For some companies, the digital transformation journey has only begun, while others have been working to go digital for years. In fact, because digital transformation can be a long process without a clear end in sight, it helps to think of the process as less of a one-time transformation and more of a continuous digital maturation. Whether a business is assessing its own maturity or consultants are incorporating assessments into their suite of services, it’s critical to run regular a digital maturity assessment to pinpoint where a company is in the digital transformation journey. Increasingly, it’s consultants that are driving the assessment process as businesses fill gaps in their analytics capabilities with outside expertise. Regardless, it is clear there is a significant appetite for data to inform digital maturity and the digital journey.
Here are six specific reasons why companies on the road to digital transformation and their consultants should run a regular digital maturity assessment.
Like any other benchmark, using a digital maturity benchmark to understand how a company’s digital journey compares to the competition can help leaders identify whether they are generally on track with the rest of their industries or whether they need to step up their game. A benchmark assessment does not not inform a company what it should do to improve – every company is different, and what works for one company may not work for another. But the competitive benchmark can be invaluable as a red flag that informs companies that they need to push harder.
Regular digital maturity assessments can give companies reams of valuable data. They can use this data to run gap analyses and easily identify problem areas. Gap analyses identify where the greatest weaknesses lie as well as the greatest strengths. These show companies where they need to step up and what is working well. As additional maturity assessments are run, the data pool grows. Leaders can clearly see which gaps are closing and which still need work.
Any company working towards digital transformation must have a clear idea of what its goals are, both long-term and short-term. Digital transformation can be complex, so the ultimate outcome may not always be clear at the outset. But companies that set themselves clear short-term goals will be well on their way to their long-term goal of digital transformation. A company that runs regular digital maturity assessments is forced to hold itself accountable to the goals it sets itself. This kind of accountability will ensure that companies do not become latent on the digital transformation journey. Instead, they will continue to push forward and make measurable progress.
Digital transformation can be a long and difficult process. That kind of continuous change can easily result in change fatigue if leaders are not careful to keep employees engaged. Digital maturity assessments should include assessment of employee engagement, and employees’ willingness to participate in regular assessments can be its own indicator, as well.
Just because change is happening does not necessarily mean the right change is happening. In an organization busy working towards digital transformation, it can be easy for leaders to think that they are ahead of where they actually are. A digital maturity assessment can serve as a valuable reality check and save companies major troubles down the road.
There are any number of ways a business can measure their digital maturity, but regular assessments ensure that there is a measurable way to gauge success directly from those in the business. Metrics, consistently extracted, are the only way to really show progress – if a company measures its progress a different way every time, it becomes increasingly difficult to know whether anything has actually improved.
The digital transformation journey may seem intimidating. But a regular digital maturity assessment can help organizations set themselves achievable, challenging goals that result in real progress.