Digital Strategy

Digital Strategy & Roadmapping

Helping organizations understand how technology plays a larger role in creating a competitive edge for the business strategies already in place, and for the ideal future business.

Transitioning into the digital landscape that today's business warrants requires proper planning, foresight and a centralized strategy.

what we do
W

Icreon serves as your digital change agent, building a roadmap of transformations that are deeply rooted in your business context to deliver maximum business value.

Every growing business needs to consistently re-evaluate if their digital ecosystem is built to match the expected future business growth. Our industry experts help in identifying the right digital roadmap you need to support your business stakeholders for both short- and long-term initiatives. We'll review all existing properties & interview staff, then put forth a digital strategy based on your organization's ideal state.

Predicting the Future

Keeping up with existing trends is a challenge, but the bigger challenge is having plans in place for what’s coming – blockchain, VR & machine learning – and having foresight into how today’s digital environment meshes with the future state that’s on the horizon. Each of these technologies hold cautionary promise to a number of industries, especially if used correctly

Why Digital Strategy is Hard

Traditional companies are eager to adopt the digital-first mindset that’s seen recent success, but usually don’t possess the digital infrastructure or operating models to keep pace with companies that had embraced digital from the outset. These same companies tend to prioritize digital initiatives that meet immediate needs without any clear roadmap of future digital needs. The end result is often overly-complex IT infrastructures that will end up hurting the business.

While it's hard to execute, the correct approach to digital strategy is to adopt an interative model that eschews the traditional '3-year' roadmap. It means fundamentally being able to build the foundation of your house, while also simultaneously architecting the capability to attach a number of different roofs to it relatively modularly.

Let's talk about your Digital Roadmap
thoughts

Some of the considerations we think about when roadmapping digital initiatives:

Thoughts and Considerations

ROI-Focused

Aligning strategy with the top-line growth & bottom-line efficiency

People

Cultivating the right skill-mix to exact a tough, reachable vision

Process

Building repeatable models to synthesize innovation

Technologies

Identifying the right technologies & tools to enable teams

Culture

Infusing teams with the right mindset to execute winning ideas

Alignment

Driving teams towards a contextually common objective

The Greenfield

Finding competitive value positioning through digital execution

Adobe
Amazon
Atlassian
Facebook
Google
IBM
Microsoft
Oracle
Salesforce
Sitecore

Digital Strategy is about aligning with the right companies and maximizing your investments in their platforms

solution in action
S

dive
deeper

How to build a Digital Roadmap for your Business

read more

What is Digital Transformation and Why Do I Need it?

read more

How You Should be Building Your Digital Playbook

read more

The Digital Strategy Toolkit

read more

How to build a Digital Roadmap for your Business

What is a digital roadmap?

A digital roadmap is a strategic canvas to help visualize your company’s vision and objectives. It provides a highly granulated version of your company’s approach in technologically centric and customer-oriented viewpoint. It provides the rhythm to synchronize objectives with digital streams to optimize and improve the operational aspects of your company.  Every industry is rolling with constant change. Thus, digital roadmap integrates all elements of your business to help you a construct a viable strategy that promotes growth and innovation.

Do you need a digital roadmap?

Digital roadmaps are primarily for technological centric companies’ is a myth. Icreon has worked across diverse array of industries and clientele, not necessarily technological oriented, and helped them digitally strategize to bolster their businesses namely Fox Channel and New York Road Runners.

Digital optimization is applicable to any company that is seeking growth in the market. To keep up with the velocity of your organization, you need to innovate. Digital strategy provides a consolidated benefit of the above attributes. Hence, your company can grow, optimize and innovate.

Digital roadmap is an indispensable element of a successful digital transformation. It provides the effective guidance to progress with the process of digital transformation.

How to build a digital roadmap?

To construct a digital roadmap is a comprehensive process that requires integration of key drivers, customer requirements, potential constraints and end deliverables. It is a flexible document that undergoes multiple rounds of iteration as new features/modifications emerge. Due to its holistic nature, it is accessible across all parts of the business and acts as a GPS of the company’s progress and strategy.

