Part One - A Digital Detox for Your 2021 Digital Strategy

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Part One - A Digital Detox for Your 2021 Digital Strategy

You’ve already created your digital strategy for 2021, so it’s too late to make it sustainable. Ah well, you missed the boat, so maybe you should put it on your to do list for next year? Wrong.

In reality, the environment doesn’t wait for companies to work through their to do lists before it starts to degrade. The effects of excess carbon are evident in so many areas of life, from changing weather patterns and melting ice caps, to dangerous levels of pollution in the air we breathe. We need to take action now!

It’s up to every one of us to make changes, personally and professionally, to reduce our carbon footprint. Businesses are the biggest polluters, yes even those who are digital, but we also have the power to create meaningful change.

Here are some tips on how to detox your 2021 digital strategy to make it more energy efficient.

What do you know?

Are you aware of digital carbon footprints and what contributes towards them? If not, then you’ll need to do some research.

At Digital Detox, one of the biggest roles we play as a sustainable digital agency is to educate our clients on what digital sustainability really means, and the simple changes you could make to your digital project. Sustainability isn’t a box ticking exercise; it’s about tangible actions every business can take to protect the environment.

Your digital strategy sets a vision and ambition for the year ahead. So it’s the perfect platform for implementing a more ethical approach to what, where, how, when and why you want to achieve.

Set your goals

The first step to detox your 2021 digital strategy is to decide what you’re aiming for.

Can you set some digital sustainability goals? For example, at Digital Detox, our commitment is that we will become carbon neutral within the next five years.

This is a shared objective by every individual in the business and all our actions keep this goal in mind. Once you’ve set your goal, it’s time to work out how to achieve it.

Identify the quick wins

If you’ve already agreed and shared your 2021 digital strategy, the best way to detox it is by identifying some quick wins.

This could include:

  • Review your goals

Either amend them to be more sustainable or add new goals on top of your existing set that focus on sustainability.

Growth and engagement should never come at the price of the environment.

If your ambitious targets are likely to increase your carbon footprint, you’ll need to rethink them with a more sustainable mindset.

  • Eliminate waste

Take a critical eye to your 2021 digital strategy. Is everything necessary and prioritised? Could you afford to lose anything or make way for more sustainable projects?

A great way to detox your digital strategy is to remove anything you don’t need. Less unnecessary noise, more focused productivity.

  • Reuse it

It’s far more energy efficient to reuse what you already have, than to create things from scratch.

Try to identify any opportunities to piggyback off existing work and processes, reuse technology and integrate a component recycling policy into your development strategy.

  • Be accountable

Does your strategy focus mainly on profitability, brand image and meeting stakeholders’ needs? If so, it’s time to reconsider who you’re accountable to.

In the previous blog of our Detoxing series, we shared insight from Deloitte. It showed that “purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors.”

If you amend your digital strategy to fulfil a purpose-led ambition that meets your digital sustainability goals AND delights end-users, the profit will follow.

Longer-term ways to detox your 2021 digital strategy

Quick wins are a great place to start, but they’re only one piece of the puzzle. Your digital strategy represents a way to filter down the kind of messages and goals you’d like your entire digital workforce to prioritise.

It’s critical that your senior leadership team contains at least one member with a background in, or a focus on, digital sustainability.

If you can’t find that person, outsource the role to a third party partner. Either way, make sure your digital strategy has input from someone senior who understands the ins and outs of sustainability.

This is important for influence and awareness, and for making sure you ‘walk the walk’ on your detoxing journey.

Why does it matter?

Before you begin detoxing your digital strategy, you’ll need to understand why it’s so important. If you don’t get it, your heart won’t be in it.

Do as much research as you can into:

  • Digital Carbon Footprints
  • Digital Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Sustainable digital design
  • Sustainable digital transformation

You can find lots of information about these topics in our blog.

Be inspired

It’s also helpful to take a look at what other companies are doing to become more energy efficient.

For example, Vodafone has set some ambitious sustainability targets and are actively working to achieve them. They’re implementing their ethical digital strategy, peppered with quick wins and ongoing efficiencies wherever possible.

It’s an awe-inspiring journey for this global communications giant, and it’s already yielding results. When you get a sense of what other companies are doing, it will inspire you to implement similar changes within your own organisation.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other organisations for insight and support - we’re all in this together!

Your digital sustainability partner

At Digital Detox, we work with large enterprise organisations and smaller start-ups to guide them through the process of detoxing their digital strategies and creating robust, purposeful digital experiences.

We’d love to work with you to help you achieve your digital goals.

Get in touch for a chat or visit our Case Studies section to see some examples of our work.

Don’t forget to follow us on Linkedin to get all the latest news and blogs as they come out! In the next edition of our Detoxing series, we’ll be looking at detoxing application development.

Read more in this series