In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act, according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in. (Source: Wikipedia)
The status of maturity is distinguished by the shift away from reliance on guardianship and the oversight of an adult in decision-making acts.
Correlating this from a business context, the maturity of an organization or brand would be defined as its ability to respond and serve the environment in which it operates.
While many a time we tend to relate maturity with age, business maturity has nothing to do with the number of years you have been in business or the average age of your employees. If age defined business maturity, we would not have witnessed the doom of the experienced “Blockbuster” by the younger challenger “Netflix”…Of course, we can list hundreds of examples of how many Davids (startups) are challenging Goliaths (the status quo) around the world and raising the bar in every business niche.
So the question arises, how do we define business maturity in today’s context?
It would be perfectly safe to claim that since we are all living in a digitized world, the maturity of a business is relative to its digital maturity, i.e. its ability to adopt, adapt and set precedence.
So what comprises Digital Maturity and how do we measure it? Assessing Digital maturity is a standard ritual leading organizations around the world follow at different times. Some organizations go through an audit every year while some take it up before undergoing a radical transformation. The length and breadth of the exercise would depend on who funds the initiative (Marketing or IT).
No matter who initiates a digital maturity audit, the underlying pillars and questions are generic and essential for a success-oriented report that helps you understand your present gaps and leverage insights from the report for future success.
- Do we have the right set of people?
- Do they have the right amount of digital skills?
- Are we attracting digitally mature talent?
- Do we have a digital engagement strategy for internal stakeholders?
- Who are our active and passive thought leaders?
- Are our current processes optimized for a digital workflow?
- What is the overall awareness & simplicity of our processes amongst our resources?
- Do we follow/establish industry-recognized best practices? If yes, what is our compliance level?
- Do our platforms empower us with the capabilities we need?
- What is missing in our current platforms that are holding us back?
- Is our tech stack evolving year on year or are we stagnant?
- What is the overall performance of our digital assets?
- Are we in a position to measure and optimize performance?
- How often do we review asset / platform / process / partnership performance?
- What is the relationship between IT and business teams? Do we treat each other as partners or we are stuck in the customer/vendor mentality?
- What is our relationship with external vendors? Do they participate through ideation and innovation or it is purely transactional?
- The above list is just a sample of all the topics you need to be thinking about when you get started with a maturity assessment. Feel free to add/edit the themes to suit your business needs and scenarios applicable.
Being cognizant of your organization’s digital maturity is the 1st step towards digital transformation. You can’t change something you don’t know, you can’t measure the distance you covered if you don’t know where you started, you don’t know where you want to be if you don’t know where you are.