Measuring your company’s digital readiness with the NICE framework

The first blog of this series outlined the three stages of digital modernization and established the importance of a self-assessment and roadmap to help you get started on this journey. Picking up where we left off, I have devised something I call the NICE digital maturity framework to help understand the different stages of digital maturity. It categorizes companies into the following four buckets, based on their digital readiness.

1. Novice

Digital novices have decided to make a move towards becoming digital. Besides using their social media presence and digital marketing to communicate with external and internal stakeholders, these organizations leverage preliminary analytics to drive initial insights, implement Agile and DevOps software development practices, and use basic KPIs to measure success. However, they are largely transactional in their digital efforts. Many organizations today are in this category, based on their lack of a comprehensive digital vision or long-term investment. Most of these businesses will not survive in the long term if they don’t quickly move to the next level of maturity.

The NICE framework categorizes organizations into four levels — novice, involved, competitive and established — based on their digital maturity. Understanding what category your organization falls into is critical to charting a path forward.

2. Involved

Involved companies are those that have deployed digital technologies pervasively across the organization. They also use advanced analytics to make strategic decisions and frameworks like value-stream mapping to achieve better resource utilization across the enterprise value chain.

Many consumer-facing organizations have reached this level, mostly driven by stiff competition from born digital (or digital native) competitors. These competitors have a technology advantage and are equipped to disrupt almost any industry because of lower entry barriers enabled by online channels.

3. Competitive

Competitive organizations are the ones that have been around for a while and know how to use data and analytics to predict the future. Generally, these are the early adopters of digital technologies and strive to compete with born digital organizations. They have laid out processes and measures to respond to customer needs quickly.

These businesses are equipped to create revenue-generating solutions and products. They have institutionalized the adoption of new technologies and innovative ideas in their products, services, and organizational operations by collaborating with start-ups and other new-age businesses.
The retail behemoth Walmart, logistics giant FedEx, and most large financial institutions will generally be at this level of digital maturity.

4. Established

Although these organizations have established themselves as leaders on the digital maturity scale, they continue to challenge themselves and set new benchmarks.
Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Facebook are examples of established digital businesses. They are pioneers in leveraging advanced analytics, AI, and IoT to stay connected with their customers around the clock. They provide a channel-agnostic experience to their customers, and all aspects of their business support their brand.

The concept of Amazon Go stores is one such example, enabling the eCommerce player to extend its virtual customer experience to a unique in-person experience.
With the advent of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the metaverse in Blockchain platforms, established digital organizations have a new challenge —integrating their digital capabilities with many new virtual worlds.
The big question now is: which category does your organization fall into?

Once you are armed with this self-knowledge, my next post will answer two questions critical to the way forward: Who should lead these initiatives, and what should your digital strategy be?

Stay tuned!

By Manish Jain, Director, Digital Consulting, Atos, Canada

Posted on: February 26, 2022

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About Manish Jain
Principal Consultant/Director
Based in Toronto, Manish Jain is a director of Digital Transformation Consulting with specialization in Agile Industry 4.0 solutions. He is also a member of Atos Expert Group on Immersive Experience, and Decarbonization Special Interest Group. Before his current role, he was heading Sales Strategy & Operations at Atos Syntel. With an MBA in Strategy and Finance, and 16 years of experience in technology strategy, architecture, design and development, Manish has served clients in multiple industries. He is passionate about customer experience and digital technologies and believes that the customer should always come before technology.

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