What is Digital Maturity (and how can you get there?)
Digital Maturity requires technology that is flexible, useful and seamless to adopt.
Digital Maturity and Digital Transformation are often used interchangeably, but this is misguided. Digital transformation is a process that can, in theory, result in digital maturity.
However, not all digital transformations lead to digital maturity, and not all digital maturity results from a digital transformation.
This is because digital maturity is not simply a static end point – it’s not a goal that can be reached and then put into the ‘done’ bin.
A company can’t simply decide to ‘digitally transform’ and expect that to happen, without going through the necessary thought and planning processes to make sure that adoption of new technology is serving specific, practical needs and goals.
And as shall be seen in the rest of this article, while digital maturity definitely involves applying concrete changes to your digital presence here and now, it also involves integrating the flexibility to keep on transforming in the technical and philosophical architecture of your company.
So what is Digital Maturity?
Put simply, Digital Maturity is the ability of an organization to respond and take advantage of technological developments that change how the market functions.
A company that is digitally mature will be able to respond to technological innovations and changes in a market, whether it has initiated those changes itself, or whether it has no control over them at all.
Let’s take the example of two florists at the turn of the millennium, when online shopping was still a relatively new phenomenon.
Both florists were quick to realize that in order to have a competitive edge in the market, they should create a website that allowed for online orders. They each hired a developer, underwent a ‘digital transformation’, and both their businesses were able to continue competing with each other, while also reaching a much larger pool of customers.
Now, both these websites were built using very basic tools, and the design was rudimentary. If you would have asked them both at the time whether they were digitally mature, they would have both answered ‘Yes’. But their ideas of what this term meant were different.
For the first florist, digital maturity meant simply having a website that was bringing in business. For the second florist, digital maturity meant understanding why a website was needed, and being able to act on that understanding.
As a few years passed, customers began wanting to be able to customize their bouquets, to be able to pay for same-day delivery, and to be able to design their own gift cards. The second florist was able to understand this, because they would regularly send out surveys to their customers, and would always ask for feedback. The first florist didn’t.
The second florist, who understood the changes in the market, was able to continually upgrade their website, while the florist who thought that merely having a website that worked made him ‘digitally mature’, did not, and their business suffered as a result.
The rest of the story is predictable, and while it is a theoretical example, it has happened countless of times across the world.
This basic anecdote highlights the most important component of Digital Maturity: it’s not just the new website – it’s having the ability and tools to understand and respond to the requirements and desires of your target market.
So how do you achieve it?
Digital Maturity is best thought of as being able to ask the right questions about your market, goals and the internal operations of your company or business.
You then must use the answers to those questions to search for the best technological solutions. It’s not simply about having the most advanced technology out there, which your employees or customers might not want or need.
A digitally mature company will always be asking questions and doing its research into its market and the tools at its disposal. It will welcome feedback, have a detailed understanding of the competition, and understand its own limitations and potential.
Once it has these points covered, it will choose the right people to implement technological systems and develop products that work for its business and its own organization.
At Bocasay, we take the time to consider all of our customers’ specific and unique situations, and help them ask the right questions to understand their markets. While we keep up to date with the latest and most advanced development technologies, the solutions we suggest are designed to reflect what is best for our customers and their customers.
Get in touch to find out how we can reach digital maturity together.