I’m writing this on the train. On my iPad. Connected to the internet (albeit intermittently, thanks to the occasional tunnel) while trundling through the British countryside. I booked my ticket online with Expedia. I used the Trainline app to check the most up to date timetable info just before I left the office. Digital is enhancing my journey. Making it easier.

Every single one of my fellow travelers, with the exception of the sleeping Hipster opposite me, has immersed themselves in their own digital worlds. They tap the screens of smartphones. They watch movies on their tablets. They type meeting notes on their laptops.

The world has gone digital.

But that’s not a surprise, right? Digital is a boardroom topic these days. C-level executives who barely had the faintest notion of what “digital” was a few years ago are waking up the threat that digital disruption poses to their business. Spurred on by apocryphal tales of iconic brands who flushed their futures down the digital toilet, they are facing the reality that their businesses need to take digital seriously.

But here’s the kicker. While senior executives in many firms may now understand the importance of digital for their firm’s survival, few know what to do about it.

At Forrester, we recently ran one of our largest ever global executive surveys in partnership with Russell Reynolds. We asked firms about their digital strategies. Here’s what we found:

  • Seventy three percent of firms that think they have a digital strategy. If this sounds high, that’s because many of these firms are mistaking the fact that they have a website, or a mobile app, as having a digital strategy.
  • Thirty four percent of executives that think their digital strategy is correct. Executives seriously doubt their firms’ digital strategy, and in most cases, they also think that the wrong people are setting it.
  • Sixteen percent of executives that believe they can deliver their strategy. Digital is an increasingly complex and shifting problem. Consumers are adopting new digital touchpoints at an unprecedented rate, and in many cases, the way firms are organized stifles agility and innovation.

Clearly, firms are not set up for digital success.

You need a digital business strategy. You need to transform. But before you start working on all that great stuff, you need to take some time to work out what digital means to your industry, and your firm. In our latest chapter in the eBusiness Digital Transformation Playbook, we help you do exactly that. The Landscape chapter outlines some of the key trends that are transforming your customers, your markets, your competitors and your products, and looks at some examples of eBusiness executives that are driving digital transformation to reposition how their firms deliver value to their customers.

Take a read.