Below are important key points to build an effective digital roadmap:

  1. Define your company’s objectives - There are several integral factors that work harmoniously to define a company’s vision. Clearly recognize these factors and identify your company’s end deliverables. Tools like SWOT analysis and Cost-benefit analysis can highlight the weak areas. This kind of thorough analysis should be performed periodically to assess your company’s progress.
  2. Recognize your relevant stakeholders - Placing customer experience at the heart of your digital strategy will provide the differentiation advantage over your competitors. Thus, understand what your users want. Building the digital roadmap requires collaborative action of all stakeholders involved. Check for the relevance of the all the stakeholders involved and their level of impact on the roadmap. Avoid including redundant data that will not enhance the digital roadmap.
  3. Be flexible - The digital roadmap should not have a rigid angle. Starting with initial data, it will evolve with influx of pertinent data and improvements in the business. It should be reviewed on frequent basis and updated with real-time analysis to remain viable. The roadmap is serving long-term and short-term goals. Thus, it should be updated to be used at all times.
  4. Outsourcing - With companies having the expertise is digital road mapping, consulting these companies is also an effective choice. Third-party analysis and benchmarking can help your company explore the competitive landscape from different angles. This external perspective will eliminate any bias or unrealistic expectations and provide a pragmatic validation. Experienced consultancies can aid your company to strategically review your goals and sketch the pathway to achieve these goals.

 

What is Digital Transformation and Why Do I Need it?

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a fairly ubiquitous term across all domains today. It significantly varies for every company. In a generic tone, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology across all areas of business to optimize the operational and structural aspects of the company and construct an agile framework. A continuously iterative process, digital transformation also extends to cultural change that requires seamless collaboration across teams, departments and technologies to maximize growth.

It is becoming an imperative need across varied businesses that is intelligently complementing analog approach with digitization. With innovation as the backbone of companies, digital transformation becomes one of the key drivers. If implemented correctly and in a purpose-oriented fashion, it could reduce operational costs, provided quality insights for short-term and long-term objectives and mitigate risks.

Why do you need digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a fair interplay of technology and strategy. There is immense potential in data-driven decision making. For instance, the real-time updated indexes on S&P 500 help various companies monitor their investments and analyze the market efficiently.

With the digital ecosystem spreading rapidly, companies are increasingly investing in technologies to focus on the core areas, maintain their competitive edge and implement the strategies backed by relevant data. Markets and technologies are changing at lightning speed and it requires you to maintain your pace and improve quality of output.

Understanding your customer needs is one of key elements of your company’s approach. Placing customer needs, at the heart of company’s business strategy, can help businesses increase user retention and optimize their product/ service to gain competitive edge. There is abundance of data and data filtering is essential to assess what your customer requires to give you the preference advantage against your competitors. Customers analysis represents an increased inclination to adapt digitally. Thus, companies are implementing strategies to focus on intelligent use of user data. Digitally reimagining your organization’s approach places an additional layer of security, thereby, making you more comfortable with taking risks.

What are the challenges faced in digital transformation?

Although organizations are realizing the importance of digital transformation, many of them are unable to exploit it effectively. While providing innumerable benefits, this process requires investment of resources, time and effort. Thus, it is essential for you to understand how and where to apply digital transformation to avoid redundant efforts. As discussed earlier, digital transformation is not only technology focused but requires a clear strategy.

Complexity

The digital world is a complex web. With so many options available in the technological domain, you have to recognize what works for your organization in terms of relevance, constraints and customer requirements. Companies that lack clear sense of direction find themselves further entangled in complexity of the digital world. The power of digital transformation is truly harvested through clarity in strategy and objectives. This helps strategy development across segments with a holistic view of overall company growth.

Organizational change

Digital transformation has no endgame, thus, making it an iterative process. For this process to function successfully, it requires synchronization across all segments of the company and people. The metrics should measure the output correctly to give a precise estimate of the progress. For this, metrics should be applicable across Omni channel streams to systemically assess the value contribution. The success of digital transformation also greatly depends on the management of the company. Digitization follows a top-down approach and it is the responsibility of the senior management to resonate this culture across the organization.

The cycle of successful digital transformation

Early - Every company, at some point of time, finds itself in this phase. They are yet unaware or skeptical about adapting to digital transformation and are seeking for inroads into the digital domain for optimizing their strategies. At this stage, companies should construct a precise framework of action with a compelling vision. The objectives should be prioritized. The entire process of digital transformation may seem overwhelming with fragmented actions. Thus, the company should ensure maintaining integration across all streams of the company while developing a roadmap of action. This phase includes data collection, market analysis and risk assessment.

Developing - Companies work on integrating cross-functional goals, identifying the critical objectives and building a scalable roadmap for the entire company at a granular level. Inter-departmental teams will work together to assess investment, clarify short-term and long-term goals and to incorporate all customer touchpoints. Companies will find themselves realizing the balance between strategy and technology. Organizations will gradually figure out productive use of time and funds to smoothly aid the process of digital transformation.

