Author’s note: The prior post in this “How-to” series focused on setting appropriate goals to get started on Digital Transformation. Evaluating digital maturity is another critical aspect to establishing momentum in the right direction. Also see the previous posts in this series:
Digital maturity is driving more and more companies to look at IT (Information Technology) and how it aligns with and drives OT (Operational Technology). It would be hard, if not impossible, to fully realize Digital Transformation without putting OT at the center of most conversations and initiatives. As identified in previous posts in this series, Digital Transformation will affect all aspects of the organization. The days of IT being a silo will forever be forgotten as business strategies and technology direction become one set of integrated decisions.
When we look at Digital Transformation maturity, we need to start by reviewing which areas of transformation will have the biggest impact for the organization. If we compare the goals discussed in the previous post and the five core areas described in the first post in this series (Modern IT Management, Cloud Data Center, Customer Engagement, Modern Applications and Analytics & Data), we have a basic starting point. From here we can review each area and decide what each can deliver on our journey to becoming a truly Digital company.
For each of the five areas outlined above, I have created a list of different questions and measurements to use as a starting point. Use these to establish, baseline and validate what you are and aren’t able to deliver today. Not all measurements apply to each company and industry—but these questions are a good starting point.
APPLY A SCORECARD APPROACH TO EACH OF THE FIVE CORE AREAS
Think in terms of how each of the five core areas is relevant for your organization and what each can deliver to the business from a Digital Transformation standpoint. Then review where you are from a maturity standpoint for each area: are you fully enabled, partially enabled or not enabled at all? You can then assemble a quick scorecard that allows you to report and measure progress. For example, let’s take the Cloud Data Center area and score where you are from a maturity standpoint.
- Can you connect to the cloud for authentication?
- Can you easily manage identity?
- Can you thwart threats and manage threat protection?
- Can you manage mobile and tablet devices?
- Do you have a BYOD strategy and is it working?
- Do you support IP-based voice solutions for conference and internal collaboration?
Once you have built the list of questions and answered them, you can score them and track your results on a matrix.
For each of the five core areas, you will be able to quickly understand where you are, how the area will impact your business and at what level is each attribute today.
Use this scorecard and monitor progress as you start new initiatives, complete them, implement new capabilities and add functionality. As you complete each phase of your Digital Transformation, you can continue to assess and measure where your digital maturity is and where it is going. Measurements today can be used as a baseline for determining which areas offer the greatest impact for your business tomorrow. Remember, business and technology advancements are accelerating, so expect new and impactful things to come quickly.
For more perspective on the pace of acceleration, it’s useful to revisit Moore’s Law. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, observed in the ‘60s that technology in general is going through a growth phase that is doubling the capability and capacity every few years. Gordon at the time was specifically talking about the number of circuits you could fit on an individual circuit board. Gordon predicted this growth would continue for a decade. Others have gone on to use Moore’s law to reference processor speed, storage arrays, video graphics, etc. The recent review of Moore’s Law confirms that his doubling fact was correct but his decade of growth prediction fell way short. Further review of today’s technology advancement has confirmed that growth is doubling roughly every 18 months—but an interesting side note is that digital capabilities (processor, storage, mobile, files) are doubling much more quickly than physical capabilities (battery life, physical size of components, display screens, etc.)
STAY FOCUSED ON MATURITY
As a company looks at Digital maturity across the enterprise in the context of accelerating change and adding value, goals need to focus on uniquely positioning the organization to impact employees, clients and partners. Digital Transformation efforts should be focused on addressing business and IT challenges while focused on driving improved profits and company sustainability. Solutions need to be defined that in the next five years bridge traditional thinking and Digital Thinking. Enterprise environments have to provide IT controls in this new digital world—these are the foundations for advanced application and analytics workloads that deliver internal value and unique customer facing solutions that drive revenue and cost savings. A company needs to understand its Digital Maturity and build transformation strategies not just about technology and its implementation but about looking at business strategy through the lens of technical capabilities that change operations, business models, offerings and impact revenues and profits.
UP NEXT: MODERN IT MANAGEMENT
For the next phase of this series of “How-to” posts about Digital Transformation, I’ll explore the key areas where most businesses will see the greatest impact as they set their priorities, starting with Modern IT Management.