Accelerate Your Digital Strategy by Building a Sustainable Framework

March 8, 2022

At a glance

  • The main takeaway: The foundation of a successful digital transformation strategy begins with establishing the core framework of your business.
  • Root of the issue: In a five-part series, we will explore enabling digital maturity starting with the pressure organizations feel to advance their technology capabilities in a market of endless possibilities.
  • Next steps: Aprio’s Digital Transformation Team can help you navigate the enabling technology options to enhance the digital maturity of your business.

Let’s discuss how Aprio can help accelerate your digital transformation journey.

The full story:

If you look back over the last decade, technology has become more dynamic and broader from the explosion of the internet and social media to various cloud solutions and mobile applications. The challenge, as it relates to digital strategies, is that organizations are simply overwhelmed at the infinite number of possibilities on the market.

The foundation of a good digital transformation strategy must support business objectives while simultaneously advancing capabilities. However, before you jump into the deep end, it’s important to establish the core framework to build a successful digital strategy.

  1. Have a clear business strategy that outlines where you want to play and how you want to win.
    You must know what you want to be when you grow up as a company. Mature digital organizations can look at their business strategy and identify what markets and geographies they need to play in and what their customers need, to gain advantage over their competition. If you are unable to articulate where you want to play, how you want to win and the required capabilities, then you will struggle with your digital strategy because the possibilities are endless. Yes, you can build anything you what, however you need well-defined instructions that are executable. If you are lacking these instructions, spend time at the leadership level to build a clear and concise business strategy.
  2. Build your operational backbone with stability to scale.
    Now that you’ve figured out your business strategy, you can begin to think about how to buildout your processes and systems. The technology you need to have in place to literally run your business is your operational backbone. It anchors your business and supports sales processes, financial transactions and the services or products you deliver. It’s important to look for stability and scalability when building an operational backbone, so the information can flow across the boundaries of your organization and empower people regardless of their department.
  3. If you need to be disruptive then you need a digital platform.
    The purpose of disruptive technology is to shake up the industry and markets by delivering a unique value to customers. If your company needs to be disruptive, then you need to think about a digital platform. Mature digital organizations that are disruptive, have the ability to uniquely solve customer problems by leveraging digital technology, data and innovative processes. The digital platform needs to support rapid testing and evolution of ideas as well as building modular capabilities that can be repurposed to solve future problems. Digital platforms are built off agile components that enable you to adapt faster so you can be disruptive in a very dynamic market. Because of the complexity, it’s important to note that it takes a different set of skills to build a digital platform than it does with an operational backbone.
  1. Failing to focus on interfaces can undermine everything you are trying to do.
    Many organizations are leveraging multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms and eventually will need to move data between those SaaS platforms. An organization needs to fully understand the systems and the data flows in order to build the correct interfaces and connectivity. Whether your company has an operational backbone, digital platform or both, you need to include interface management into your digital strategy.
  2. Embrace the art of possibility through bottom-up innovation.
    The concept of innovation, specifically bottom-up, brings real value behind a successful mature organization. The hurdle many organizations face is empowering their entire workforce to identify opportunities and embrace the art of possibility to drive innovation. The best place to start is with the people who are actively engaging your customers daily. Some may think, okay, but how do we stop this from turning into a glorified suggestion box? Well, it relies heavily on leadership’s commitment to their digital strategy and the follow through to take those ideas and make them actionable.

The bottom line

Organizations are feeling the pressure to advance the digital maturity of their operations. With endless possibilities on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. However, establishing the critical framework one step at a time can fuel a successful digital strategy. Aprio’s Digital Transformation Team can help you navigate the enabling technology options to enhance the digital maturity of your business.

Stay tuned for the second part of our series on enabling digital maturity where we will dive deeper into an operational backbone vs. digital platform.

Let’s discuss how Aprio can help accelerate your digital transformation journey.

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About the Author

Jeff Kramer

Jeff Kramer is Aprio's Executive Vice President of Digital Transformation Advisory and Cybersecurity | Specializing in providing managed IT solutions and advisory services to small, medium and large businesses in manufacturing, consumer products and insurance. In an evolving world, Jeff is there to provide ever-adapting solutions to meet any client needs.