Is your digital strategy any good?


Virtually every organization has a digital strategy today, but how do you know whether it’s any good? For example, in a recent survey of European executives, DXC found that only 34% felt their digital strategy was having a positive effect on revenues or profits. So, what is going on?

In a recent article, the LEF’s Simon Wardley describes his travails at developing strategy as a CEO. Drawing from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, Simon argues that strategy must explain (1) why you exist – the ‘why of purpose’, and (2) why you choose a course of action – the ‘why of movement.’

Too often, digital strategy reads like a list of familiar me-too initiatives that describe a movement everyone is making (i.e. nobody got fired for buying IBM). Whilst this type of movement is unlikely to be wrong, it is also unlikely to deliver results you can brag about at the tennis club.

A good digital strategy will explain the ‘why of purpose’ and ‘why of movement’ for your company’s situation. It will consider the new digital forces that are shaping our world.  For example, consider how consumer’s expectations about experience are changing.  What experience do you want to be known for?  Are you a beautiful experience like Apple, an intimate experience like Google, etc.? And what movements do you need to make to achieve this?

Perhaps you’re in retail and find yourself competing against Amazon which reportedly releases code into production every 11.6 seconds. Can you compete if you release code every 3 months? What about every 2 weeks? What movements do you need to make to get faster (technology, culture, people, breakdown silos, and much more)?

Finally, it is imperative that you look at digital strategy (and digital transformation) from a company-wide perspective and not something that is confined to a channel or function. Without a holistic approach, you are likely to end up with a mobile app for your existing customer journeys or a bunch of corporate apps in the cloud, but no real change. Customers figure this out quickly and the results show in your numbers.

A good place to start formulating your digital strategy is to draw up a map, a bit like laying out a scenario on a chess board. DXC uses Simon’s value chain mapping to understand landscape, and then help identify the movements (queen to B2) that need to be made to achieve the ‘why of purpose’ (checkmate!). So, if your digital strategy is turning into “sell more product online” or “move more apps to the cloud,” it’s time to take another look.

Kavi Pelpola headshotKavi Pelpola is CTO for Consulting at DXC. He has spent his career working for tier-1 consultancies, helping clients develop and execute large scale complex transformation programs that deliver market visible business outcomes. Kavi is focused on digital transformations in large multi-nationals — these transformations are particularly challenging as they involve changing established cultures and ways of working, changing complex technology estates, and coordinating programs of work across multiple geographies.


  1. Benjamin Anigbo says:


    Very insightful information.

    It is alarming such a low percentage of CEO’s believe their digital strategy is of any use.

    I begin working at DXC this May and will dive deeply into Simon’s Value Chain Mapping to better understand the philosophy of this framework.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.