Your organisation and its digital strategy do not exist in a vacuum—they must succeed in a competitive landscape of other digitally-enabled businesses and fast-moving technology trends.
A digital strategy consultant can help you understand this dynamic digital ecosystem, in order to frame your strategy accordingly.
To build a robust business case for digital change, they can conduct detailed research into market sizing, customer segments, the competitor landscape, and possible market opportunities.
Your consultant may offer two main types of research to consider—primary and secondary research.
Primary or field research is where you conduct original research on your specific topic of interest, via focus groups, surveys, interviews and other methods.
This can provide specific insights—but can be expensive and time-consuming. You also run the risk of asking the wrong questions.
A better way to start nay be asking your consultant to conduct secondary or desk research.
As the name suggests, this involves gathering and analysing information already available online at a desk.
This will come from a range of secondary sources, such as industry reports, survey results, case studies, institutional research, academic papers, and news articles.
While these sources may not be specific to your own digital strategy, your consultant can glean the relevant insights and collate these into helpful reports that highlight technology best practices and new digital business models.
Your strategist can also help you locate and gather data and reports that may already exist in your own organisation.
These may provide insights on your current or previous digital business activity that has been overlooked—but can be of new value to your digital strategy.
Evaluating the trade-offs of build vs buy
When it comes to the technology implementation of your digital strategy, you will be faced with the dilemma of whether to buy off-the-shelf solutions—or build your own from scratch.
Your digital strategy consultant can provide expert evaluation and recommendations on whether to build versus buy.
Choosing an existing product may be quick to implement and come with vendor support. But the licensing fees may be high—and the solution may be a sealed ‘black box’ with little or no scope to customise to your needs.
By contrast, building your own solution makes it tailored to your specific requirements, and saves cost on ongoing licensing.
But your organisation may feel unsure about having the necessary in- house capability to develop and maintain this.
An expert consultant can advise on all aspects of your digital architecture, running a discovery and analysis process focused on helping you make the right technological choices.
They can provide confidence on whether to build versus buy for each component or product, consulting with you on the trade-offs and relative risks before execution starts.
For each option, they will assess and apply
due diligence on its desirability, feasibility and viability. They will consider potential pivots that might be required in the future, and take into account your time-to-market requirements.
An experienced consultant will often recommend an approach that is not simply one choice or the other— but a carefully considered combination across each technology aspect, to obtain the best of both models.