Digital Maturity Models No Replacement for Innovation

Scanning the usual array of white papers, insights briefings and research documents, I am struck by the fact that analysts are talking less about the case for digital and more about how to do it. The phrase that flags this up, and is mentioned with ever more frequency, is ‘digital maturity’, and to confirm the arrival of this new phase, a number of benchmarks are arriving on the market.

Those of us who remember the Carnegie Mellon Capability Maturity Model will remember how the then revolutionary concept was applied to the industrialization of software development; the processes of design, coding and testing, among others, were mapped to ensure code was fit for purpose, reusable and efficient. The notion of maturity is now being recognized as beneficial to the digital business paradigm, which must be swift, flexible and secure.

As companies put digital at the heart of business strategy, measuring and plotting their digital maturity is increasingly important. Mapping digital maturity is especially critical for companies moving elements of their business to the cloud, and the use of expert partners and maturity models and benchmarks helps elevate digital capabilities in a secure fashion.

MIT Sloan, Gartner, Forrester and a host of others have developed maturity models to assist digital transformation. Meanwhile, DXC Technology’s entire approach is founded on its assessment of customers’ cloud readiness, a foundation for the digital journey, and a basis for its many technology partnerships, including Symantec in the area of cybersecurity.

Another practical benchmarking tool in DXC’s digital armoury is its XTech portfolio. These tools are designed to map potential disruptors in various industries and are customized for different sectors, such as ManTech for manufacturing and FinTech for financial services. Ron Brown, Chief Technologist at DXC Technology, says that incumbents utilize XTech in charting their unique digital journeys.

The danger of a boilerplate approach to mapping digital is that a plethora of tools will flood the market and C levels may seek these out and implement in a tick box way of achieving digital. Of course, the real test of whether the digital maturity model approach to transformation work is whether companies stand the test of being disrupted. Digital maturity tools and benchmarks are useful, but are no replacement for innovative thinking of new ways to do business.

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Helen Beckett

Author: Helen Beckett

Helen Beckett is the Community Manager of the Business Value Exchange. She has been a writer and editor for over 20 years and takes a particular interest in the challenges facing the CIO in today’s business climate.