Is your organization making a digital commerce transition this year? Whether you’re replacing an aging system or going digital for the first time, the initiative will be transformative for the entire organization. How do you lay the foundations for a solid digital commerce roadmap? One of the first places to start is to make sure you have executive buy-in. Without that, the whole program is at risk. Read on for four steps that ensure your B2B digital commerce strategy has executive mandate status.

1.  Start at the Top

Most companies do not have their digital strategy set by the CEO. But having the CEO be the ultimate sponsor of your digital business transformation from the start, along with the backing of the board of directors, is a really important first step. Without top-level buy-in, the whole program is at risk of not getting enough support and funding, and potentially being subjected to a lot of internal politics getting in the way of progress.

2.  Unified CIO and CMO

It’s also really important that c-level marketing and technology leaders are working in together. It will be a big transformational change for the CMO, for example, as existing websites and digital channels move from being just a marketing program into actually supporting transactional commerce. And the IT organization has likely been in charge of any existing EDI and associated buying processes you have in place within your organization. So, it’s really important that the CIO and the CMO are in alignment on the new direction your company is going with your eCommerce strategy and the joint marketing and technology programs that emerge from it.

3.  Digital leader as evangelist

The digital leader spearheading the initiative must take on the role of evangelist, by positioning himself or herself as the subject matter expert and trusted advisor to the CEO, CMO and CIO, and ensuring that all are working together as a strategic team.

4.  A journey, not a project

Finally, it’s important that executives and stakeholders understand that digital transformation is more than a two- or three-year IT project. Digital transformation is never over, it’s really more like a long-term journey that may go on for five to ten years, or longer. Everyone needs to buy into the fact that this is a long-term transition.

Digital commerce strategy leads to transformation and disruption

Digital transformation will become a core competency of your organization and though it will likely disrupt the entire organization in the beginning, you’ll look back one day and wonder how you ever did business before you made the transition to digital.

Take a deeper dive in this 17 page eBook: Executive Leadership’s Guide to Digital Transformation >