Research - 04.04.2017 - 00:00 

Study: digitally mature enterprises are more innovative

Firms with a high degree of digital maturity tackle the digital transformation in a spirit favouring experimentation or with a clear-cut strategy, whereas companies with a low degree of digital maturity think of their IT first of all. This is the result of the 2017 Digital Maturity Check.

5 April 2017. The study was conducted at the Chair of Prof. Dr. Andrea Back at the Institute of Information Management of the University of St.Gallen in cooperation with the business consultants Crosswalk AG. 662 people in Switzerland, Germany and Austria participated in the study.

"The result that enterprises with a high degree of maturity choose a completely different way of tackling digitalisation from companies with a low degree of digital maturity was a surprise," says Sabine Berghaus, the project manager of the study. "This indicates that digitally mature firms are facing the changes in the age of digital transformation in an open and adventurous manner." Conversely, the study revealed that companies with a low degree of digital maturity tend to compile bottom-up initiatives and initially concentrate on a renewal of their IT systems before driving forward new business models or innovations.

Industry catching up, trade flagging

All in all, the average degree of maturity increased in comparison with the preceding year. Big corporations (more than 10,000 employees) displayed the highest degrees of maturity. Smaller companies were flagging in comparison with the previous year and reported the lowest values.

The experts Andrea Back and Sabine Berghaus regard the development in industry as positive as it reveals the greatest increase both in the number of participants in the study and in the degree of maturity. By contrast, trading and consumer goods firms displayed the lowest degrees of maturity overall.

"We think that the reason for low degrees of maturity is primarily the lack of (specialist) knowledge of how to deal with the changes which digitalisation has caused and will continue to cause, for the experience and specialist know-how which have made these companies successful to date are inadequate for today and absolutely inadequate for a successful future," says Axel Kehl of Crosswalk.

More mature = more satisfied and more innovative

As in the preceding year, digitally mature companies rate their success as more positive in the objectives of customer and employee satisfaction, in particular. Target attainment in the criteria of innovation leadership and the development of new fields of business are valued distinctly higher than in companies with a low degree of digital maturity.

The third edition of the Digital Maturity & Transformation Report with information about the model, the results of the interview, including industry-specific evaluations and recommendations for action, can be ordered from Crosswalk free of charge.

Photo: Photocase / jart

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