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Digital maturity is a new concept for B2B companies. Every industry has benefited from a digital transformation, including SAP, Cisco, and IBM, who have pioneered the concept of digital maturity.
A recent survey of 407 executives in utilities and energy, financial services, healthcare, and consumer and industrial products revealed a strong correlation between digital maturity and higher revenue growth. Here are the attributes that set these companies apart:
There are three steps that need to happen more or less simultaneously. First, companies have to recognize there’s been a major change that requires communication and a smooth rollout throughout the organization. Second, it’s important to put the data to good use. Run raw data through models that elucidate opportunities for your digital strategy. Finally, pull together a cross-organizational group to flush out the customer experience you want to deliver and what this means in terms of your operating model.
A digital vision needs to include technology but also take into account how that affects the culture business processes for employees. It’s important to include different groups to increase buy-in for policies that resonate throughout the organization.
A strong digital leader challenges the way things have always been done. They also understand how far-reaching digital technology is and where their company stands in comparison to the competition. Strong leaders are ambitious and think as a tech company does. The hallmark of this type of leader is an agile workplace that encourages collaboration and lets employees try new things, fail, and move on.
A strong digital leader understands that change is a part of a healthy firm’s culture. As an ambassador for digital strategy, they need to help other employees see this place in the puzzle and why it’s important. Strong leaders know that employees have to buy into the value of technology initiatives to remain engaged. No matter how much a company spends on new solutions, it isn’t helpful if no one uses them. If employees understand how the changes help them, they are more likely to use the tools properly.
A strong digital leader nurtures digital achievers and encourages everyone to embrace the movement. Even the ablest leader can’t do everything themselves. They might be great at forging a strategic vision, but it’s up to other managers and staff to communicate that to every department. Even with some technical knowledge, they know they need to hire trained technologists. This talent should be spread throughout various departments and locations. Communicating the vision facilitates cross-training and innovative thinking.
Overall, interactions with clients and upgrading operations receive the most attention, but the emphasis changes between industries.
Interacting with customers through digital channels:
Digitizing the organization’s operating model:
Energy and utility and healthcare are spending 51 percent and 48 percent of their energy launching new digital products and services as well. One of the challenges for leaders is which segments of digital maturity to focus on.
Here’s what each industry thought they did best. Not surprisingly, there follow the areas of focus purported by each.
Executives across all industries said again and again that a customer-focused strategy for digital transformation ensures that companies aren’t just upgrading to keep up with competitors. Tangible, actionable initiatives are the ones that result in revenue growth.
Some companies rated themselves below 20 percent in digital maturity. If you think that may apply to your organization, there are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling a little faster. Get everyone ready by creating a digital vision, starting with what the end goal is. Then, make sure each step along the way gets you a little closer.
Your organization has to be ready for a big change in order for it to succeed. This means getting people used to the role technology will play in their work life. Capturing data is the primary focus in the early stages. After all, you can’t produce data-driven insights to grow the business if you don’t have any data if the first place. Business leaders universally admit this was a long journey for them, but one well worth the effort.