Digital Strategy vs Digital Transformation
In the digital age, all organisations must adapt the way they think and do, on how to communicate externally with consumers, partners, and suppliers, and within internal organisations to various stakeholders as their expectations have also shifted, and a gap is forming between what they expect from businesses and what those businesses can now deliver.
Organisations must act quickly to address this expectation gap, or their entire business could be jeopardized. In order to stay relevant and remain competitive in today context, organisations must start thinking like a technology company in terms of the strategy execution, transformation journey and capability improvement.
This is where the question of digital strategy versus digital transformation comes in. The two terms are often misused, in part by being used interchangeably when they are in fact two very different things.
A digital strategy is a strategy focused on how utilising digital technologies to better serve one particular group of people or to serve the needs of one particular business group. The scope of a digital strategy can be quite narrow, such as using digital channels to market to consumers in a B2C organisation. It can also be broad, such as re-imagining how marketing could be made more efficiently using digital tools like CRM, marketing automation, social media monitoring and hopefully become more effective at the same time.
Meanwhile, digital transformation is a journey and an intensive process that an organisation is going through in rebuilding and restructuring the business by utilising:
- The most relevant digital technologies, tools and IR4.0 components;
- The industry best practices such as continuous improvement and innovation, Digital Enterprise Architecture (Digital EA) and business process improvement;
- The adoption of digital technologies, tools and best practices to allow the organisation to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time imagining the changes necessary to overcome barriers for successful digital adoption.
It ends with a plan for making the transformation from the old way of running the business to the new way with the goal to think like a digital native, and approach the idea of designing an organisation to utilise all of the advances in people, process, technology, and tools that can digitally transform the organisation.
Digital EA for Successful Realisation of Digital Strategy
Digital Enterprise Architecture provides a practical framework and methodology to guide and manage the complexity of digital transformation. Digital EA plays an important role in the design and realization of digital strategy through the execution of digital transformation as relevant stakeholders can better understand the analysis on what and how transformation brings impact to the organisation in terms of capabilities, processes, policies, peoples and technologies. The Digital EA ensures the success of digital transformation initiatives.
Figure 1: Digital EA in Driving Successful Digital Transformation
As shown in Figure 1, in driving a successful digital transformation, digital strategy will provide the outcome statement about organisation’s digital positioning in terms of goals, capabilities and drivers in the context of the technology adoption. Digital EA will map and connect the business, data, application and technology together in order to support the digital transformation. This will allow the organisation to undergo the continuous transformation journey on their existing business through technology adoptions, innovations and exploitations.
A digital strategy and a digital transformation have one thing in common, they both force change differently on the business. With a more visible, collaborative approach to planning the digital change, Digital EA will ensure the success of digital strategy realisation and support the continuous digital transformation journey which is critical in today digital era.