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The 7 dimensions of digital maturity you need to know before transforming.

2019, 06, 21

Vera Engelbertink

Digital transformation. We all want it, just like "something with" Big Data, Marketing Automation & AI. And we all struggle with it, but that does not alter the fact that many companies and organizations should start today rather than tomorrow; it is simply "transform or die".

We’ve seen it over the past few years that digital transformations more often fail than succeed. A survey done among 1.000 companies worldwide by Bain & Company shows that only 5% of digital transformations succeed. Most of them failing because the purpose of changing is not clear within the organization. Being innovative or adopting new technologies is never a goal in itself; it should contribute to improving your business.

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So where to start? Starting somewhere at random often results in disappointment. If you want to start on the path of digital transformation, you first have to understand where you stand today. Not only gaining that insight, but also knowing to what it has to contribute. Making funded choices before you get started is what everyone wants right?

Where do you want to go?
So where do you want to take your business? What are long-term goals that need to be achieved in order to become a top leader or stay ahead in your market, improve efficiency & reduce costs, improve customer experience etc.? What will drive your success? And what are the KPI’s that can be set in order to measure those goals?

Gaining insights into your current digital maturity will give you the necessary insights to know where the gaps and opportunities lie.

All questions that need to be answered before you get started. If you don’t put making sure results are measurable a first priority, you are sure to enter in a losing game. Because that is what ultimately will form your business case, which is necessary to proof whether or not the steps towards transformation you have taken were successful or not.

Where do you stand today?
So now you know where you want to go. But where are you today? What are the necessary steps you need take? And how & in what order should you take them? Perhaps your IT infrastructure is all top-notch, but it’s somehow lacking to provide your with the necessary data insights from the different lakes and streams. Or there is no real commitment or vision from C-level, but every department is expected to act as though there is.

Gaining insights into your current digital maturity will give you the necessary insights to realize where you stand today and knowing where the gaps and opportunities lie. Not just in tech and infrastructure; also organizational support, processes, culture and current customer activities are just as important. Because as Peter Drucker famously stated still rings true: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

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To be able to identify these factors we developed a new digital maturity model that is able to measure where your organization stands in its digital maturity. The model has several variables and is comprised out of 7 dimensions:

1. Organization and Activities. How supportive is your organization when it comes to digital strategy, managing & executing the plans? How are teams working together and are those processes aligned? Number one reason digital transformations fail is because organizations are not clear on what is means for them and their employees. Therefore, a clear vision & support from C-level is imperative.

2. Culture & innovation. Often the biggest hurdle to take is not infrastructure, but a culture shift to make digital transformation successful. So how does your organisation approach and support innovation? How are employees enabled to use digital technologies and are they trained and learning new skills? You need to make sure your employees are given the opportunity to develop the skills they need to work with the technologies needed to move your business forward in the digital age.

3. Technology. Of course no transformation can be completed with the right technology to support it. It will form the foundation of your digital business. What are your current systems and what are they capable in doing? Will they help you to perform better, automate processes and ultimately optimize your customer experience.

4. Data & Analysis. The data driven world we live in today will only increase in the future. You need to discover what data you already have available. You probably already have more than you think. However, leveraging that data and using it to gain the right and necessary insights is a different ballgame.

5. Customer experience and approach. This dimension measures how your organization ensures that the customer remains involved, how well it can meet the needs of the customer; ultimately how well it is responding to the customer experience.

6. Channel strategy. How and which channels are you using to help you make your marketing activities perform better? A recent study by Google shows that digital mature marketeers are 4x as likely to exceed business goals.

7. IT infrastructure and process optimization. Besides the technologies used in your organization which we measure in dimension 3, it is also necessary to investigate how your IT infrastructure is supporting the business processes and goals.

Digital transformations often fail because all of these different dimensions were not taken into account.

Why does this matter?
Okay so now you know how digital mature your organization is. And now what?

These insights are necessary to create the right digital transformation strategy for your business. Investigate knowing the ‘how’ before you get started with expensive implementations and time consuming processes. Let it help you in making the right choices; what is lacking, but also what is working well? It’s does not always been starting off big, your can take small steps first, proof what works and build on that. But this way you get your priorities straight; know where you have to begin to be able to harvest the results from day 1.

Not only will it help in knowing where to start, but also in investigating how to future-proof your business. What opportunities lie ahead and how do you ensure that what you are doing contributes to your business goals? How can it improve your current business model or can new business models be unlocked by seizing the right opportunities? Digital transformations often fail because all of these different dimensions were not taken into account. There is usually only a focus on for example implementing solutions, data and technology.

Creating a 360 degree view of your business by knowing your digital maturity and taking into account the opportunities and threats the digital world your facing today provide, will help you in making the digital transformation of your organization a success.

Want to know what the digital maturity of your organization is? Start our Quick Scan (in Dutch) to get basic insights or get in touch!

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