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Digital Strategy

Signs of a good digital strategy

26 May 2023

To succeed, digital transformation can’t just be a bolt-on. Digital should be integral to system and organisation wide strategies and business plans. It is an enabler for wider improvement.

Signs of a good digital strategy

User centred.
Digital transformation should address the most important needs of customers and staff.

Useful to teams.
Digital strategies can’t detail everything you’re planning to deliver. Instead, focus on providing guiding principles to help people make the right decisions.

The best strategies are widely understood and widely adopted. Successful digital transformation in healthcare depends on close alignment across many teams, not just the IT department.

It is important to build trust – many staff have experience of being let down by the promise of new technology. Talk about what you’ve already delivered and set realistic goals.

A good digital strategy is selective. Making trade-offs is difficult but essential to free up the bandwidth required for digital transformation.

Signs of a bad digital strategy

Digital transformation is enabled by technology, but to truly succeed it needs to be led by chief executives, not chief information officers. Good digital strategy focuses more on outcomes for customers and staff than technical changes.

Learn from other organisations, but focus on the context of your organisation and system and the needs of your users.

Focuses on unproven tech.
Cutting edge technology like AI has huge potential. But organisations should first prioritise fixing the basics, and a good digital strategy should be open about this.

A digital strategy should set some clear, measurable objectives alongside a credible plan for delivering on them. The ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ – as well as the ‘why’.

Too long-term.
Technology moves fast: there’s not much point in trying to build a static 10-year digital strategy. Aim for a 1-5 year time horizon, aligned to your organisation’s strategic plan, with a constant review cycle built-in.

Reads like a wish list.
Good digital strategy acknowledges that it won’t fix everything at once and certainly can’t solve everyone’s problems instantly. It should be clear what is being prioritised, and equally what isn’t.

A man, in an office setting, sits at a desk looking at a monitor that faces away from the camera. A male colleague points at the monitor while a female colleague leans in from behind to also look at the monitor.