objectives. Designing an underlying operating model that is fit for purpose and defines ownership and governance for digital is a key consideration.

Getting these four areas addressed collectively will help ensure that your digital strategy is delivered to the lasting benefit of the business in what remains a fiercely competitive, growing and developing digital world.

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