What is digital maturity and how can it supercharge your growth?

Digital maturity is closely tied to business operations at every level. Since software continues to dominate catalyzing all businesses to digitalize, your business’ continuity can be secure only when you own the capability to build your own software solutions. Incidentally, this is also the roadblock keeping your organization competitive in flooded markets.

Digital maturity: past, present, and future

Five to ten years ago, buying total project deliveries from third party suppliers was the norm. Traditional software consultancies still sell end-to-end solutions to customers with low digital maturity, which means the customer does not have or need internal software capability. In other words, this means the software vendor evaluates what the client needs and builds a solution for it. But this means that the customer’s entire digital business is in the vendor’s hands; essentially the vendor is in the driver’s seat with the customer merely riding shotgun - and worse, in this scenario the customer can’t “drive” the business without the vendor.

Nowadays, most businesses have chosen to increase their digital maturity. Think about it: as a business leader wouldn’t you want to keep core competence and ownership in your own hands as much as possible? You can easily understand the value of managing and driving software development internally. That’s why vendors like Witted are here – we provide the missing resources and competence while ensuring that you, the customer, know how to take the wheel and drive successful business no matter how your digital needs may be met down the line.

Is vendor lock-ins the greatest weakness preventing agile growth?

How you use your external consultants can tell a lot about the digital maturity of your company. At Witted, we have a five-step model to help define your preexisting digital capabilities to help elevate your needs and save time and other valuable resources.

Level 1 – We know nothing

A Level 1 organization doesn’t have internal capabilities needed to develop its IT systems and modernize its business. Usually, the digital transformation of a business begins with the implementation of e-commerce or a customer relationship manager, such as a webshop or separate CRM system, for example. The lack of experience is evident in both purchasing and implementation, and digitalization projects are difficult for both the business and its digitalization partner(s).

Level 2 – We know how to buy systems

At Level 2, the organization might have an internal Product or ICT Manager responsible for managing IT systems that support the business. However, at this stage the organization only has the capability to purchase ready-made systems as a total project delivery while organizing the implementation of the system with vendor assistance. In other words, this business will need to adapt to whatever processes are offered by the purchased systems (and not the other way around) and then they’ll also be trapped, locked-in with those specific vendors indefinitely.

At this stage, it may take six to 24 months to develop and put the system into use, after which you’ll only receive mandatory updates for the system. Meanwhile, during its development and deployment, the market will have changed so much that systems are already becoming obsolete.

Level 3 – We know how to buy software projects

When an organization understands what a competitive advantage it is to develop systems that support its business, optimize its processes and improve its customer experience, it’s at Level 3. However, a Level 3 organization itself does not have the capabilities for project management, so it needs to rely on consulting companies that, in addition to development work, can also help the client with project management, implementing agile development methods, and service design. This means bringing in new methods and ways of working which can cause significant resistance to changes in the organization.

Level 4 – We know how to lead software projects

An organization that’s achieved the ability to lead software projects enables its business to have greater ownership over its development of software solutions and IT systems. This is a Level 4 business, and its projects will need to continue indefinitely: they need to be developed within resources so they can meet both user and business needs.

The Level 4 organization still has to resort to external software consultants because of competitiveness factors in the IT job market. For example, a Level 4 organization may have internally created barriers such as insufficient pay levels for IT professionals, or a work culture that is not compatible with the needs of software developers. Or maybe, the organization’s employer brand is a bit weak, which results in IT professionals not seeing the organization as an attractive employer.

Level 5 – We know how to implement projects

A Level 5 organization is capable of planning and developing IT systems that support the business in addition to leading them. Their entire business is digitalized. Still, for Level 5 organizations it’s not worth doing everything themselves, so this organization continues using external software consultants for projects that require niche knowhow, or to launch new businesses or services.

Even so, being at the highest level does not mean that systems can’t be bought ready-made. At Level 5, employees are often encouraged to buy and deploy SaaS services that increase work efficiency.

By following this model you can see that when organizations develop their own digital capabilities (with the help of consultancies) to a point where they can take internal responsibility for project management, they no longer need to purchase total project deliveries. This in turn frees the customer organizations from vendor lock-in. It also enables a more business-friendly methodology for developing software solutions and IT systems and ultimately digitalization in every facet of the business.

If you want to level up your organization’s digital maturity from Level 1 and beyond, here are the steps to take:

  1. Hire a product or ICT Manager

  2. Develop instead of buying services, systems or products

  3. Lead development projects by yourself

  4. Hire in-house developers

Leapfrog your leveling up with Witted

Software capability will take the lead in the charge to digitalize every business. Organizations that remain at the lowest levels of digital capability will become obsolete eventually fail to be competitive, ultimately going out of business.

Witted helps you build your digital capabilities. We are ready to work with organizations at all levels. Whether you need to jump to the next level or enact a transformational overhaul to take you to the highest level – or figure out where your business is at the moment – we’ve got you covered.

Software development consulting

Witted provides you with the software competency you need while helping you achieve your business objectives. We have a diverse pool of over 2500 senior software consultants. Whether you need a single talent or cross-skilled team, generalists or specialists, we've got you covered.

Business and digital transformation

Secure your competitive advantage – let us lead the change in your digital business. Our experts combine management and subject matter expertise with practical hands-on experience from enterprise transformations.

Attract, recruit, and retain the best talent

Witted helps you succeed across the entire employee lifecycle. Whether you need support in role-specific recruitment, or want to develop your talent acquisition practices and employer branding to better attract, recruit, and retain the experts that you need, we’ve got you.

Working with Witted ensures you’ll be able to stay competitive and build new digital services and products, so you can go to market faster and keep ahead of your competitors every step of the way - to level up your software capability.