Seven Strategies To Improve Your Enterprise’s Digital Presence
Seven Strategies To Improve Your Enterprise’s Digital Presence
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Seven Strategies To Improve Your Enterprise’s Digital Presence

The age of experimentation with digital is over. In an often-bleak landscape of slow economic recovery, digital continues to show healthy growth. To stay competitive, companies must stop experimenting with digital and commit to transforming themselves into full digital businesses. Here are seven traits that successful digital enterprises share.

Leadership teams must be prepared to think quite differently about how a digital business operates. Digital leaders set aspirations that, on the surface, seem unreasonable. Being “unreasonable” is a way to jar an organization into seeing digital as a business that creates value, not as a channel that drives activities. Some companies frame their targets by measures such as growth or market share through digital channels. Others set targets for cost reduction based on the cost structures of new digital competitors. Either way, if your targets aren’t making the majority of your company feel nervous, you probably aren’t aiming high enough.

The skills required for digital transformation probably can’t be groomed entirely from within. Leadership teams must be realistic about the collective ability of their existing workforce. Leading companies frequently look to other industries to attract digital talent, because they understand that emphasizing skills over experience when hiring new talent is vital to success, at least in the early stages of transformation. The best people in digital product management or user-experience design may not work in your industry. Hire them anyway.

A bank or retailer that acquires a five-person mobile-development firm and places it in the middle of its existing web operations is more likely to lose the team than to assimilate it. Digital talent must be nurtured differently, with its own working patterns, sandbox, and tools. After a few false starts, Walmart stores learned that “ring fencing” its digital talent was the only way to ensure rapid improvements. A couple of years ago, the retail giant’s online business was lagging. It was late to the e-commerce market as booming physical-retail business. When it did step into the digital space, talent was disbursed throughout the business. Its US$5 billion in online sales in 2011 paled next to Amazon’s $48 billion.

By Unni Kurup, General Manager at Middle East

This article was originally published on Entrepreneur Middle East and has been reposted on Dubai Startup Hub based on a mutual agreement between the websites. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.