MIT and Deloitte study reveals roadmap to digital maturity

22 January 2019 4 min. read
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A new study of global digital business, by Deloitte in collaboration with the MIT Sloan Management Review, sheds light on key practices employed by organizations which enable them to achieve digital maturity.

Digital maturity is highly desired, but the road there is one rife with obstacles and challenges. Finding scalable ways to adapt and deploy new, user-friendly, and efficient technology requires time, money, manpower, and other valuable resources. But companies would be wise to push forward, prioritizing digitization and taking steps toward cementing their places in a future in which digitization is a certainty.

An October report from West Monroe Partners, for example, found that digital maturity is linked with higher revenue growth, while a recent series of studies by McKinsey & Company revealed that increased digitization could boost Mexico's GDP by as much as 15% by 2025.

Consultants worldwide are also offering ways in which companies can improve on the digital front, with A.T. Kearney curating five tools that will help businesses’ digital advancement, and Boston Consulting Group revealing ways in which India can “leapfrog from digitally advancing to digitally evolved.” Another study by Protiviti showed the US and Canada currently lead the world in cybersecurity maturity, revealing a high correlation between cybersecurity maturity and digital operations. 

Digital maturity study Deloitte and MIT

The Deloitte study, meanwhile, pulls back from a specific regional or continental focus, offering a “roadmap that all companies can follow.” Cross-functionality is extremely important in creating workforces that are innovative and digitally minded, the research finds. A shift toward cross-functionality “has significant implications for organizational behavior, corporate culture, talent recruitment, and leadership tactics.”

Those companies that have achieved – or are close to achieving – digital maturity are also planning ahead, often attempting to plan five to 10 years into the future. By entwining digitization and core business when strategizing for the future, companies are killing two birds with one stone. Scaling is equally important, and digitally mature companies are able to cultivate “small digital experiments into enterprise-wide initiatives that have business impact.” This requires an adept investment strategy, as funding for these experiments must be acquired to prevent them from dying out.

Attracting and retaining top digital talent is a must, the study finds. If they aren’t working for you, they’re working somewhere else, potentially placing your company behind the competition. Digital talent also refers to leaders. Companies must put in top position those with “the vision necessary to lead a digital strategy, and a willingness to commit resources to achieve this vision.” 

It’s important to note that none of the key practices suggested by Deloitte and MIT involve the creation of a “killer app.” There is no such thing as a one-stop shop when it comes to digital maturity. Companies should instead seek ways to align digital strategies with business fundamentals using “a new set of tools and at times a new set of rules. Strategy, design, technology, and culture are the key ingredients to making an impact that matters through digital,” the report concludes. 

Related: McKinsey study reveals skills needed to survive automation.