Why Digital Maturity Matters To The Disruptive Power Of Your Business

Paul Kurchina

Digital technology is seismically shaking up every aspect of running a business. In most industries, everything from products and services to the customer experience is changing. However, our digital economy is not just about differentiation in the name of opportunity, profits, and expansion – it’s also a matter of choosing between transforming or perishing. In fact, one-third of top 20 firms will be disrupted by new competitors by 2018, according to IDC.

Whether your industry hasn’t changed in 50 years or is in constant evolution, digital transformation matters. During the Americas SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) Webcast “Are You Ready for Digital Transformation? Assess Your Digital Readiness Today,” Aditi Chhaya, vice president of the Chief Transformation Office at SAP notes, “Many companies, regardless of industry, are asking two fundamental questions: ‘What is my digital maturity’ and ‘What are the opportunities within my industry and line of business?’”

Answering these concerns and fully understanding the state of the company can help guide the development a holistic digital strategy and the supporting road map. But just as important, the focus must be industry-specific – especially since some industries are well on the path to digital transformation while others are early in their digital journey.

Know every angle of your digital transformation journey 

Unless a technology is proprietary to your business, it won’t deliver a competitive advantage on its own. The challenge is demonstrating value in ways that are revolutionary and highly disruptive to the competitive landscape. For this reason, digital maturity is just as much about the enterprise as a whole as well as the industry it operates in and within specific lines of business.

Enterprise digital readiness

This assessment gauges whether a business is ready to embrace digital transformation. Chhaya suggests that this level of self-examination should be conducted across three specific dimensions:

  • Digital DNA: Gauge the organizational culture based on its approach to digital transformation in terms of topics such as executive sponsorship, strategy, and resource availability.
  • Business capabilities: Evaluate the intelligence, efficiency, and connectedness of processes, such the ability to act in real time, predict risks and opportunities, and enable self-learning.
  • Technology adoption: Consider the implementation and use of the latest technologies – including Big Data, cloud, blockchain, and Internet of Things – to support a digital organization.

By understanding where the workforce, processes, and operations stand on digital acceptance and business model innovation, the company can pinpoint the fundamental areas that the digital strategy needs to address first. 

Industry and line-of-business digital readiness

This survey complements enterprise digital readiness assessment by examining the digital maturity of the organization’s value chain, based on industry-specific best-practice scenarios.

“Not only does this evaluation highlight the risks that lie ahead, but the opportunities for digital transformation within the industry and line of business are demystified,” advises Chhaya. But to get the full picture, the self-assessment should also provide benchmark comparisons and critical observations of the overall industry.

Start your digital transformation with a firm understanding of what’s ahead

There’s no doubt that executives are under extreme pressure to pave the way for enterprise-wide digital transformation and adapt business models to the needs of our increasingly digital world. While many companies use technology as the primary driver of such change, they soon realize that the tools, solutions, apps, and the cloud of their choosing are simply enablers of the business’ evolution.

Successful transformation programs require the pursuit of positive digital disruption that suits not just the enterprise’s digital maturity, but also seizes the opportunities and addresses the risks within the digital readiness of the industry and lines of business. With this approach, executives will build a foundation that breaks down cultural resistance to change and innovate new ways of doing business.

Do you have a full picture of your digital maturity? Watch the replay of “Are You Ready for Digital Transformation? Assess Your Digital Readiness Today,” one in a series of Webcasts examining perspectives, best practices, and advice on digital transformation hosted by ASUG.

Image credit: © Pavel Ignatov | Dreamstime.com – Let’s go

Paul Kurchina

About Paul Kurchina

Paul Kurchina is a community builder and evangelist with the Americas’ SAP Users Group (ASUG), responsible for developing a change management program for ASUG members.