Data Strategy

Digital maturity assessment – the perfect starting point for digital transformation

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Many companies still struggle to benefit from the full potential of digitalisation. When it comes to digital transformation, knowing your starting point is of vital importance. This is why a digital maturity assessment can be highly valuable.

3 minutes to read

Even though the concept of digital transformation has been around for a number of years, many organisations still have not fully embraced the opportunities that digitalisation offers. At the same time, most organisations also view digital transformation as essential for future growth.

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Based on numerous discussions with leaders from a wide variety of organisations and industries, we found that the most common reasons for not embarking on a full digital transformation are as follows:

  1. Fear of “the black hole” – no alignment among senior leadership with respect to the ‘why’ of digital transformation
  2. Lack of focus when it comes to digital investment and change
  3. An unsupportive organisational culture

Most organisations agree on one thing: knowing your own starting point is of vital importance. One powerful way to get an idea of where you stand is by conducting a digital maturity assessment. The digital maturity assessment is an ideal way to get the discussion moving. The assessment makes a company’s current digitalisation status quantifiable and, as a result, comparable. It also allows the company to define ambitious goals for where they would like to be in terms of digitalisation in a few years’ time. In accordance with the organisation’s priorities, the findings can be used to derive appropriate actions, define desired objectives and key results, allocate resources and create a programme. In addition, the assessment has the desirable side-effect of establishing a common understanding of the possible scope and opportunities offered by digital transformation, which extends far beyond the typical process automation and short-term efficiency measures that many programmes seek to achieve.

A flexible tool for different contexts

The digital maturity assessment is recommended as a tool for any organisation. Companies that already have a high level of digital maturity and generate a significant share of their revenue through digital channels are in a different position to those without any experience or affinity with digital topics. A company’s digital roadmap thus depends very much on its starting point: are we talking about taking the first steps towards building digital skills and testing initial business ideas, or are we looking at expanding digital business models on a larger scale?

Zühlke has developed a digital maturity assessment that is highly flexible and can be adapted to the needs of each individual organization, building on the experience gained through developing and implementing over 10,000 digitalisation and innovation projects. The assessment can be structured to apply to organisational business units or departments, or across the value chain, or to enable deep dives into certain topics such as strategy, technology or security. Combinations of the above are also possible. 

Example of a digital maturity assessment by Zühlke

The results of the assessment serve as a baseline for all subsequent activities. The starting point helps to determine the company’s next steps: what does it want to focus on? Are its ambitions achievable with reasonable effort, taking into account its current situation? Where are the biggest gaps between its current and target status?

The foundations of successful transformation

The digital maturity assessment gives leaders a quantifiable starting point when determining which goals to pursue and what targets to aim for in their digital transformation programme. It offers a clear perspective on where to focus its attention and investment, while also providing an overview of the general readiness of the organisation with respect to its digital mindset and willingness to change. The digital maturity assessment makes sure members of top management are on the same page – which is of crucial importance to the future success of any digital transformation programme.

Harm Flik

Harm Flik

Principal Business Consultant

Harm K. Flik has 15 years of experience in strategy consulting, strategic business development and product management in the TMT (Technology, Media, Telecommunications) industry. Before joining Zühlke, he held senior positions in two of the world's leading management consulting firms and at a leading Swiss telecom company. Due to his experience, Harm is able to transform trends and developments into profitable new business areas. He is particularly interested in the use of digital and mobile technologies to connect objects, people and services to sustainably improve competitiveness.