Originally published on the Digital Strategy Conference blog; republished with permission from dStrategy Media. Author: Jeremy Whittingstall – Professional communicator with a penchant for filmmaking on the side. Masters Degree. Accredited Business Communicator. Husband. Dad.
Take a deep breath, here is the Digital Maturity Model™ from 10,000 ft
The Digital maturity Model exist to give perspective on your current state and prepare you for moving forward. In 2013, Andrea Hadley and Kelly Kubrick introduced the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™ and over the past year have conducted research that suggests the point in which an organization graduates from one level of maturity to the next. When you understand how the dimensions of digital maturity are measured, you’ll be better positioned to rate where your organization stands today and how to anticipate the next curve in the road.
Let’s dive in!
What is Digital Strategy?
Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will increase your organization’s competitive advantage.
So – if digital strategy is a process, remember that a process presumes a progression – from an initial starting point, to the approach of and overtaking of milestones to destinations both identified and unknown.
However, most of us need something far more concrete to take those first steps into digital. A practical and efficient way to do this is to take advantage of established planning tools, such as a maturity models. “Maturity Models” are a tried and tested planning tool and can be found across industries and topics.
Maturity Model = Planning Tool
“Maturity” relates to the degree of formality and optimization of processes. Think about a process in your organization, complex or simple:
- Opening a new store
- Publishing a web page or email newsletter issue
- Producing a conference
As a planning tool, maturity models can be used to help you improve these processes by assessing your approach to them today. As with other maturity models, the Digital Maturity Model™ is also a business planning tool. It is intended to help your organization assess and improve its digital processes.
The Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity
Think of these as the resources and capabilities your organization must have in place in order to identify, articulate and execute on digital opportunities.
- Human Resources
- Technology Resources
- Data Strategy
- Content Strategy
- Channel Strategy
- Social Business Strategy
Ratings of Digital Maturity
The second key component in the Digital Maturity Model™ is the rating scale. The model contains assessment criteria you can use to rate your organization’s current approach to each dimension.
dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™
Breaking down the dimensions
The first dimension of digital maturity is Human Resources. Think of your people in three different groups:
- People currently working with digital technology and process.
- Senior management / C-suite looking at threats and opportunities resulting from digital, and the impact of digital on the organization’s business model
- People who are not using digital technologies, processes or media who could be; finding increased efficiencies
Now, think about your organization’s approach to its people working on digital:
- Who are they and what level are they at?
- Is digital their primary responsibility or is it an ‘off the corner of their desk’ prioritization?
- What kind of organizational support is provided?
- Do they work alone or as part of a larger team?
- Do they report to management that has digital training and or expertise?
- If part of a team, is the team predominantly working on digital or non-digital initiatives?
- What kind of training – in digital – is provided to those resources?
The second dimension of digital maturity addresses your organization’s approach to the technology resources your organization uses to implement its digital initiatives. Think about your organization:
- Which technologies have you invested into support your digital initiatives?
- How are those technologies used / supported?
- Are the technologies used by individuals? By teams? Or across the organization?
- What policies and procedures do you have in place to govern the use of the technologies?
We’ve identified four core technology categories:
- Content management systems
- Channel management
- Social business
Data strategy reflects all the ways you capture, store, manage and use information. What do we mean by data? Your data sources might include:
- Email marketing, Social media and/or campaign data from ad networks or paid search
- Market Research data from surveys, focus groups or usability testing
- Sales, prospecting or lead nurturing data; or CRM data; ecommerce data
- Call center data from call logs, interactive voice response (IVR)
- Web analytics data from tools such as Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics
- Data from Content Management System or social business tools
In our “digital” world, it is a key dimension of our digital strategy. Data is the output of the implementation of our digital initiatives and it is what’s driving continuous improvement processes (or optimization); as well as increased accountability and the opportunity for making more informed business decisions.
This section relates to your organization’s approach to content. content strategy is a comprehensive process that builds a framework to create, manage, deliver, share and archive or renew content in reliable ways. Remember, your content assets could include:
- Sales / advertising collateral
- Product support and / or customer service content
- User generated content such as reviews, testimonials, customer service tickets.
Our model assumes three potential channels you may be leveraging:
- Marketing/Communications channels
- Transaction enabling channels
- Distribution channels
You’ll notice that “mobile” is not a channel – instead, our model assumes your digital channel interactions regardless of the customers use of desktop web vs mobile environments.
Social Business Strategy
“Social business” is an emerging term with a three pronged approach. It presumes an intent to interact and collaborate:
- With your community (Requires a foundation in social media)
- Between your employees (Requires the culture and technology to support a collaborative work environment)
- Between your customers (Requires infrastructure to support their efforts)
The Social Business Dimension speaks to the organization’s approach to interaction and collaboration with all three audiences.
So that’s it! The Digital Maturity Model from 10,000 ft. Over the next three days we will be going into granular detail on what each dimension means and how to map it for your company. Stay tuned!
Kelly Kubrick, President, Online Authority / Partner, dStrategy Media
Andrea Hadley, Conference Chair, Digital Strategy Conference Vancouver