DigitalDigital Modernization

Digital Modernization – An evolutionary & methodical approach (Part 2)

Picking up where we left off in part 1, to help understand the different stages of digital readiness, I have devised something I call the “NICE” digital maturity framework — which categorizes companies into the following digital readiness buckets:

  1. Novice

    Digital “novices” have decided to make a move towards becoming digital. Besides using their social media presence and digital marketing to communicate with external and internal stakeholders, these organizations leverage preliminary analytics to drive initial insights, implement Agile and DevOps software development practices, and use basic KPIs to measure success. However, they are largely transactional in their digital efforts.

    Almost all organizations today are in this category, as it doesn’t require a comprehensive digital vision or a long-term investment. Many of these businesses will not survive in the long term if they don’t quickly move to the next level of maturity.

  2. Involved

    Companies categorized as “involved” have deployed digital technologies pervasively across the organization. They also use advanced level of analytics to make strategic decisions and frameworks like value-stream mapping to achieve better resource utilization across the enterprise value chain.

    Many consumer-facing organizations have reached this level, mostly driven by stiff competition from born digital competitors that have a technology advantage and are equipped to disrupt almost any industry because of lower entry barriers enabled by online channels.

  3. Competitive

    “Competitive” organizations use data and analytics to predict the future. These are generally early adopters of digital technologies and strive to compete with born digital organizations. They have laid out processes and measures to respond to customer needs quickly.

    These businesses are equipped to create a revenue-generating solution and products. They would have institutionalized the adoption of new technologies and innovative ideas in their products, services and organizational operations by collaborating with start-ups and other new-age businesses.

    A retail behemoth like Walmart, logistics giant FedEx and most large financial institutions will generally be at this level of digital maturity.

  4. Established

    Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Facebook are examples of “established” digital businesses. They are pioneers in leveraging advanced analytics, AI, and IoT to stay connected with their customers around the clock. They provide a channel-agnostic experience to their customers, and all aspects of their business support their brand.

    Although these organizations have established themselves as leaders on the digital maturity scale, they continue to challenge themselves and set new benchmarks. The launch of Amazon Go stores is one such example, enabling Amazon to extend its virtual customer experience to a unique tangible experience.

In the next installment, I will touch upon two critical questions: Who should lead these initiatives, and what should the digital strategy be for an organization? Stay tuned!