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What it means to be a digital-first company

In a three-part series, we want to explore the what, why and how of being a digital-first company.

For the first part let’s start by answering what a digital-first company is.

You might have seen the term ‘digital-first’ thrown around online and thought it was just the next buzz term being used by big businesses.

However, digital-first is a huge shift in business strategy and mindset. This shift has presented new opportunities and some challenges for those who have embraced the change.

Digital-first companies focus on delivering their service through digital mediums. MuleSoft is an excellent example of a digital-first company, as they have developed an integrated platform that allows customers to manage their business processes in one place. They also provide APIs so their partners can easily integrate with their products, enabling them to expand beyond the traditional enterprise market.

Connectivity drives digital-first businesses

When delivering a digital service, the focus should be on creating a great customer experience and building a robust online presence. Modern-day connectivity paves the way to make this happen. We’re more connected to the digital world than we’ve ever been. This connectivity means that a digital-first business can instantly gather user data and feedback, improve its offering, deliver quickly, and target its marketing through online mediums such as email, social media, videos, blogs and websites.

More often than not, a digital-first business will have a less physical presence than a traditional brick and mortar business. Where traditional companies have transitioned into a digital-first existence, they have left a trail of empty offices, stores and banks scattered throughout the country. This business mindset isn’t just changing customer and employee experiences, it’sexperiences it’s changing our landscapes.

A different way of thinking

The digital-first business way of thinking isn’t just about adding an e-commerce store to a website, closing offices or moving marketing online. It’s about seeing where a business could leverage technologies such as cloud and API integration, where customer and employee experiences can be improved and adopting an agile mindset that embraces the continuous change that technology affords.

A digital-first mindset focuses on:

  • Delivering a service digitally.
  • Creating a great user experience for both customers and employees.
  • Online marketing and building a strong online presence.
  • Enhancing a business with technology.
  • Remaining agile and integrating new technology.

Accelerated transformation

The pandemic of 2020/21 accelerated the digital-first business transformation. The businesses that had no digital product or service sat by the sideline whilst the ones that did, flexed their digital muscles and continued to deliver. Many companies had to quickly transform to provide digital services or otherwise risk going under.

Even with life returning to what it was before the pandemic, customers and employees are now spending more time at home and online, where they want to both shop and work. Their expectations are of a smooth user experience that allows them (within reason) to achieve what they would if they were there physically. 


A digital-first mindset is about putting the customer first and creating a customer-centric culture. It means constantly looking to improve the user experience and ensuring that customer needs guide everything. These businesses can stay ahead of the curve and capitalise on the latest trends and technologies. By focusing on the customer, a digital-first company can create a loyal fanbase that will stick with them.

Now’s the time to move your business toward a digital-first mindset with effective and transformative integration. Devoteam can help.