Who initiated the Digital Transformation of your company? Was it the CEO, CIO, CTO or COVID-19? This question is currently widespread on various social media channels and the answer appears to be COVID-19. This might be an exaggeration, but it is true in many cases — companies were not prepared for the digitalization challenges they face now. COVID-19 may have been the catalyst for companies to rethink their digital transformation approach, but it is up to the CxOs to transform the risk into an opportunity for business continuity and preparation for the future. Companies that undertake the transformation successfully will still exist and be profitable after COVID-19.
However, companies need to analyse their individual level of digital maturity for deriving effective measures. In many cases, companies are already struggling with providing the necessary infrastructure e.g. lacking hardware, VPN, tools for digital collaboration. Even if an enterprise is able to provide the infrastructure and meet technical requirements, it does not necessarily mean that the alignment of processes fits their purpose or that employees are ready for remote work. For many people, working from home is a completely different, life-changing situation and consequently this will affect the communication culture. Yet the situation described only scratches the surface. It shows that it is not only about creating the infrastructure but also about enabling the employees to work from home, as well as aligning operations, processes, strategies and customer interactions.
Managers who feel overwhelmed or unsure in the current situation and do not know exactly which levers to utilize to achieve the greatest impact can get a clearer picture and guidance through a Digital Maturity Assessment (DMA). A DMA is a method for analysing the digital maturity of an enterprise in six dimensions: strategy, technology, customer, operations, culture and (data). Is worth the effort to conduct a Digital Maturity Assessment, or not? To answer this question, let’s make the following comparison.
COVID-19 not only infects humans, but also affects a company’s conventional ecosystem. In this case, the DMA is similar to a medical examination to assess the current conditions. After the assessment, it is possible to derive a suitable “medication and a treatment” plan that could relieve or remove symptoms in the short term, as painkillers do for humans. For future planning, it enables better long-term strategies and implementation of measures to minimize the risk to fall back again — somewhat like a vaccine. However, as vaccines have to be refreshed over time, the same applies for the Digital Maturity Assessment.
TMForum and Detecon have developed a DMA tool in cooperation with leading telecommunication companies and have already conducted the assessment with numerous clients. It has been continually refined and improved through first hand feedback. The majority of clients relied on the support of an independent expert for one simple reason. If you are not feeling well, you could do some cyberchondria-like Google research or ask the uncle of your neighbour’s best friend, but in most cases, you are better advised to consult a qualified doctor. Even if no symptoms have yet occurred, some regular health checks are always a good choice. Accordingly, a DMA’s benefit is that it is possible to identify and solve acute problems in the short term and set up measures with a long lasting effect — like a therapy in alignment with your doctor.
A DMA is a very good method to identify the biggest levers for adjustment in uncertain times, and to shape the future of the company with the most effective measures. The DMA is a quick short-term solution to create long-term impact.