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Digital Maturity: Where Are Companies Going Wrong?

Marcelo Mac Fadden
The rapid disruption we are witnessing, beginning with the largest health crisis in at least a century, has made society’s demands – especially consumer habits – reach a level no one imagined in such a short period. This has made companies seek a more agile approach to meeting the needs of consumers. If there was any question that a universal shift to digital systems would arrive, it will—and it has.
Executive standing against a white wall with glasses in hand, frustrated with progress of digital maturity

The rapid disruption we are witnessing, beginning with the largest health crisis in at least a century, has made society’s demands – especially consumer habits – reach a level no one imagined in such a short period. This has made companies seek a more agile approach to meeting the needs of consumers. If there was any question that a universal shift to digital systems would arrive, it will—and it has.

It is important to note that this process, often referred to as digital modernization, will not end for companies alongside the pandemic. Instead, it is a long-term digital journey that should create new revenue streams and generate value at each step. In that way, digital modernization is about more than simply improving technology; it becomes a crucial part of a larger business transformation.

Technologies such as the cloud, big data, generative AI (including ChatGPT), RPA, and other technologies and methods are available to aid in continuous modernization. Still, many companies find their modernization journeys unsuccessful and receive complaints from leadership about a lack of value generation.

Where Are Organizations Going Wrong?

If new technologies keep arising and companies are incorporating them, why do so many digital initiatives fail or fall short of expectations? There’s a simple but important answer: Innovation can’t be achieved solely by acquiring technology. Many companies overestimate certain technologies and do not fully understand the impact they will have on employees, customers, and their industry.

Digital modernization starts by identifying business drivers and the technology that makes them possible. Below, you’ll find some significant points to ensure success from digital modernization.

Analyze Processes and Products

Rather than starting with technology, begin with a thorough analysis of your processes and products. Identify how your current digital platform delivers value and where there is clear room for improvement. Key points to review include:

  • Bottlenecks and problems pointed out by stakeholders
  • Unmet customer needs
  • Growth opportunities that stagnated or did not get off the ground

This assessment helps you discover products and systems that are not meeting stakeholder needs. Solutions that can’t keep up with the demands of digital business may be impeding revenue growth, creating unnecessary expenses, or exposing the business to risks.

Understanding Where Your Company Is Currently

You can’t make plans for the future if you’re not sure where your business is right now. Determine where you are and imagine where you’d like to go. Assess your current customer relationships, finances, capabilities, and value propositions. All of these will be critical to move forward with digital transformation.

Team of professionals gathered around a laptop reviewing latest digital maturity initiative

The Right People Are Important

Initiatives that put people at the center of decision-making are more likely to succeed than those that ask employees to be passive adopters. Be transparent. That way, your employees can ask questions, learn more, and get an idea of their role in the modernization initiative ahead.

Step by Step

The important thing is to take the first step, because the “old way” of doing things will no longer work. In fact, digital is becoming an increasingly large part of our daily lives. That means the companies that invest in innovation and technology will be the ones who remain competitive in their markets.

Project vs. Product Mindset

Business transformation is not a project; it’s an ongoing process. Companies must look at their assets as products and work on their evolution. Continuous progress brings continuous value, allowing stakeholders to see results as you go.

Professional reviewing printed-out spreadsheets with data related to digital maturity initiative

Use of Data

Data must be at the heart of the business for a digital modernization initiative to be successful. Build a structure that can capture and properly leverage data related to your customers and operations. That way, the entire organization can extract value from data and positively impact the business.

Collaborative Culture

Finally, business transformation requires a change in cultures. It must be championed from the top down, but leaders need to be open to receiving and utilizing ideas across the corporate hierarchy.

The buy-in of the entire organization will make for a smooth and smart transition. Customer-centricity, backed by data, and agile teams will result in rapid value delivery. Support all of this with the right processes, culture, and tools, and you have the ideal recipe for a successful modernization initiative.

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