Organisations that are seen as digital mature in the year 2014 are organisations that will not only have a digital vision and strategy, but will also share these with its employees in order to unite the different teams, concludes consulting firm Transform. The execution of these strategies would preferably be done by a mix of digital specialists and other employees across the company.
Transform is a consulting firm that provides digital and multi-channel consulting in the sectors Financial Services, Media, Retail, Health, Public Services, and Telecoms. Recently, Transform released its annual ‘Digital Maturity Index’ (DMI) entitled ‘The digital ecosystem of technology, channels, customers, strategy and culture shows just how far organisations have come in the intervening years’.
The 2014 edition of the DMI is the fifth annual report in which the consulting firm assesses the ‘digital maturity’ of organisations by evaluating different digital segments of these organisations. This year’s research is based on interviews with 206 consumers and 150 business leaders from a range of industry sectors, for which the firm recruited market research company ActionPoint Marketing Solutions. DMI 2014 focuses on technology, channels, customers, strategy, and culture, as the survey showed that the digital agenda of organisations moved beyond technology and channels and included these other segments.
The research shows that the biggest challenge for organisations is setting up the organisational structure and culture to deliver against digital promises and opportunities, and even though best attempts have been made to intertwine digital with other sections within organisations, it mainly remains a stand-alone. Transform states that technology, channels, customers, strategy and culture should be smartly combined to benefit both the customer and the organisation, and the different components should be treated as an ecosystem, not a hierarchy.
One of the components researched by the consulting firm is the digital strategy of organisations, which according to Transform is the least visible part of the digital ecosystem, but could have the most impact on customer experience and meeting expectations. Transform states that digital strategy has been emerging fairly recently and still forms a challenge for organisations across all sectors, as questions of remit and role and how much to specialise come to the surface.
Although this is the case, the DMI 2014 shows that 65% of organisations currently have a digital vision and strategy, compared to 16% who don’t. The research shows that only 8% of the surveyed people know these visions and strategies very well, and 9% not at all. Even though the vast majority of 91% stated to know the visions and strategies at least a little, Transform states that the communication of the organisations when it comes to digital visions and strategies is lacking a bit which could create isolation of the digital teams rather than united them with other teams.
In the research, Transform also looks into the management of digital in organisations and states that many organisations are ‘dreaming’ of reaching Nirvana: a state wherein a digital team no longer is needed as every department will execute digital. This ‘dream’ is currently very distant for many organisations, says the consulting firm, and might not even be universally desirable as the digital landscape is ever-changing and hard to keep up with as a specialist, let alone as a non-digital professional. DMI 2014 shows that at present day around 10% of organisations have their digital management fully integrated and 18% have a dispersed management, still 30% are managing their digital through a Centre of Excellence (CoE). Transform concludes by saying that digitally mature organisations in 2014 will have a balance between a CoE and sharing the responsibility with different departments by a shared strategy and cascading capabilities.