7 Oct 2021 - Digital Strategy // By Zoe Jacobs

Digital Strategy vs IT Strategy: What does your business need?

Traditional IT strategy outlines the ways in which a business leverages technology to keep operations running. For example, an IT operating model details how IT supports the business through infrastructure, productivity tools, access and networks, security, data privacy, and legal and regulatory requirements. 

Before the days of enterprise cloud and SaaS, IT departments managed tech infrastructure within buildings, data centers, servers, and security. Even today, IT is usually considered essential to “keep the lights on” so to speak. For example, you wouldn’t be able to run any part of your business today without email. You can’t not have an IT strategy. But a digital strategy is just as essential. 

What is Digital Strategy? 

Digital strategy is how a business defines and executes on its goals through technology and innovation. It ensures the priorities of IT and other areas of the company are delivering towards the goals of the business. While an IT strategy details the organization’s investment in and use of technology and how it will affect operations, a digital strategy sets up goals and objectives for how technology will be implemented and used as part of achieving those goals. Businesses must balance keeping the lights on and continuing to innovate.

Digital Strategy Keeps You One Step Ahead 

Understanding how to develop a digital strategy begins with an understanding of how the industry and enterprise technology are evolving. We work with businesses to take a strategic approach to digital transformation. Knowing what improvements will be most impactful, how customer expectations are trending, and where innovation can lead.

When we look at forming a digital strategy for a business, we start with a roadmap. By exploring the people, processes, governance, systems and solutions, we can map out both the current state and the vision for the future. How will technology get us there? Where can we innovate and improve? What should we prioritize? These are all essential questions to answer to create a digital strategy. 

An IT strategy is an essential component of a robust enterprise digital strategy. While IT often starts with a technology solution, a digital strategy outlines how technology solutions can map to a business’ goals. 

Digital Strategy Reasoning & Examples

One of the main reasons enterprise businesses invest in digital strategy is because it explores the impacts their goals and solutions will have on various areas of the business, for example:

  • Operations – How will it impact processes within IT, customer service, production, design, and/or marketing?
  • Budget – What are the upfront costs and return on investment?
  • Customer experience – How will it impact customer sentiment and provide value?

These and other questions explore feasibility and adoption, and help identify potential roadblocks. A detailed plan is essential before embarking on a digital transformation journey—a digital strategy ensures all effects and resources are accounted for. 

When undergoing a digital transformation, a business might work with a consultancy like Productive Edge to help them achieve big-picture goals, or to innovate in a specific area. For example, a business that needs to move faster and deliver more efficiently would need to adopt DevOps as part of their digital strategy. Another example is a company that doesn’t have a solid data strategy—part of their digital strategy will be to implement a full-scale fluent data strategy for converting data into insights. 

What Does Your Business Need?

What does a digital strategy bring to the enterprise? A robust and effective digital strategy will encompass the future operating model, customer insights, key roles, business and technology priorities, IT strategy, and a strategic path forward—all of which support the business’ transformation. Figuring out what your business needs to be competitive, where you can innovate, and what solutions will support your goals are the first steps to setting up a digital strategy. 

Contact our experts today to get started on your digital strategy roadmap. 

Digital Strategy vs IT Strategy: What does your business need?