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Insight

Defining your digital strategy

by Ann-Marie Reacord, Client Director (Government), 19 March 2015

Read Time: 10 minutes

At Redweb, we’re well-known for our experience and knowledge around user-centric websites and our user-focused design process. Just recently we’ve added business analysis to the mix, with a strong focus on developing digital strategies that are tailored to work for each of our clients individually.

Digital strategy is all about bridging the gaps and formulating a plan to link technology, the creative idea, the target audience, the business objectives and the brand – all while striving to achieve measurable goals.

For lots of organisations, valuable time and money is spent on creating digital strategies that ultimately fail. This can usually be attributed to:

  • No link to business goals
  • Lack of governance
  • Lack of user engagement
  • Poor requirements definition
  • Internal resistance to change

To counteract this and protect a strategy from falling flat, part of the remit of the Digital Strategist at Redweb is to truly understand how digital fits in with the wider business processes. This means delving deeper into the realms of business analysis and the tools and techniques that are commonplace in assessing where an organisation is now and where they want to be.

Key to defining the digital strategy is understanding an organisation’s vision, its business goals and how the current digital landscape is performing against these KPIs. This kind of work can take place at the very beginning of a project lifecycle or as a standalone piece of consultancy.

But before we even get as far as defining the KPIs, we must first identify the organisational objectives and the Critical Success Factors. Simply put, these are the elements of an organisation’s performance which are key to its success and could be organisation-specific or industry-wide. As well as assessing how an organisation is performing against its KPIs, we can also examine key competitors to provide a wider context and benchmark their performance.

Stakeholder interviews are also a great way for us to gain critical insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist within each department, the existing in-house skills and technical knowledge, as well as the organisational structure and preferred ways of working. This kind of understanding allows us to develop a digital strategy tailored for clients and unique to them.

But the strategy landscape itself is changing; these days creating a digital strategy and roadmap that spans 3–5 years ahead is an unrealistic expectation as technology moves at an ever-increasing pace. Equally, accurate budgeting can be difficult when new technologies and services are emerging and require consideration.

That’s why at Redweb we make sure that it’s not just the Digital Strategist working in isolation, instead taking a holistic approach to strategy definition. UX research, analytics reviews and technical audits are all important parts of the package that help us to deliver a full strategy brief to our Strategy Directors, who then work their magic to bring a project to life.

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