Digital change is ongoing and accelerating

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Digital change is ongoing and accelerating. Whether you are a big or small organization, you must embrace it at the highest level within your organization, or risk becoming irrelevant.

Digital transformation can be, and indeed is, defined in many ways. Simply put, it is the act of transforming the way an organization operates by incorporating digital into its core operations, with a particular focus on the user experience. By achieving this state, an organization unlocks the ability to offer new products or services, to reach
new audiences, to further satisfy existing ones, and to operate in ways that weren’t previously possible. It’s about harnessing the power of digital to do more, be more and achieve more.

Digital now touches every aspect of our lives. The sheer scale of the possibilities can sometimes make the task of effectively using digital as a tool seem insurmountable. Which is why it’s important to fully understand the business benefits its use brings, concentrating on one at a time, whilst keeping the others in mind.

Any organization should find at least one of these business benefits is relevant to them:

  1. Increased market share Positive impact on employee
  2. Positive impact on employee morale
  3. Increased customer engagement in digital channels
  4. The greater volume of online traffic (including mobile)
  5. Increased revenue

Regardless of whether your organization has the internal resource and know how to execute your planned digital activities, you should appoint a digital partner to help you deliver. This should be done early, to enable you to reap the full benefits that this partnership brings. Considerable sums of money are wasted by businesses approaching digital projects incorrectly. It is important to avoid the trap of waiting around until you have a full specification, which will never happen. In fact, it shouldn’t. By rigidly defining an approach before you’ve begun, it’s easy to overlook opportunities as they present themselves.

The reality is that truly effective programs of transformation are agile and reactive, adapting and changing course as required. Planning can start as soon as you define a vision and understand how this sits within the wider business context. You should think big, start small, and act quickly. This is where Precedent comes in. By bringing in an outside perspective, it is possible to break through your surface requirements to identify the bigger-picture benefits that change affords. Focus on these future benefits rather than fixed outcomes. Unburdened by rigid project scope, you will find that it is possible to define activities that serve as steps towards your goal, whilst simultaneously bringing high-impact benefits in the short term.

Your wider digital objectives and strategy must be supported and driven by a thorough understanding of your current state. This includes where you sit within the marketplace,  the efficacy of the products and services you currently offer, and the degree to which your engagement with your target audiences is successful. It must also take into consideration your current business processes, including existing assets and the governance frameworks that support the use of them. There are many activities you can carry out in order to deepen this understanding, and we’ve included a process to do just that in this document.

It’s important to be pragmatic here; not every organization has the luxury of starting fresh. You may aspire to the successes of Uber, Airbnb, and Facebook, but it doesn’t necessarily mean their model is right, or even achievable, for you. Once you have a complete understanding of your current state, you can begin to identify achievable goals that will have the most impact on your offering. These will be embedded at the very core of your strategy. This process might begin with examining key challenges your audience currently experience when using your services, or reviewing existing income streams that are currently underperforming.


At this point, you will have a clear list of objectives to aim for. You must now establish an order of priority and use that to identify the most appropriate and effective route to take. This is where your earlier work in identifying your current governance frameworks will come into play, as it’s essential that you consider, not just how, but who will execute the smaller steps that make up your strategy. This stage should also include the creation of a measurement framework that will allow you to assess the performance of your digital assets. These metrics will also act as touch points throughout the course of your project, allowing you to ensure you are staying on track and working towards achieving your digital objectives.
Your measurement framework should be made up of three key areas:

Descriptive metrics
Quantitative data on user interactions that shows how they are using your services

Perception-based metrics
Qualitative data on how prospects, current users and staff perceive their interactions with you

Outcome-based metrics
What the resulting user actions were or will be, based on these interactions

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