Crafting a Digital Strategy:
A Process & Checklist for Digital Strategy Development
Industry Analyst, Altimeter
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Altimeter's principal analysts and authors,
Charlene Li and Brian Solis, have authored
much of the influential research on critical
digital and technology topics.
analyst team, helps clients
understand and respond
to digital disruption
A UNIQUE COMBINATION
Altimeter’s research-based frameworks,
combined with Prophet’s world-class
consulting capabilities come together
to create deep digital expertise and help
clients bridge the gap between strategy
LEADING-EDGE INSIGHTS & BEST
Our digital strategies are grounded in best-in-
class research covering digital transformation,
social business and governance, big data,
customer experience, content strategy,
and the Internet of Things.
Charlene Li Brian Solis Susan Etlinger
Ed Terpening Omar Akhtar Aubrey Littleton
What best describes your digital strategy
∙ No plans
∙ Planning now
∙ Executing strategy
∙ Scaling & measuring results
The realignment of or new
investment in technology,
business models, and processes
to more effectively compete in an
everchanging digital economy.
A plan of action to achieve
business objectives using digital
Our research report identifies a phased approach, questions
to ask, and the barriers addressed at each phase
∙ Market forces (external)
∙ Cultural shift (internal)
∙ Competitor moves
∙ Identify driving forces for
“The benchmarks for customer
experience are not necessarily
being set by organizations in your
They’re being set by companies like
Amazon, Uber and Netflix.”
Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer
National Association of Professional Women
What best describes your push to create
∙ Market forces
∙ Cultural shift
∙ Competitor moves
∙ Leadership directive
∙ Business objectives
∙ Guiding principles
∙ Investment / budget
∙ Secure commitment from a
leader who can bridge
“Change requires leadership, and
digital is no exception”
∙ Organizational structure
∙ Building alliances
∙ Including key stakeholders
∙ Form a team with “skin in the
game” to source the best ideas
and ensure alignment
“The key is that you can’t be
successful on your own and do it all
Scott K. Wilder
Sr. Director / Global Nation Builder
∙ Confront internal &
∙ Identify new value
∙ Identify threats
∙ Create a clear picture of
both internal readiness
and market opportunities
“For a lot of people within the
organization, digital is a foreign
Monu Kalsi, VP of Digital, Zurich North America
∙ Engage to bridge silos
∙ Ensure tech infrastructure &
∙ Formulate digital strategy
“The sheer amount of coordination
and friction that you endure…is a
big challenge. Everything around
the company is focused on silos, so
there’s no real incentive for people
to stop what they’re doing.”
anonymous digital strategist
If you have co-created strategy, which of the following
barriers were addressed successfully:
a) Alignment, getting silos on the same page
b) Securing resources for digital
c) Moving internal culture towards a digital mindset
d) Understanding priorities of impacted departments
∙ Create roadmap
∙ Confirm economics
∙ Begin governance discussion
∙ Synthesize ideas into a
“To be really effective, you need a
strong but flexible governance
structure: something that feels like
silk, not something that feels like
Claudia Gorelick, US Business Design Director,
∙ Strategy roadshow
∙ Share the vision
∙ Confirm KPIs
∙ Seek leadership and key
stakeholder commitment to
strategy roadmap execution
“It’s all about change management.
You have to keep on selling your
business case — your
transformation agenda. Always. It
never stops. If you stop having that
conversation, you stop
Rohit Prabhakar, Head of Digital
Marketing & Technologies, McKesson
Disclaimer: Although the information and data used in this report have been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no
warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or use of the information. The authors and
contributors of the information and data shall have no liability for errors or omissions contained herein or for interpretations thereof. Reference
herein to any specific product or vendor by trade name, trademark or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation
or favoring by the authors or contributors and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. The opinions expressed
herein are subject to change without notice.
Altimeter provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue
new opportunities and business models.
To ask a question:
Use the chat feature on the right
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your questions to the host and
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Recent reports include the following titles:
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Hinweis der Redaktion
Hello and thanks for joining us today! My name is Lindsay Malone and I will serve as your moderator for this webinar.
Before we dive into today’s presentation, “Crafting a Digital Strategy: a Process and checklist for digital strategy development”, I’m going to tell you a little about Altimeter and Prophet.
Altimeter, is a research and strategy consulting firm that helps companies understand and take advantage of digital disruption. In 2015, Prophet acquired Altimeter Group to bring forward-thinking digital research and strategy consulting together under one umbrella, and to help clients unlock the power of digital transformation. For those of you unfamiliar with Prophet, Prophet is a global brand and marketing consultancy that fuses insights, strategy, creativity and imagination to help clients grow better brands and businesses.
Your speakers for today’s webinar are Ed Terpening and Aubrey Littleton. I’m going to pass this on to them so they can introduce themselves and we can get started. Welcome Ed & Aubrey !
