The five rules of digital strategy

Forrester reported last year that many firms think they’re transforming, but many don’t realise that transformation is a permanent state of being. At Graymatter, our mission is to partner with clients to drive continuous sustainability and growth through creativity, strategy and innovation.

Digital can be a means for achieving this bringing innovation to processes and new sources of competitive advantage. Digital Strategy, like all strategy, is about exploring available insight - making sense of the other players and the drivers of change in the market - to make informed decisions.

Successful digital transformation, therefore, starts with being as informed as you can be to make the right investment choices to maximise competitive advantage and then implementing with discipline.

We use Boston Consulting Group’s Five Rules of Digital Strategy to help us achieve this:

1. Assessing the Digital Impact

Like any effective strategy, we start with building a rich understanding of the competitive environment a client is operating in. Because new technologies can radically reshape business dynamics, it’s essential to think through the implications for the organisation. What can digital enable? What new capabilities can it deliver? What core business processes can be reinvented? The key is to explore the full range of possibilities - and risks - that digital brings.

2. Digital Ambition

Organisations that win at digital start by thinking big - whether seeking to strengthen existing advantages or unlock new ones. The best digital strategies aspire to drive a step-change in performance. Digital strategies fail more often because of too little ambition rather than too much. We work with you to develop a high-level summary of what we’re trying to achieve.

3. Value

Where do you start with requirements and what order do you prioritise them in? We work with you to develop user cases to that explore customer pain points and broken processes that digital can address which help to bring the art if the possible to life for stakeholders. It helps to create greater clarity and lays the conditions for fruitful requirements gathering.

4. Digital Mindset

A properly ambitious digital strategy inevitably results in cultural change. A multistage process that adapts based on the experience and digital maturity of a client business makes most sense – allowing the ‘new’ and ‘old’ to work together in an agile and coordinated way.

Establishing a “digital” culture is essential to a successful digital strategy. It helps attract talent and achieve agile ways of working to drive results faster than would occur otherwise.

5. Managing Transformation

Succeeding at innovation and achieving the ROI expected by shareholders demands sophisticated process management techniques and tools. Road-mapping helps to align innovation with an overarching vision and organisation’s ability to execute, as well as facilitating better collaboration and communication. A continuous improvement process (CiP) supports this by helping to identify new and better ways to drive efficiencies without sacrificing quality.

Colin Gray | Head of Marketing Strategy and Behavioural Economics


Graymatter’s five pillars underpin our business, and our client success. Learn more here:

Our five pillars