Global International Connectivity

Digital Maturity Will Always Be Over the Horizon

The dictionary definition of maturity is fully grown or developed, so it’s fair to conclude we’re still in an immature phase of digital, with the impacts of artificial intelligence, say, untested and unknown. Nonetheless, what an adventure and journey the first 15 years have been, taking businesses, customers and citizens into uncharted territory. With the ultimate destination unknown, perhaps the hallmark of the digitally mature organization is how it incorporates lessons along the way.

Another facet of maturity is preparing fully for participation and the negative as well as positive impacts. McKinsey research paper, New Era of Global Flows shows that digital is an unstoppable train and finds that digital flows have transformed the picture of global trade. Over a single decade, global flows have raised world GDP by at least 10 percent; representing $7.8 trillion in 2014 alone; data flows now account for a larger share of this impact than global trade in goods.

Small businesses worldwide are becoming ‘micro-multinationals’ by using digital platforms such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba to connect with customers and suppliers in other countries. Even the smallest enterprises can be born global: 86 percent of tech-based start-ups McKinsey surveyed reported some type of cross-border activity.

Individuals are participating in globalization directly, using digital platforms to learn, find work, showcase their talent and build personal networks. Some 900 million people have international connections on social media, and 360 million take part in cross-border e-commerce. Political backlashes against globalization have no power to stop data or individuals virtually crossing borders.

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So how do corporations prepare and future-proof their organizations and people in an environment of growing digital maturity? Creating loops of continuous learning and feedback between customers, suppliers and all staff – whatever their department – is a must. As is assessing and mitigating all varieties of cyber risk: the recent WannaCry ransomware assaults showed the level of corporate vulnerability across the globe.

The latest blog shared with BVEx by Dave Aron, global research director of Leading Edge, assembles evidence that organizations with a chance of succeeding must live close to the precipice. He urges businesses to actively embrace anti-fragility, and to prioritize sensing, choosing, and change capabilities.

The tools, charts and models of previous information ages that mapped maturity in a binary fashion seem less relevant to this new digital era than a mature mindset and capacity to learn. Digital is fast-moving, relative and unpredictable. How mature do you feel and how ready is your organization?

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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.