Digital is everywhere. It has us swiping our phones across readers to board flights, holding video-conversations across the globe, and buying our groceries while sat on the train; its potential to empower us as individuals and in business is limitless.
Digital communications jobs are now commonplace, but when it comes to businesses, however, there remains trepidation and confusion as to how they adopt a bewildering array of new digital technologies, and reap these benefits for themselves.
Two years in the making, CapGemini recently launched their report, 'The Digital Advantage', and it delivers a fantastic insight into how different sectors are utilising digital technologies to improve their businesses, and also highlights how many are yet to take the plunge.
So, what is it that defines digitally savvy businesses like Burberry and Amazon, or makes digital dinosaurs of HMV and Jessops?
It's really a combination of two things: technology enabled initiatives, such as customer engagement and internal operations; and leadership capability, in the form of a digital vision, governance and engagement. Looking at how well a business is doing in these two areas is what defines their Digital Maturity.
If a company hasn't developed digital platforms for customer engagement and empowering employees, whilst also not defining a digital vision, governance and the like, then they'd find themselves labelled a Digital Beginner.
Companies that are across digitally enabled customer engagement; say they have exposure through various social media platforms and a snazzy mobile site, but not the governance to back it up; these would be your Digital Fashionistas.
Digital Conservatives are those who have the governance thought through, a vision for what they could do with digital, but haven't actually turned these visions into actions, usually because of perceived risk, or scepticism.
And finally we have those businesses that get the digitally enabled customer and employee empowerment, the vision, the governance, and these synergies are driving real value. These are our Digital Digirati.
Think about where you business might sit in these categories. There are no wrong answers, and it will greatly help you understand where your business 'is' in regards to digital, and help identity what areas need some work.
Everyone can benefit from being digitally mature. Everyone.
What CapGemini found, across the 400 businesses they researched, was that you'll find businesses at widely different levels of Digital Maturity in every single industry sector.
What's more, companies that are mature in Digital Maturity in either the technology led or culture led aspects, outperform their industry competitors. And those that got both, the Digital Digerati, were by far the highest performers, greatly outperforming less mature firms on revenue generation, profitability and market valuation.
That's in every industry sector.
Do you have time to wait?
There are industry sectors, such as pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, who might believe that any kind of digital transformation isn't really for them. Who's going to tweet about drug development, or see the benefits in digitizing product development?
And if you decide to take the leap, then who takes the lead? What if your current CEO doesn't 'get' digital, and your IT team still won't remove that blanket ban on Twitter?
Then you might find your business is left behind, while your competitors, some of whom are already reaping the benefits of digital, disappear into the horizon. And as CapGemini's report finds, there will be businesses in your sector that are already enjoying the benefits of Digital Digerati status.
But if your business is up for the challenge, and willing to build on its technology enabled initiatives and digital leadership capability, then your business' revenue, profitability and market ambitions can be achieved with the move to Digital Digerati status.
In my next blog, I'll be looking at how you build Digital Maturity in a business, and where you can find your dominions of excellence. It's the first steps in ensuring you're making the most of our digital world.
To find out more about how we can help you develop your career in digital communications or marketing, click here. Or, if you are interested in finding out about how we can help you hire the best talent into your team, click here.
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