The process of digital transformation isn’t straightforward, nor is it common practice, although it should be obligatory for all businesses that don’t want to lose their competitive edge in the the market. There is not magic recipe to guarantee successful digital transformation, not even between businesses in the same sector.
A company on its way towards digitalisation passes through different levels that allow it to achieve a degree of digital maturity. The difference between each of these levels isn’t linear, but exponential. A digital company is in the order of 1000 times more efficient than a traditional company. For this reason, digital native startups, despite having fewer resources available, are capable of competing with traditional businesses that are already well positioned in the market.
Based on years of experience helping large companies in their journey towards digital transformation, we have established four levels of maturity: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert.
Before diving into the development of these four levels, we should first emphasise that the digital transformation process deals with three key aims:
- Customer Centric. The client has to be the focus, and this implies total adaptation to the client’s needs, from the business to the structure of the company itself.
- Omnichannel. Offering all services across all channels, without affecting the client, is an obligation. This will not be possible without a unified strategy and a centralised data platform.
- Data Intelligence. Decisions must no longer be made based on intuition, but instead be intelligent decisions based on data, or even automatic decisions made on the basis of knowledge obtained from available data.
Now that we have have defined the aims of digital transformation, we can delve into the four levels that companies might find themselves in:
Businesses just starting out in digitalisation, which have hardly developed their digital channels, haven’t explored the potential of the web, and don’t offer all of their products and services through the web. They tend not to have mobile applications, and if they do, they are of little use to users with regard to the services they provide.
They are beginning to outline digital initiatives in response to the market and to competition, but it is still a far cry from the omnichannel, customer centric, and data intelligence approach. Management is reluctant to change and is characterised by its immaturity concerning digital culture and scepticism regarding the value that the process adds.
These businesses, whichever sector they are in, are running the important risk of getting the ball rolling.
The companies at this level begin to listen to the needs of the client, but they are still a long way from having a Customer Centric focus. Their digital channels are half-developed and the same is not the same across all channels, with mobile phone channels coming out worse off.
Although they are taking steps towards being obsessed with the client and achieving a complete omnichannel experience, they are still a long way off being able to personalise their business and integrate data-based intelligence.
These businesses have already identified the need to transform themselves and a digital culture is usually present in small groups or departments. They need an overarching strategic plan (not just project-to-project), however, that allows them to achieve goals and extend this digital cultural to the whole organisation.
Businesses with an advanced level of digitalisation carry out many transformative initiatives, which allows them to construct a digital culture and organisation.
All of the digital channels are completely developed. The companies at this level offer their products and services across all channels without problems. The omnichannel experience is complete.
What’s more, the the user experience is complete with some personalisation and features advanced data analysis, which allows segmentation into more than just sociodemographic segments.
To achieve the final stage of digital maturity, they have to make the client the focus of their strategy, unite technology and business with this aim in mind, and exploit data use on a large scale.
These businesses have control over their digital transformation, not only in its current state, but also by being prepared to follow their client’s lead and meet their needs.
Their clients are special to these companies, and for that reason their business has a Customer Centric and Omnichannel approach, starting with design and spanning hyper-personalisation and micro-segmentation. Not only this, but they are able to anticipate the needs of their clients in order to exceed expectations.
There is no need to synchronise or integrate channels, as they already share data through a centralised point, both standardised and client-focused.
They boast an empirically-adapted strategic plan with digital initiatives which they follow up with monitoring of KPIs to measure both the results and value creation. Technology and business areas departments transition to the digital sphere and work together in an integrated structure. They are responsible for changing the rules of the game, their organisation and culture is digital and agile.
We are at the tipping point, between joining the queue or grabbing hold of the chance to be a leader and a benchmark our sector. Our decisions will transform us into either digital rookies or experts.
If you want to begin already, you can find out the level of digital maturity of your company using our measuring tool: DTMA.