Digital strategy focuses on using technology to improve business performance, whether that means creating new products or reimagining current processes. It specifies the direction an organization will take to create new competitive advantages with technology, as well as the tactics it will use to achieve these changes. This usually includes changes to business models, as new technology makes it possible for innovative companies to provide services that weren’t previously possible.
Today, technology has integrated with business to become something more than hardware or software. As digital technology becomes more pervasive and companies move further in the journey of digital transformation, digital strategy and business strategy will be the same thing. For now, it is still useful to use the term “digital strategy” to focus the effort behind digital initiatives.
It’s important to remember that digital strategy is both a concept and a thing — that is, a digital strategy should eventually lead to the creation of a concrete plan or roadmap. While you can keep changing the specific tactics you’ve decided to pursue, there should also be a clear commitment to your understanding of what digital means for your company.
As an example, say your digital strategy (ultimate goal) is to monetize basic productivity software that your business has already developed and uses internally. At first, you lay out a strategy (plan) to package it as a mobile app and sell it to individual users. Later, you realize that it has more value if you sell it to businesses to incorporate into their own mobile apps. Your strategy (ultimate goal) didn’t change, but your strategy (plan) did. Changing the guiding idea of your digital strategy should amount to a big shift or reorientation for your company, but ideally, the concrete steps will be flexible enough to allow you to pivot as needed.