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4 Stages of Digital Maturity for Business Acceleration in '24

4 Stages of Digital Maturity for Business Acceleration in '244 Stages of Digital Maturity for Business Acceleration in '24

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to fast-track their digital transformation in almost every industry worldwide. While some are upgrading their digital capabilities, others are only starting their digital transformation journey. Companies need to understand and measure their current digital state to move forward in the digital transformation process. A Digital maturity model (DMM) can also guide businesses towards their digital transformation goals. 

This article explores how organizations can approach the digital maturity model (DMM) and assess their digital maturity level.

Four stages of digital maturity

Companies need a shared understanding of what they have achieved and what they plan to achieve in digital transformation and to obtain that information, they need to know where they stand. As shown in Figure 1, there are four stages of digital maturity which act as a framework to help assess the company’s digital level and guide it towards improvement.

Figure 1. The four stages of digital maturity

Source: Forbes

1. The Incidental stage

This is the earliest stage of digital maturity in which organizations are still establishing trust in the data available and trying to improve organizational collaboration. Businesses in this stage could have data silos, lack data collection, and distrust the quality of the data. There is also a lack of awareness of the importance of digital transformation amongst the c-suite, and the implementation of digital solutions just happens incidentally.

At this stage, companies should focus on executive buy-in and get the top management on board regarding digital transformation. Additionally, managers should also focus on enhancing their understanding of digital technologies, improving data quality, and increasing collaboration between the teams.

2. The Intentional stage

Companies at this stage are intentionally trying to implement digital solutions. However, their efforts are still not fluent and automated. Businesses at this stage have a higher quality of data and are moving towards data democracy. They also focus more on aligning KPIs across the business functions and learning about new technologies. 

Companies at this stage realize the importance of data sharing and interdepartmental collaboration. They increase their analytics capabilities by working with third-party analytics agencies. Furthermore, the executive management understands the importance of digital transformation.

At this stage, companies need to focus more on strengthening interdepartmental collaboration and moving towards strategic alignment. Managers should also emphasize improving the current digital processes that are now more measurable, well-documented, and more scalable.

3. The integrated stage

In this stage, companies are capable of translating data-driven digital processes directly into improvements in revenue and productivity. There is a strategic and coordinated implementation of digital solutions, and the executives consider digital transformation as essential to organizational survival. Digital platforms are integrated, and data is shared across the teams.

Businesses in this stage should focus on improving their cybersecurity because as the adoption of digital technologies increases, they can face increased security threats and vulnerabilities. Moreover, companies should also invest in reskilling and upskilling their employees to avoid employee pushbacks.

4. The optimized stage

During this stage, digital transformation is truly integrated into the organizational culture and core values. All initiatives towards digital transformation are done strategically, and the digital processes are fully streamlined and automated. New digital solutions can be relatively easily integrated into the existing system.

Digital maturity should not be considered as a destination but a process of continuous improvement. Since technology is changing rapidly, companies in this stage should also need to keep working on their digital maturity.

Assessing digital maturity in your business

Assessing or measuring your digital maturity is one of the first steps a business needs to take in its digital transformation journey. Managers should answer the following questions to gain a clear picture of the digital maturity stage their business is currently in:

  • Does the company have a clear digital transformation vision and goals?
  • Is this vision communicated across the organization?
  • Are the company’s current digital strategies giving a competitive advantage?
  • Are new digital solutions integrated within the organization, and are they providing results?
  • Is there proper alignment between the digital technologies and the KPIs, and is there an evaluation process in place?
  • Is the team ready to adjust to the process changes?

As shown in Figure 2, Deloitte measures digital maturity level by measuring the benefits gained from an organization’s efforts towards digital transformation.

Figure 2. Digital maturity, based on the benefits gained from the efforts towards digital transformation

Source: Deloitte

One size does not fit all

Adopting a digital maturity model should be based on a company’s vision, business model, functional model, business goals, and the plan to achieve these goals. Considering these factors will give a clear perspective of the digital capabilities and the desired level of digital maturity of the business. It will also give a clear view of the business architecture and what changes need to be made before implementing the digital maturity model. After obtaining this information, a company can determine its digital transformation strategy to achieve the desired results.

Further reading:

To accelerate your digital transformation process, check out:

You can also check our sortable/filterable list of digital transformation consulting companies to find the fit that best suits your business needs.

If you have questions about the digital maturity model, let us know:

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Shehmir Javaid
Shehmir Javaid is an industry analyst in AIMultiple. He has a background in logistics and supply chain technology research. He completed his MSc in logistics and operations management and Bachelor's in international business administration From Cardiff University UK.

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