Episode 4 - The New Normal - Assessing your Digital Health

Its easy to ignore the subject of health, we all do it


David Worby

6/23/20204 min read

In our recent post ‘The New Normal’, we identified six key themes for the new, emerging digital retail/ D2C world. 50-60% of retail sales will now be online as a result of Covid-19 and leaders and teams need to think and act, differently with immediate effect.

In this episode, we examine the importance of Digital Health and, in much the same way you might use a fitness app or a Fitbit to monitor key personal dynamics, what business dynamics should you be keeping a close eye on?

It’s easy to ignore the subject of health – we know, as human beings, that at times of crisis we often wish we’d spent more time thinking and acting in the interests of our health; in many senses, the same is often true in business. If the existing financial goals are being achieved then it’s very easy to sit back, let it ride and paper over the cracks, however when a crisis hits it’s often less easy to ignore the things you should have considered.

Don’t be complacent – work on your business health

In these Covid-19 times many businesses have realised how difficult it is to achieve ambitions outside their immediate plans i.e. ‘We don’t have an online business….and all of our physical stores have shut indefinitely’ or ‘My digital channel is not capable of scaling beyond my current plan’.

It’s inevitable that in many of these cases, revenue opportunities are lost and brands damaged – so which six elements of Digital health should you be re-assessing to ensure you are fit for the coming months?

1. Leadership/Team Skills

Regular assessments and less formal processes appraising leadership provide a good sense of healthy and unhealthy capabilities, but how do you test out the unexpected? How did your leadership group respond to Covid-19? Have you incorporated health resilience dynamics into your KPIs/OKRs? Does your team have the right skills mix in-house?

Prospero has developed a skills matrix to support business and ensure you are placing the right emphasis on agility, knowledge, and leadership. You must have the right mix of digital skills to adapt when "Black Swan" events happen.

2. Data

As a data owner you have responsibilities defined by protocols, are you aware of your business obligations?

Here are a further 4 questions that will help determine your data health:

  1. Do you have a data schema that’s easily understood?

  2. Do your teams collaborate to deliver insights and good decision-making, or do they operate in silos?

  3. Is there widespread understanding and knowledge around the value of data?

  4. Do your people self-service, using appropriate tools?

3. Technology

One of the key roles that technology plays in business is to support the delivery of the corporate strategic objectives; IT can be a hindrance, an enabler, or a driver.

Critically review the degree to which your technology supports your agreed business strategy or even pushes the business boundaries. If your digital technology is healthy it’ll be pushing the business agenda and providing opportunities in times like these rather than hindering. We find clarity of technology aims and architecture often go hand-in-hand with business success.

4. Processes

Have your business processes remained untouched for years? During this time the business will have steered many different courses so it’s unlikely they are still healthy. For example, spending money on digital advertising with Google that only returns x2 (gross) return are likely to be very unhealthy!

You need to regularly review your processes, so they are healthy and efficient, tested, and benchmarked to ensure they are not dragging you down and missing significant opportunities to improve inefficiency. Are you adopting process automation to reduce costs in today’s uncertain world?

5. Resilience and cost-effectiveness

Organisational resilience is more vital than ever, can you navigate successfully through unplanned events and pivot without destroying the healthy basics that underpin the core?

When designing capacity and latency headroom, redundancy and agility might not seem to be financially attractive, however recent events have shown how vital it is to plan for the unexpected.

6. Test everything

An adage, but a good one, healthy businesses create scenarios that test their organisation beyond the immediate requirements and across all aspects. You should be increasing the cadence of testing. Incorporating this approach into your organisation could well be the difference between healthy outcomes and failure when the next pandemic arrives.

Whatever your level of digital maturity, a digital health check will help ensure legacy ways of working are still operating to maximum effectiveness and that you will be able to cope with the changes needed over the next few months.

Kick start your people thinking digitally through an appraisal. If you need support, Prospero can help you and get you fit for the New Normal.

Talk to us at hello@prosperocommerce.com

Other Relevant links:

The importance of strong digital leadership - here

Take a look at our Season 2 podcast series - here

Return to Blog home - here

Take a look at our Reports and Whitepapers - here

It’s easy to ignore the subject of health....we all do it