Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
There’s a great series in Harvard Business Review talking about “The Digitally Literate Organization”. The first segment in the series is focused on giving everyone in the organization the capacity to innovate. There’s a lot of information to take in, but I would recommend checking it out when you have time.
One of the pieces in the article that I particularly liked was a chart that outlined the stages of digital maturity. The reason that I liked it was because I thought it was something that could apply not only to organizations but to individuals. Where are you – company or person – on the digital maturity scale?
Traditional: This stage talks bout silos. From an organizational perspective, that could mean that departments or divisions are keeping data to themselves and not sharing with others to make good decisions for the company. On an individual level, are we doing the same thing? Keeping information to ourselves and not sharing with others?
Bridge: The article describes this stage as having centralized data and the ability to share data throughout the organization, which is great. During this stage, both individuals and organizations need to focus on building good processes to share data and ensure the data being shared is current and relevant.
Hub: This stage of digital maturity adds the advantage of real-time. From a technology perspective, real-time data and analytics is essential to making good business decisions. Individuals need to have the training and development to properly process the data and act. The key here is being able to take action…and take the rightaction.
Platform: My take on the platform stage was mobility. In the hub stage, we get real-time analytics, and our goal is to make real-time business decisions. With platform, real-time analytics happens via apps and mobile devices. From an individual standpoint, we can collaborate remotely and make decisions out of the traditional office setting.
Native: The final stage of digital maturity is native and my interpretation of this focused on giving everyone in the organization access to data, the tools to analyze data, and empowering them to take action when necessary.
As you can see, the stages build on each other. And with each technology enhancement comes the need for us as individuals to become more proficient, not just with using the technology but with being able to analyze and act on the data. That’s what made me think that the digital maturity stages aren’t just what kind of technology the organization has but it’s about the level of training and development we’ve given to employees at every level.
The other big takeaway for me from the HBR article was that organizations need to shift their views about who owns technology in the organization. I’m not suggesting we get rid of the technology department. We need individuals to help build and maintain the infrastructure. But we also need everyone in the organization to have a certain level of tech knowledge.
So as the organization is saying “What stage of digital maturity are we at?” We also need to add “What level of digital maturity are our employees at?” And where do we need to be to be competitive in the market? With all the talk about the economy, organizations need to be competitive, and technology is going to be a key differentiator.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while at the Wynwood Art District in Miami, FL17