How to assess the digital maturity of your company

digital transformation

Why do a digital maturity diagnosis?  

A study conducted by MIT and Capgemini found that companies with the highest level of maturity are 26% more successful than the average company in their industry. They have a 9% higher revenue per employee and a 12% higher valuation than the average.

Digital is a strong lever for competitiveness and performance.

It is therefore important for you to know if your digital maturity is sufficient to give you another competitive advantage and in which areas it needs to be improved.

But what is digital maturity?

The term "digital" has been very fashionable in recent years. What does it mean exactly? Is it another way of saying "information technology"?

Information Technology (IT) is the set of tools that allow to process information in an automated way. And nowadays, almost 100% of information is digitised (which was not true until recently when most information was in analogue form). IT is therefore the set of tools that deal with digitised information, or digital to use the fashionable term.

We could then say that digital maturity is the ability to process information with computerised technology. And to conclude that digital = IT. But this is to forget the cultural or media aspect that has been added to this.

In fact, in recent years, "information" and computer technology have become much more complex:

  • information is disseminated by a number of new sources: social networks, content aggregators, EDI, connected objects...
  • information has become less structured: previously it was in defined formats, proprietary or with common standards; today it can be in any format, depending on the source
  • information has become more numerous: the problem today is more how to identify the right information, filter it and analyse huge amounts of data to extract relevant information
  • IT resources have developed rapidly and are interconnected and continue to do so very rapidly: proprietary internal or open source software, software as a service (SAAS), hosting in private or public clouds, interconnected software elements, APIs, etc.
  • Data analysis has undergone major changes: increased computing power and above all new data mining and artificial intelligence methods enabling the construction of self-learning and predictive systems

So, it would be more accurate today to define digital maturity as the ability to process all this information, in an automated way, interconnected with various systems, both external and internal to the company and constantly evolving, in order to extract relevant information that is a source of competitive advantage for the company.

What are the important points in digital maturity?

Most evaluation models are based on 5 pillars, even if they are sometimes organised or called something else:

  • Strategy: how does your strategy take digital into account, either through your offers or through your relationships with partners or competitors (with a high level of digital maturity)?
  • The customer: how does digital allow you to know your prospects and customers better, and how can you serve them better?
  • Operations: how can you be more effective and efficient in your internal processes (innovation, production, delivery...) and performance management?
  • Employees and organisation: are the organisation, roles and responsibilities, employees and their skills adapted for a good digital maturity?
  • Information system and data: is the information system scalable and able to handle all data and interconnected with other internal and external systems? Is the data catalogued and secured?

How do you assess your digital maturity?

Evaluation by consultancy firms

Many consultancies have developed their own diagnostic tools, but you have to contact them and certainly pay a lot of money for consultant days before you get any idea of your digital maturity. Examples include the following:

  • The DDM (Deloitte Digital Maturity Model) developed by Deloitte
  • The "Digital Quotient" developed by McKinsey

Online self assessments 

Other firms or organisations have made evaluations freely available. For example :

  • Industry 4.0, self-assessment by Price Water House
  • "Digital Readiness Survey, self-assessment by Bain & Company
  • Forrester research

The Pwc self-assessment is quite well done with 33 questions covering all the pillars mentioned above. It allows for positioning on a scale of 1 to 5, with a description of what level 5 looks like. However, it has several flaws:

  • There is no description for the intermediate levels, which leaves a lot of personal interpretation to the final score
  • Some questions actually require you to...know the answer.
    • For example: "How sophisticated is your digital compliance policy? 5= Highly sophisticated: The compliance policy is defined for the whole organisation and is supported by a digital ICS". If you don't know what an ICS is, good luck answering the question. Or, if you have defined 'one policy line' for the whole organisation, can you put a level 5?
    • Or "To what extent does your IT architecture meet all the needs of digitalisation and industry 4.0? To answer this question, you need to know what the needs of industry 4.0 are!
  • Whether you are a service company or a product manufacturer, you will always be asked if your production equipment is connected....

Bain's is quite edifying, with only 10 extremely general questions. An example: "We have the right people, skills and culture to execute our digital vision - Rate from 1 to 7". Surely with a question like that you have a very clear idea of what you need to do, what people and what culture you need!

The Forrester Research one has 28 questions, organised in 4 sections: Culture, Organisation, Technology, and Insights. It is not online, but in pdf format and asks for scores from 0 to 4, with a value scale. The questions are also sometimes vague and one wonders how they relate to digital maturity: "We use customer-oriented indicators such as Net Promoter Score or Lifetime Value to measure success".

It must be said that all these firms or organisations have a very different intention than allowing you to do a self-assessment. In reality they are trying to attract you either to sell consulting services or to buy their market research reports (Forrester for example). It is not surprising that these self-assessments are very limited.

The alternative: Wevalgo's digital maturity online assessment

Wevalgo offers a relatively complete self-assessment in 33 questions using the following framework
digital maturity evaluation

It positions you on a 5-level maturity grid. It has many advantages:

  • Each level is precisely described in order to limit personal interpretations
  • The questions can be adapted to your type of business
  • You can keep your results and numerous analysis graphs are possible (by question, category and sub-category of questions)
  • You can have the assessment carried out by several people and compare the results. You can either :
    • evaluate different parts of your organisation (different sites, countries, functions...)
    • generate a discussion between the different assessors to understand the differences in assessment
  • You can carry out regular assessments and compare them, for example to see the progress made following the implementation of action plans

It is important to note that Wevalgo does not try to lure you with an assessment and then sell you other services. Our business model is based entirely on selling quality assessments to our clients.

But it is certainly best if you test the evaluation yourself, it's free.

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Saturday, 13 July 2024