“Digital is not IT” – Quite often the confusion is due to the fact that it sits within the IT function. So how are they different ?
IT = Science & Digital = Art: IT is an engineering science aimed at “how” best to use technology in order to solve a business problem. It involves the know how of different products, latest technology trends, programming languages, provisioning of office infrastructure, hosting etc. It is a supporting function aimed at providing the best system landscape that will help the business achieve its objective.
Digital is providing an “experience” to your customers by using the available technology. It is to a certain degree subjective in nature and involves creating relationships, building value etc. In short you could provide the best digital experience without necessarily having the latest technology behind it. That said the more advanced the technology the more flexible you will be to innovative and try out radical ideas.
IT vs Digital Strategy
IT strategy details the technology roadmap that will drive business growth and traditionally aligns to the business objective. In other words, business strategy is the input and it aligns & follows.
Digital strategy is part of the wider business strategy addressing the question on how businesses evolve in the digital era. In other words it is a subset of the business strategy and sits alongside.
There has never been a time where IT has had such a great extent of convergence with another function. Difference is the key to make informed choices on people, process & technology. For example, an IT guy with no business acumen might struggle to enrich customer experiences in spite of having the right tech around and an “ideas only” person may struggle to implement a system landscape to build something meaningful. And if someone can do both, act fast and get hold of them !