Digital maturity of enterprises: what is it and how can your company achieve it?

Posted by media on October 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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In today’s day and age, it is increasingly normal to witness more traditional companies being sidelined by new digital start-ups that provide in-demand services that do not exist within the existing gamut of options.

This is digital disruption at its very finest, and it has already prompted companies in all sectors to acknowledge that their profitability and longevity depend on incorporating digital technology into their internal operations as well as for communications with clients. But just how skillfully are these businesses using their digital technology? While many have successfully identified that their services have to be increasingly flexible, efficient and speedy to win the loyalty of the modern customer, there is all too often a striking gap between strategy and execution, planning and practice.

An enterprise’s ability to adapt to these new realities offers us an insight into its digital maturity. In this post, we will offer a definition of this term and identify the ways in which it can be reached.

This post is also available in Spanish.

Although a relatively new concept, digital maturity is a convenient benchmark for forward-thinking businesses to examine their digital strengths and weaknesses in a context of global digital transformation and subsequently identify improvements that can maximize both competitiveness within the sector and the overall efficiency of internal operations.

How is digital maturity defined?

Digital maturity comprises two separate but related dimensions: digital intensity and transformational leadership.

Digital Intensity is the investment a company has made in technologically advanced initiatives to improve efficiency and company operations. Examples include using technology to improve customer engagement processes, internal operations and business models. In order to achieve digital intensity, a company will need the right leadership not only to implement, but to boost these technological initiatives.

Transformation Management Intensity consists of the leadership capabilities necessary to encourage and manage the digital transformation in a company. It's not enough to just have the tools, if the leadership doesn't know how to use or implement it, the digital intensity will go to waste.

How is digital maturity measured?

The following 4 levels of digital maturity have been created to identify the depth of a company’s investment in an integrated digital strategy.


Fashionista

Organizations with fantastic digital resources at their disposal, but no vision or leadership to ensure the correct tools are being used effectively across all departments.

Digerati

Businesses with a wide range of relevant digital tools, used across all departments, signifying a high level of digital maturity. Digerati are on average 26% more profitable than industry competitors.

Beginner

Companies with little digital initiative or awareness and no effective transformational leadership.

Conservative

Enterprises that value the vision, but are reluctant to take action and make the necessary investments.


Source: Capgemini


Why digital maturity matters?


“The higher a company’s level of digital maturity,
the better its financial performance is likely to be.”
- MIT Sloan Management Review


According to a study of 184 publically traded firms, conducted by MIT Sloan Management, a clear correlation was found between digitally mature companies and a strong financial performance. They found that the companies that are more digitally mature financially outpaced their competitors: from an increased revenue generation, greater profitability, to a higher market valuation.

What can your company do to achieve digital maturity?

Where do you stand in the sphere of digital maturity? Do you have a lot of growing up to do, or are you already well on your way? If you've recognized some of the qualities and actions discussed in this post, congratulations - you've already begun the hard work of becoming more digitally mature. If however, after reading this post, you've realized you have a long way to go - don't fret. As the world becomes more technology based than ever before, there is a lot to learn and implement to keep up.    
As each industry and business is different, there is no grand plan that will work for every firm. However, all companies can take the following steps to create their own digital transformation strategy.

1. Assess your current status

Evaluate your company’s current digital maturity, get feedback across the entire company to discover if there are some areas that desperately need to change.

2. Create a comprehensive digital vision

Based on your assessment, unite the leadership team to create a vision. Share this plan with the entire team, to make sure everyone is on board and will be working towards the same goal.

3. Focus

Unless you have unlimited financial and time resources, it's best to choose one or two areas to excel at. By focusing your efforts, you will maximize your investments.

4. Engange your team

With your team armed with the company’s vision of their technological future, encourage and engage them to accept changes and to be proactive. Everyone will need to be on board and active in order to become wholly digitally mature, from the top to the bottom.

5. Monitor progress

Keep track of your efforts, continuously monitoring and quantifying your progress. Use KPIs to measure the affects each change you make has.  

6. Maintain

Each new change brings you one step closer to digital maturity. Thus, you must work hard to maintain these new tools. If something isn’t sticking, analyze why -- is the team lacking additional resources, skills or knowledge to fully implement it?

At Signaturit, we're helping companies complete the full transition to digital maturity. Our electronic signature solution helps companies to optimize their internal operations, saving time and money. Adopting an electronic signature solution is an easy tool to implement that can have a significant impact on your business.

Learn more about how electronic signatures can help make your company become digitally mature by downloading the whitepaper below for free.

This post is also available in Spanish.

Download Whitepaper eSignatures 101 (English)


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