Home

How and why to assess your digital maturity

We lay out what digital maturity is and why it matters. We’ve also developed a tool to let you assess your organisations digital maturity so you can benchmark when your organisation is at and get recommendations for how to improve it.

Interest in digital transformation saw a major spike in March 2020, as lockdown caused all kinds of organisations to suddenly pivot to providing their services in a digital-first way.

This rush to digital maturity was not always conducive to well-considered organisational change. As a result, many employees have experienced digital transformation fatigue in the last few years, as rushed transitions start to show cracks around the edges.

But although ‘digital transformation’ may be an over-used term, there’s clear evidence that digitally mature organisations are more effective and more likely to achieve their objectives, so becoming digitally mature is as important as ever.

To help, we thought we’d try to strip back the buzzwords and get to the heart of what digital maturity is, why it’s important, and how you can measure where your organisation currently is so you can work effectively to improve it.

WHAT IS DIGITAL MATURITY?

Digital maturity exists at the intersection of culture, skills and technology. It captures how well embedded digital tools are in an organisation’s culture and processes and whether they are being used effectively.

Many organisations make the mistake of approaching digital maturity as primarily a technology question, but the most important factor in becoming digitally mature is people. It is the culture and skills of the people in an organisation that will have the biggest bearing on whether a digital transformation project will succeed or fail.

Everyone sees their organisation differently, and different parts of the organisation will embrace technologies at varying rates. But digital maturity relates to an entire organisation. Your org. might have a leadership team that’s excited by digital and procures the latest technologies, but if this is not embraced by the employees and they use it reluctantly or find ways around using it, then the organisation is not digitally mature. To be a truly digital-first organisation, you must successfully embed digital ways of thinking and working at every level. This means you need to think in terms of bringing the entire organisation with you, not just getting buy-in at the leadership level.

WHY IS DIGITAL MATURITY IMPORTANT?

The research is clear. Digitally mature organisations are more likely to achieve their objectives. Research conducted by salesforce shows that non-profits who are digitally mature are four times more likely to achieve their mission. As if that wasn’t enough, they are also twice as likely to achieve improvements in operational efficiencies, three and a half times more likely to report having highly motivated employees, as well as being more likely to report having a healthy organisational culture.

In addition, being digitally mature makes staff happier, makes them easier to retain, and makes them more effective. It’s key to being more productive as an organisation, which enables you to get better results.

The process of becoming more digitally mature is usually labelled ‘digital transformation’. This term has become a buzzword, but done right, digital transformation can be incredibly powerful.

Going through the process of digital transformation makes you think holistically about your objectives as an organisation. It allows you to take your strategy, which can be high-level and seem removed from day-to-day work and implant it into working practices and processes.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR LEVEL OF DIGITAL MATURITY

Your organisation needs all three pillars of digital maturity; culture, skills and technology to be at the right level to truly progress and become digital-first. Lacking any one of the three elements of digital maturity can leave you stuck, unable to make progress. We’ve seen organisations invest in technology but fail to foster the right culture and skills to make full use of the systems. This leads to frustrations among frontline staff, who then don’t make full use of the new tools available.

Rather like a three-legged stool, being digitally mature needs all three legs. You can’t get by with two. This means it’s essential to understand your level of digital maturity across these areas, to identify where you are weaker, and focus your efforts on addressing that.

As we’ve discussed, it’s also important to remember that your view of how digitally mature your organisation is will depend on where in the organisation you sit. A Head of Digital will have a very different view from staff ‘at the coalface’, who may experience problems that the leadership team is not aware of. Therefore, you want to ensure you hear from all the various parts of your organisation when benchmarking your current level of digital maturity.

When going through this process, you should encourage a culture of openness and frankness to get an accurate picture. A flattering but false image of your level of maturity won’t help you or your organisation. For example, you make want to make your survey anonymous and signpost this fact, to allow staff at all levels to speak their mind.

HOW TO ASSESS YOUR DIGITAL MATURITY?

We have worked on digital transformation and training projects for a wide range of large and complex organisations, including the largest charity in the UK. We’ve created a digital maturity assessment tool to assess your organisation’s current level of digital leadership, skills and culture. This free tool will provide you with a better understanding of how digitally mature your organisation is and give recommendations on what to focus on to improve.

Click here to assess your organisation’s digital maturity.

We recommend getting multiple people from across your organisation to take the assessment. Compare results to see how different areas of the org. have different perceptions of its digital maturity.

Once you’ve understood your current level of maturity, we can help you to become more digitally mature. We’ve helped many of the UK’s largest charities and cultural institutions undertake successful digital transformation projects that up-skill their teams and help them deliver their mission more effectively. Book a chat to discuss how we can help.