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Digital Transformation 2021

How to implement a successful digital strategy

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Conor O’Donovan

Head of Marketing Communications and the Client Digitalisation Unit, Enterprise Ireland

Irish companies are primed to drive their digital transformation strategies but should ensure they have a holistic digital plan and that it can evolve over time, as the business grows.

Most Irish companies are somewhere along the digital maturity curve; from very early stage which means they have only begun to look at ways to optimise their business through moving to the cloud for example or implementing a CRM, to improve how they engage and record customer data and interactions.

However, many businesses don’t know where to begin or who to speak with about their digital roadmap and find it challenging to select the right partner and vendor.

It’s easy to read about a new platform or technology solution but a good digital strategy must be aligned to your business strategy.

Ensuring that these skills are available to the business either internally or externally are key success factors, as is developing a digital mindset across the business. There are four key aspects to a successful digital strategy:

Firstly, ask yourself why you need a digital strategy.

  • It’s easy to read about a new platform or technology solution but a good digital strategy must be aligned to your business strategy. Ask yourself what’s the business objective that the digital plan can enable? This is key to know where to start. 

The second key factor is process.

  • It is hugely important to review and optimise processes before layering on digital technologies. Otherwise, an inefficient process before digital will remain an inefficient process after digital. 

The third key element is people.

  • Digital strategies will only work if people at the senior levels and across the organisation understand digital possibilities, see the benefits to the business and champion its adoption. It must be driven by multiple people across the organisation and developing a digital culture and mindset across the business is key. 

Finally, the technology piece.

  • It’s important to take the time to really assess the technology required as part of the digital strategy and to ensure interoperability as new technology comes on stream as part of a multi-year plan and that the technology ‘speaks to each other’. This will avoid expensive integration and data extraction issues later on.

Enterprise Ireland can help Irish exporting businesses take the first step on their digital strategies. We have a new ‘Digital Ready’ Scorecard which is a short self-assessment online tool enabling businesses to assess their current digital readiness and it identifies gaps and signposts supports from Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices and across Government. We also have a €9k fully funded voucher for eligible companies to engage independent experts to develop their digital strategies before purchasing any technology. Full information is available at

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