Steinbeis experts develop a navigator for measuring digital maturity
The word “innovation” is derived from the Latin verb “innovare,” which means “to renew.” This underscores the fact that without innovation, neither companies nor society can hold on to the achievements of the past or drive development in the future. Currently, digital technologies are playing a particularly pivotal role in the development and impl,ementation of innovative concepts. It’s therefore crucial that companies can assess their level of digital maturity. Having recognized this, Professor Dr. Andreas Pufall and Professor Dr. Steffen Jäckle, both Steinbeis Entrepreneurs and professors at Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences (RWU), have developed a tool known as the Digital Transformation Excellence Navigator (DTXN). Their tool provides companies with a valuable resource for initiating digital transformation projects.
Digital transformation affects all areas and departments within companies, as well as their overall business models. Accordingly, senior executives and others in the corridors of management must have a clear commitment to ensuring transformation projects are implemented. They must also actively support those projects. The DTXN offers a systematic, scientifically sound, and tried-and-tested approach for understanding the digital maturity level of companies.
Step 1: Determine the level of digital maturity
The first step involves understanding the digital strengths and weaknesses of a company by conducting a maturity level analysis with the aim of enhancing customer benefit with the help of digital technologies. This also includes a focus on the efficiency of service delivery: Automating processes and introducing CRM or other forms of digital technology presents an opportunity to make sales and marketing more innovative, productive, and competitive. To assess these two factors – customer benefit and the efficiency of service delivery – the DTXN conducts an objective assessment of determinants based on more than 150 questions. By using an AI algorithm in parallel to expert knowledge, these defining characteristics are then condensed into meaningful statements.
Step 2: Analysis of potential
This analysis provides the company with a comprehensive and detailed maturity report, not only pinpointing specific areas in which there is potential to introduce digital processes, but also establishing priorities, which are underscored by recommended actions. An important aspect of this is a database containing examples of best practice. This database provides access to over 500 exemplary transformation projects, offering detailed searches in order to systematically derive inspiration for generating useful ideas. The results of this analysis are usually presented and discussed at workshops for further development. It is often only at this stage that companies actually realize how important and useful it can be to collaborate with external technology experts.
Step 3: Implementation
Insights gained from the first two steps of this process are of little help to companies, however, if they’re not translated into action. It’s essential for initial accomplishments to come quickly, especially with digital transformation projects. One prerequisite for this is a corporate culture driven by a “sense of will” among employees and a culture of “being allowed” among owners and senior management. This includes “being allowed to fail.” The reason for this is that if those affected by a transformation initiative do not become active participants in that initiative, it is destined to fail from the outset. The same applies when insufficient budgets are set aside for digital transformation projects. It is therefore necessary for such projects to be initiated by senior management and supported through appropriate human resources.
Because the organizational analysis is specific enough to take the nature of individual companies into account, the method developed by the experts from Steinbeis maximizes both benefits and results. The navigator has been designed with collaboration in mind and is open to interested partners from the Steinbeis Network.
The benefits of the DTXN:
- Robust stocktaking of digital maturity
- Highlights opportunities and potential
- Evaluates a firm’s capacity to change
More on the navigator online: https://steffenjaeckle.de/digitalisierungscheck/.
Prof. Dr. Steffen Jäckle (author)
Steinbeis Transfer Center Business Development Excellence BDX (Ravensburg)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Pufall (author)
Steinbeis Transfer Center Production and Product Development (Ulm)