13. Extra: Measuring your digital maturity

Estimated reading time – 5 minutes

More and more businesses use digital tools to manage their concern; this reflects upon the organization and it the way it handles its day-to-day affairs. Technology changes the manner in which the organization – particularly entertainment, sports and media organizations – interact with fans and clients. This, in turn, affects all internal and external processes. It even results in a new business model. It is all about the status of digital maturity.

The reconfigured business model is designed to maximize the benefits of technological evolution. These benefits have the potential to increase turnover, establish more efficient and more effective processes, and develop new products and services for existing or new markets, fans and clients. Content is the glue that holds digital networks and systems together, yet information (context) is the fuel that makes it run. Moreover, information helps to monetize the content. It adds value to the company or organization. The question is: when can an organization label itself as digitally mature?

Digital maturity

It takes time to grow into a digitally mature organization via a step-by-step process. The Digital Maturity Model, part of Framework Digital Strategy, describes five steps (phases) in the digital strategy that eventually will result in an organization that is digitally mature.

  • Ad Hoc – In this phase, the organization does not have a clue in terms of digital strategy. It does not allocate budget to online presence, its management does not guide and its staff is not trained in digital matters. However, there is the nagging suspicion that ‘something’ needs to be done with social media and the internet.
  • Engaged – In this phase, the organization makes it first moves to adopt a digital strategy. Social media, apps and website are frequently used in business practices. However, the organization misses oversight and structure in terms of digital strategy. Though it is active in the digital realm, it budgets no funds for online presence and online campaigns.
  • Structured – In this phase, the organization structures its digital ecosystem. The budget for online activity is modest, a few campaigns are initiated.
  • Managed – In this phase, the organization consistently and without reservation administers its preconceived digital strategy. Roles, functions, processes and responsibilities are clearly defined and budget is allocated.
  • Optimized – In this phase, goals and objectives are upgraded; roadmap, budget and structures are re-evaluated, in order to optimize the digital strategy and maximize its results.

Research creates insight

How digitally (im)mature is your organization? To assess how well the organization is (not) equipped to adapt to the digital strategy, you have to research its digital maturity.

Many organizations mention the following obstacles on the road to digital maturity:

  • Changing the current way of working by making data-driven decisions;
  • Aligning technology, processes and procedures;
  • Reaching the objective ‘digital maturity’.

How to measure digital maturity? How to assess progress? Four aspects are relevant:

  • Embedding in management;
  • Governing by the organization;
  • Collecting and using data;
  • Employing measurable norms i.e. metrics.

Embedding in management

Digital maturity means the assessment and structuring of the entire business model and organization. Only then the organization will reap the benefits of digitization. The strategic effort begins at top level, in the CEO office or the company owner. Affinity with digitization at top level results in digital management that yields a competitive edge.

This sounds like a platitude, however, it leads to a vital consequence: these organizations are capable of transforming strategic objectives into concrete plans. They know what they want and how to go about it. Managers who are able to make that transition turn out to be conscious of their own organization and knowledgeable about what other companies attain in terms of digitization. Complete embedding in management results in successful digitization of the organization.

Governing by the organization

Taking into account the performance of their websites and social media, many organizations are struggling with digitization. A well-though out vision or framework is absent. Almost all organizations are lacking in context for data. Context is a primary part of data management. Managing on targets determined in advance will yield results.

What targets are in service of the digital strategy? How to deploy this extra layer over the data? What aims do now apply to the organization? How does the organization manage this process of digitization? Proper guidance helps the organization to successfully make the digital transformation.

Collecting and using data

The next step is the establishment of a data network, the data ecosystem. The only scalable and affordable solution is an extra layer over the existing systems. Remember this: data are generated by internal and external sources, both in structured and unstructured fashion.

The heart of the matter: you are dealing with a data ecosystem and it is not best practice to store the lot in a system that is not designed for this purpose. The best practice is: a new, extra layer over the system. Let the systems be the systems and function according to their specifics. It is more effective to utilize the context of all data. Is this your daily business practice? The proper context is the success factor of the digitization of the organization.


Managing on targets determined in advance will be helpful. What objectives service the digital strategy of the new business model? How to deploy the new layer over the data? What aims does the organization strife for? To what extant have you achieved the five targets below? These achievements can be quantified by combining and correlating the various metrics of the various systems. It adds up to the Business Acceleration Framework.

  • Brand Equity — This is the financial value of the brand. In the usual definition the brand equity equals the future cash flow of the brand;
  • Brand Reputation Performance — The concrete result of the assessment is an instructive graphic the size of an A4 sheet. It shows the mode of operation of the project and the most important milestones. The roadmap turns out the rhythm of the communication generated by the release of products and their subsequent story threads. This rhythm is the digital heartbeat of the organization. Without heartbeat there is no life in the digital channels. Roadmap and rhythm impact the brand equity directly;
  • Marketing Efficiency — The maintenance of a brand usually involves considerable marketing costs. Presently, the marketing budget is spent in the traditional manner, while the intended audience is online. By contextualizing data it is possible to spend the marketing euros more efficiently;
  • Business Acceleration — The quick win for an organization can be realized by the acceleration of existing business models via internet technology. This takes a threefold effort: centralization of data, optimizing the technical infrastructure and, last but not least, empowering the teams with knowledge;
  • Business Activation — Creating new business models, the introduction of solid eCommerce, digital exploitation of content via video services and the like.

Assess your organization

The four aspects detailed above create a foothold for your organization in determining its digital maturity. Do you want to know where your organization is in terms of digitization? Do your digital assessment and receive within days a rapport and an action plan. Here is an example of the results of an assessment …

Many Dutch organizations, such as AFC Ajax, ALDA (The Flying Dutch and Amsterdam Music Festival), ID&T, Sorted Management (Hardwell), 8ball Music (Maan and Miss Montreal), Protocol Management (Nicky Romero), Louis Management (Oliver Heldens), Veed Festival, and many more have done this assessment …

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