Why succeeding in 2023 will require a “digital-first” approach

Why succeeding in 2023 will require a “digital-first” approach
Aug 22

Justin Glanville

You may already have noticed that the pace of change is accelerating in your industry. It’s more than a technological progression; it’s a change of mindsets that permeates from the intern to the C-suite – a shift to a “digital-first” approach. Any business that wants to continue growing must keep up, fully embracing the spirit of the digital-first age as a “digital business”.

The pandemic’s digital-first push

On a foundational level, becoming digital first means making the right technology investments. The pandemic settled any debate around the importance of the right IT investments, as those businesses that were further along in their digital maturity journey were better able to weather the disruption, as research from McKinsey has shown.

The fact that embracing digital (cloud in particular) has been shown to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency is no longer news. Any company that has kept pace with technological change thus far has likely seen these benefits first-hand.

The pandemic made it compulsory to adopt remote working policies, at least to some degree, and it pushed organisations to digitise processes that had previously not been a priority for transformation. In short, it necessitated a digital-first mindset across the business.

Paving the way for a digital future

While it brought challenges, the pandemic also offered solutions. Businesses have since found that adopting those solutions paved the way for growth and innovation in a post-pandemic world.

IT infrastructure investments aren’t always necessary, for example, when hiring managed IT services is an option. Organisations of all sizes have found that managed services allow them to focus on what they do best while they benefit from industry-leading expertise and the ability to leverage cutting-edge infrastructure. A managed service provider can also help to ease a business into a dramatic technology change with a strategic change management strategy to minimise business disruption and employee stress.

In recent years, one of the most impactful areas of change has undoubtedly been the digitisation of both the customer experience (CX) and the employee experience (EX). Organisations that had been late to make that pivot suddenly unlocked the business benefits that had been helping to put their competitors ahead, often allowing them to scale up and ultimately creating a more level playing field – at least temporarily.

What comes next?

The decisions that business leaders make now will determine whether they continue to thrive or fall behind in the years to come. Philip Carter, GVP, Global C-Suite Research at IDC, says their findings for 2021 reflect the acceleration of a digital-first approach among business leaders as they grapple with the enormous challenges facing a wide range of industries and the world at large.

IDC predicted areas of focus for leaders in 2022 would include:

  • Reinvented business models
  • Fostering digitally native cultures
  • The growth of digital platforms
  • Accelerated digital experiences
  • Maturing digital management systems
  • The growth of business innovation platforms

While these would still be areas of priority in 2023, IDC foresees the need for the C-suite to take a more “joined-up approach to how it prioritises metrics across business functions”, and that executives need to focus on becoming better aligned on “what success looks like and how to measure whether it has been achieved”.

We can help you find your footing in the digital-first, post-pandemic world and help you realise sustainable digital growth by making the most of the available technology. A B2B specialist digital agency can be exactly the leg-up your business needs. To learn more about the solutions we can offer, take a look at what we do.