A business plan would detail their strategy and help them answer questions such as what their existing and potential customers are looking for and whether they can deliver this better, faster and cheaper than your rivals.
“Don’t get too over-excited about trying to do too much now,” says Veash. “This will be a long-term plan for your business.”
He says too many firms spend too much money “trying to achieve a vision and then by the time it has launched the moment has passed them by”.
He adds: “It’s about taking small steps creating MVPs or minimal viable products to begin with. Apple do this. When the iPhone came out it could not forward a text message when other phones could. Their aim was to see how the market was going then react with additional products.”
What of those firms with established digital operations? Technology services group Accenture says their priorities have changed in the last twelve months.
Jim Bailey, global managing director of Accenture Digital says its recent ‘Growing the Digital Business’ study showed that around the world analytics and data, in short what businesses can learn about customer behaviour and buying patterns, has become more important than mobile or social media technologies.
“Improved focus on customers, channels and markets and driving business growth are the core benefits of digital,” Bailey says. “Executives expect it to create new revenue opportunities and better customer engagement.”
Nevertheless, businesses are facing a number of challenges which are “holding back” further development, he says, citing security concerns, keeping pace with current technology, cost and skills concerns and the challenge of technology integration.
And despite 80 per cent of firms having a chief digital officer in place Bailey says the roles differ in terms of seniority and responsibilities from one organisation to another.
Indeed, 81 per cent of firms said they had separate teams owning different parts of digital strategy within “each function, rather than across the enterprise”. Most firms did not have a centralized team “fully owning strategy, budget and implementation of digital technologies”.
Bailey says: “Some clarity is needed regarding responsibility for strategy definition and digital decision-making, as we saw overall control of both shared between central teams and individual business functions.”
In the next instalment of our Going Digital series we look at how you can use digital services to open up a dialogue with employees…