Research - 22.03.2016 - 00:00 

Digital transformation in companies

The Institute of Information Management at the University of St.Gallen (IWI-HSG) has examined the digital maturity of almost 550 companies. The second edition of the “Digital Maturity & Transformation Report” shows: digitally mature companies rate the economic effects of their transformation more positively than those that are less mature.

23 March 2016. The digitalisation of products and business models changes companies. How professionally are companies in Switzerland, Germany and Austria dealing with the transformation? Where do they use digital change as a driver of innovation, and in which areas is there a need for action?

The University of St.Gallen has teamed up with strategy consultancy company Crosswalk and a group of experts to develop a tool with which companies can assess their digital maturity. The “Digital Maturity Model” is based on the “St.Gallen Business Engineering Framework” and records how firms develop digitally. The model is part of the “Swiss Digital Transformation Initiative”. Those behind it are the Institute of Information Management (IWI-HSG), strategy consultancy company Crosswalk and the organisation “Best of Swiss Web”.

Almost 550 companies surveyed

From November 2015 to February 2016, almost 550 people were asked online about how they rate the digital capacities and the maturity of their company in the various different areas of the model. Sixty-nine percent of participants work in Swiss companies, 28 percent in Germany, and two percent in Austria. The core results in brief:

1. Big companies have caught up

Whilst last year companies with fewer than 100 employees achieved the highest level of maturity, now big companies are showing the best values on average.

2. Senior managers have become more interested in the digital transformation

The importance of the theme of “digital transformation” has definitively come to the attention of managers: two thirds of the survey participants work at senior management or departmental management level.

3. Level of maturity concentrated on the centre span

The distribution of the levels of maturity is concentrated very strongly on the centre span. Overall, more than 80% of participating companies can be deemed to have a medium level of maturity between 2 and 3.5. Only a few companies have a very low or a very high level of maturity.

4. IT sector in the lead – banks lagging behind

As expected, the highest levels of maturity are reached by companies in the IT / telecommunications sector, followed by the retail and wholesale sectors and transport and logistics. As last year, the lowest levels of maturity were observed in companies from the processing industries.

5. Strategic goals for the digital transformation

The most important goals for activities in relation to the digital transformation are customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and productivity. In these fields, many participants stated that their expectations regarding the success of their activities in the digital transformation had been fulfilled or even exceeded.

6. Mature companies rate their success as positive

Survey participants from companies with a high level of maturity appear to be considerably more satisfied when assessing the success of the digital transformation in relation to economic goals, tapping into new business areas or success as a guide to innovation than those from companies with a low level of maturity.

Results of the 2016 report

The second edition of the report with information on the model and the detailed results of the questionnaire, including industry-specific evaluations and recommendations for action, can be ordered free of charge as an e-paper.

Bild: Photocase / FaroNK

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