This process, being multi-layered, execution will be visible in a series of steps. An important aspect of this stage is experimentation. To address the variance across the company, the company will have to experiment different methods to reach its goals. Testing new technologies will make the company realize the effectiveness of the company and expose the weak areas that require improvement. Through progressive iterations, the companies will eventually see a faint implementation of their agendas.

Maturing - As the company grows and execution of strategy is implemented all throughout, the organization will see accomplishments but also experience organizational fatigue. The company must progress and collect insights. The KPI’s and metrics will reflect the effectiveness of the strategy adopted. At this stage, digital transformation is successfully implemented across the company and it also paves the way for organic innovation. The company must maintain its pace to optimize operations, look for new ventures and seek or cultivate further innovation. After all, digital transformation is an iterative process with continuous improvement.

How You Should be Building Your Digital Playbook

Today, the competitive differentiation offered by your company is heavily reliant on quality of customer experience. The acceleration of digital resources has made it dramatically easy to commoditize. Now, customers expect customization with a personal touch. This principle characterizes the successful strategies of pioneers namely Amazon and Google.

Thus, companies need not only efficiency but also innovation to transform their theoretical goals into tangible accomplishments. Naturally, companies have to strategize with increased resolution to incorporate systemic and specific aspects of the company to bolster the company’s standing and achieve higher levels of growth.

This can be done through concurrent approaches that involve continuous iteration and refinement of elements using a digital playbook. This playbook is periodically updated as insights are gathered through empirical testing, analysis and experimentation.

What is a digital playbook?

The digital playbook is a comprehensive guide detailing your company’s roadmap for incorporating digital strategy. Governed by myriad of factors ranging from organizational structure to business drivers, it is an effective tool to address long-term and short-term goals. It encompasses execution timelines, cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment and relevant output metrics. As digital growth is continuous, the digital playbook is updated with iterations and pertinent data obtained.

It establishes a synchronization between corporate objectives, key business drivers and customer expectations at a granular level. It seamlessly integrates cross-functional teams to recognize gaps in the organization, devise potential solutions, assess stakeholders’ requirements and analyze the market to validate the standing of the company within its domain.

How to build your digital playbook?

To build your digital strategy, you require a clear vision with distinct objectives in terms of short-term and long-term. It is imperative to understand your key business drivers, the expectations of your consumers and the degree of correlation between current operational standards to the changing market trends. After carefully understanding the impact of external factors, you must map them to the internal ecosystem of your company. This will help you recognize the building blocks for your digital strategy to holistically aggravate your company’s success.

Focus groups among cross-functional teams will provide inputs about defining the objectives within the constraints of the company. Brainstorming will result in growth of unique ideas and address questions about the core competencies of the company. All the feedback and data must be carefully maintained in the digital playbook for future reference.

Once the key factors are explored, you should address the capability of your company and explore the boundaries of growth. Maintaining the momentum of the company, the employees should be motivated to think uniquely and in terms of the future. Understanding the present state will pave the way to set long-term goals and eventually accomplish them. With focus on customer requirements, the employees should brainstorm to develop an approach that effectively harnesses the customer’s needs and gives your company the competitive advantage. Through collaborative thinking and experimentations, new strategies will develop to achieve the objectives. The employees should explore how objectives will evolve with time and with dynamics of the market and in what ways could that affect the company.

If dead ends appear at any stage, do not discard the thought and address later with more information and/or different approach. Prioritizing is the next stage. This will sketch your plan of action across every stage. This prioritizing is predicated on multiple factors and varies for every company.

With a vision decided, your company now needs a direction. Before executing any strategy, it is crucial to understand the level of digital maturity your company has obtained. Meticulously assessing the current state of your company, across organizational, cultural, corporate and technological aspects, will provide you integral guidelines to refine your approach. Comparative analysis through competitor mapping will reflect your relative position in the market and highlight areas of potential growth.

Correlating your company’s future goals with its current state will help you identify the critical gaps hindering your company’s growth. Cultural, corporate, organizational and technological aspects will be thoroughly rationalized to align with customer needs, company’s capability, technological prowess and future objectives. Weak points will be exposed and strategies will be modified to address these flaws. While discussions, teams should incorporate various relevant viewpoints to cover all possible angles in the decision making.

Detailed analysis of cost v/s benefit will validate the approach in terms of ROI. It provides deeper insights to monetary management and the potential benefits associated with it and aids benchmarking. Through this analysis and appropriate metrics, risk mitigation is obtained as well.

