Organizations have accumulated substantial digital debt by outsourcing and failing to grow internal competencies across three strategic functions, namely:
Design and Development:
Design and development includes creative, experience design, development and technology. For the past decade, firms have remained relatively stagnant or inched forward in building their teams or teams' skill sets during a period of rapid evolution.
Data & Analytics:
Most firms are barely out of the gate as it relates to the capture, normalization, visualization and analysis of their data/analytics. Insights and informing the business decision-making is a 2016/2017 roadmap item, or even worse, not a priority.
Related to social media, social business activation, employee brand building and social strategy are considered "nice to haves." Most firms have a difficult time defining the ROI and strategy to evolve their social business thinking.
Digital debt is defined as the eventual and mounting consequences of an organization neglecting strategic investments of time, resources and money to evolve digital competencies.
To remain relevant and competitive, it is imperative that organizations own digital internally and invest in people, skills training, process re-engineering, tools/technology and customer experience.
Maintaining the status quo is a non-option and outsourcing needs to be a short term, or catalyst, strategy. The time for 'watch and learn' is over and inaction by fast followers and laggards will open the door to disruption and more innovative entrants in their market. Aggressive forward progress is imperative as leading firms are using digital as a differentiator.
Create, enhance and maintain the three core digital foci as internal competencies and view them as critical business functions.
Create a company-wide digital strategy with an assigned executive owner, milestones and metrics.
Have the courage to change course and transparently share challenges and successes. Communication, openness and leadership are keys to making the needed changes. Mistakes will be made and pivoting and adapting the strategy will be required.