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Digital strategy is a field-spanning concept that revolves around a company’s plans for computer, network and web-based marketing and development. This field began in the early 21st century and is involved in finding ways to increase interactivity between customers and employees, identifying new areas of digital business to exploit and using Internet resources to the company’s advantage. These areas span several other departments such as marketing, tech support, research and development and administration.
In the later part of the 20th century, the digital world went from a business assistant to a business focus. Originally, networks and email were simply conveniences that were secondary to the work the company performed. Now, most business wouldn’t survive without some digital presence, and nearly all successful firms dedicate a large part of their time and effort to digital and web endeavors.
The concept of digital strategy grew out of the need for a larger computer presence. This field operates within several existing departments, but focuses solely on how those departments are influenced by, and how they can influence, digital projects. With the field still being very new, there are few hard and fast rules, and each firm goes about its processes differently. Even so, there are a few concepts that are more common than others.
This first main goal of a digital strategy is finding places where the company’s existing methods may be applied to a digital system. This is basic presence options like online stores, corporate webpages and web-based advertisements. While these first steps are rarely anything revolutionary business-wise, they are necessary to establish a firm digital foundation for later projects.
The next important part of digital strategy is growing the company into digital formats. This step is structured very heavily on the previous. The company uses its new web presence to provide tangible business benefits in the real world. A common example of this step is providing digital versions of programs and manuals to cut the cost of producing physical versions. In addition, self-help tech support helps to cut back on common and simple tech issues, which relives pressure on support staff.
The third major focus of digital strategy is providing new benefits outside of the typical corporate structure. In this operation, the company has established itself in the digital world. Now it begins to provide access to services and information that are only tangentially related to the initial company. For example, a company that makes software may open a web-based side business that appeals to people who use that software, such as a photo-editing company that creates a content-upload-based social site.