The analysis of all the above stages is incorporated into the playbook to have a comprehensive understanding of the digital strategy of your company. The findings should be shared across cross-functional teams to ensure that all employees are on the same page. Appropriate output metrics are finalized and expectations standards are declared. With clear understanding of timelines, risk factors, ROI expectations, customer-related deliverables and organizational integration, the employees fully assess the digital ecosystem of the company through its digital playbook.

The Digital Strategy Toolkit

Why do you need a digital Strategy?

Digital strategy is not necessarily technology-centric. It involves extending digitization across your organization’s breadth using the digital playbook and strategically paving the roadmap of your company’s success. The precision and velocity offered by investments in digital technology is curving many companies to address this approach. Naturally, it requires investment of time and resources to become digitally charged. Heading progressively, your company will reach various layers of digital strategy but innovation will keep a continuous improvement and will essentially differentiate your company in the marketplace.

Using digital strategy, you can ace the game of marketing and expand your customer base. Digital marketing defines the spectrum of your target audience by segmentation, thereby, highlighting what your customers really want. Thus, you have a detailed understanding of your goals and deliverables to build your company’s strategy. Through prototyping and periodic analysis, you gain data insights to continuously optimize your digital strategy toolkit.

At Icreon, we understand the value of digital strategy and help our clients achieve their objectives in an efficient and optimal manner. Providing a varied range of services, we cater to multitude of interests across various industry domains. Using innovation and strategy, we work with our clients to carefully align the company’s objectives with their customer needs and reap benefits of business intelligence.

How to build your digital strategy toolkit?

Analyze your present state

Detailed assessment of the current state of your company will provide you the building blocks to construct your digital strategy. You have to explore through external and internal factors to identify the key driving elements, their degree of impact and the windows of improvement. Thorough analysis of the landscape of your company will provide you abundant data to work with. After collecting the relevant data, you should engage your employees into addressing the core questions about the stakeholders, their requirements, the effectiveness of the current strategy, and competitor mapping. This process is time exhaustive and requires deeper level of assessment to tap the correct pain points.

Establishing sync of internal and external analysis

Your company will progressive effectively if internal factors work harmoniously with external. To establish this seamless integration between the two categories, you will need a detailed reviewing of their individual attributes.

In the internal assessment, you should identify and work with the key internal stakeholders. Determine the logical relevance of each potential stakeholder to ensure buy-in to your company’s strategy. Collect data through surveys, focus groups, shadowing and anonymous discussions to ensure complete participation. This data will be integral to develop the framework of action plan. Resonate the communication and ideology across the company to maintain the same rhythm.

In external assessment, you will work around the needs of your members and constituents. The aim of this assessment is to determine the unmet requirements of your external stakeholders and establish a careful alignment with the key business drivers. This analysis will validate the viability of your company’s capability and set realistic expectations. Correctly associating the needs of your stakeholders with your agendas will ensure the buy-in of the stakeholders as well.

Technical assessment

This analysis will provide an overview of the existing technological infrastructure and evaluate your company’s digital ecosystem to unfold potential areas of growth. You should focus on understanding the impact of technological assets on different areas of your organization and check for their viability. Perform comparative analysis to assess your company’s technological standing with respect to your competitors. Review the innovation aspect of the new technology to avoid easy replication and perform cost-benefit analysis to have a practical understanding.

Construct your company’s future vision

Predicated on the current state assessment, you should define your company’s future state. Focus on the core aspects of organizational, technological and operational segments of your company. Work across different segments to recognize the gaps and establish alignment to fill the gaps. This will help you develop the sketch of your future vision and thereby, define your pathway to achieve that vision. Through gap analysis, you will identify the weak points and can intelligently equip your company to deal with them. It is imperative to complement your digital strategy with innovation to not only maintain but also expand the horizons of your company. Prioritize your objectives considering short-term and long-term goals as well as external and organizational importance. Select relevant KPI’s to assess the effectiveness of your company’s strategy and periodically update these metrics with respect to stakeholders, market and competition.

Correlate impact, effort and risk across various factors namely strategic alignment, business value, stakeholders, internal members’ value and operational efficiency. These factors may vary depending on the company’s goals.

Sketch the roadmap for your company’s future vision

At this stage, you have collected all the necessary data across all pertinent means to build the digital roadmap for your company. This roadmap will align with your company’s goals in fragmented and consolidated manner. It will include execution timelines, implementation priorities, key driving elements, periodic assessments and end-deliverables. Naturally, the roadmap will be restructured and updated with time to ensure your company is headed on the correct pathway. Every stakeholder should buy-in to this roadmap to guarantee successful implementation.

contact

Ready to discuss your digital strategy?

Let's have a conversation

start a conversation
call