Some questions to ask:
Where is the consumer friction or weakness in my business that could be exploited by a digital disruptor or competitor? As Katharine told us, the benchmarks are being set outside your industry.
What business objectives will leaders expect my digital strategy to address? This helps align the organization around a concrete goal supported by leadership.
Alignment: Catalyst for digital change is the start of aligning the organization.
Change requires leadership, and digital is no exception. The digital strategist will partner with a leader to set the context for change and prepare for enterprise-wide cooperation.
What principles guide strategy? Eg, learn fast, focus on the customer experience
How much risk is leadership willing to assume? You need leadership’s cover to fail and learn.
Is the budget horizon sufficient … Try to secure 2-3 years of funding, and show incremental progress to create confidence.
Securing a champion for your work is the first and most important step towards alignment, bridging silos and securing resources
Team-building and co-creating digital strategy is a long-term play. Yes, you could develop something quicker with a small team of strategists, but by broadening the net to all those impacted, you stand a better chance of both being complete and securing broader alignment when it comes to development and execution.
Will the scope of my strategy be enterprise-wide, or will it be local to a business unit or geography?
What new digital teams are required and where do they sit? Most argue Marketing, as in many organizations it is the most innovative and nimble. Think of where SM started.
Where will we partner vs. build in-house? Strategists need to understand what commercially available capabilities can be licensed or acquired vs. building in-house to speed the development process.
The path to change starts by understanding where you are today.
What new value propositions can I offer my digital customer that I can’t with other channels? Home Depot (pick up in store), Walmart in-store savings tool
Could digital change who my target customer is now or in the future? Enterprise’s Zimride carpooling app.
Can digital change how I supply my products? Music/movies an obvious example, and then there’s Uber’s surge pricing to increase the supply of drivers.
What skills are needed to execute and what gaps do employees have that we must solve for? Benchmark (through a survey) and create learning objectives that sites like Lynda.com can help with.
Is my technology infrastructure mature and flexible enough to support new digital moves? Balancing speed and agility with scaling securely.
At this point, you’ll be closer to identifying success metrics and start the plan the cultural shift, with training.
This stage is about getting the best ideas, understanding the priorities of the functions your strategy will touch, and engaging the right teams to have “skin in the game”. Think about:
Who are key stakeholders, and how must we engage with them to succeed? And decide the level to which you’ll engage them: from a workshop or two, to creating a full-time team (for a quarter).
In this phase, we get much closer to addressing the many barriers strategists face.
While your co-creation team may identify ideas, priorities and barriers, they’re unlikely to create the details of an executable plan. Consider:
What initiatives, work streams and dependencies form my roadmap? Don’t be surprised is close to half your plan in infrastructure development and creating cultural change
Are new partnerships required to execute our strategy roadmap? E.g., GM’s investment in Lyft, VISA’s in Square. You’ll need to make tradeoffs between the benefit of complete control, vs. getting to market faster through a partner.
What data will be required or created to execute and measure? Think early on about data: what legacy system data must you integrated with? How will new data be protected and used?
How do we anticipate scaling digital pilots that succeed?
What budget is required and what milestones can be tied to granting additional funding?
In complex, multi-BU, multi-geo businesses, how will investment and execution of digital strategy occur? Language, culture, regulations (e.g., EU privacy)
Are existing technology governance processes sufficient to manage new digital approaches? Shifting thinking from operational governance to agile, responsive governance.
How will change to strategy be managed?
What risks to my business might I face, and what controls should I identify to mitigate them? The belief in break-through, optimistic outcomes is part of a strategist’s DNA, and —like a bug in a program — they expect a certain degree of failure.
Which existing business processes and policies must change, and what new ones must be created? E.g., SM Policy for EA
What criteria will I use to shut down digital strategy that isn’t delivering results? Have an Exit Strategy.
This is the strategy team’s opportunity to go deep in areas like metrics and regulation risk assessment.
The tasks leading up to this phase prepare for aligning key stakeholders and the change that will be required across the company. With the detailed strategy roadmap worked out, at this point the Leadership Champion can provide feedback and start to identify peers needed to execute across departmental silos. Consider:
Is there alignment around the digital vision and business outcomes it will enable?
What difficult decisions do we need to make as we orient the business around digital? Shifting budgets from legacy approaches to support digital can create angst.
We’re now going to open up the floor for Questions. We’ve had quite a few come in through the chat box already – but I’m sure you have more! So please send your questions in to “host and presenter” using the chat feature on the right side of your screen.
· Who typically is part of the strategy co-creation team?
· We’re thinking of building a new digital team from scratch to address strategy. Is that a good idea?
· I’m concerned about members of a co-creation team that may not understand digital, and shoot down ideas too early. Should I include them?
Thank you to all for your time today, and thank you to Ed and Aubrey.