Digital transformation
5 min read
23 August 2023

What is Digital Maturity?

Kelly van der Horst
digital maturity

What is digital maturity? Many definitions of digital maturity exist. However, they appear to all relate to the ability of an organisation to understand, respond to and take advantage of technological developments.

It is not simply the implementation of cutting-edge technology in your organisation. Rather, digital maturity is the ability to successfully integrate new technology into your business. Employees must be able to successfully use the new technology for your organisation to be considered digitally mature.

With this new concept of digital maturity comes various models to help guide organisations. So, what is a digital maturity model? It is a framework that organisations can use to determine their digital maturity level. This framework also forms a type of roadmap for digital transformation.

We will discuss various digital maturity models and the five stages of digital maturity. We’ll also provide some tips on how to increase the digital maturity of your organisation.

Digital Maturity Model: Which models can you use to discover your digital maturity?

Before you start considering how to increase your digital maturity, it is important to know the current level of digital maturity of your organisation. This is where digital maturity models come in. You can use them to identify the level of digital maturity within your organisation.

Many different digital maturity models exist. One of the most widely-used models was created by Google and BCG. This is called the Digital Maturity Model. The Digital Maturity Model focuses primarily on Marketing and Sales, but can be used for other capabilities. It describes four stages of digital maturity: nascent, emerging, connected and multi-moment.

In the nascent stage, there is a lack of connection between the data of different departments who therefore struggle to cooperate. In the emerging stage, the departments start to become more connected. In the connected stage, data-driven business directly improves productivity and revenue. The multi-moment stage is the final stage where your organisation is considered digitally mature. The focus here is on pursuing incremental efficiencies.

There are other digital maturity models, which focus primarily on service management capabilities. For example, the ITIL Maturity Models includes 5 stages:

  • Initial
  • Repeatable
  • Defined
  • Managed
  • And Optimised

How can you achieve digital maturity as an organisation?

Digital maturity is not just an exercise in increasing the amount of technology used by your organisation. It is also not about simply having the most advanced technology just for the sake of it.

Rather, you must look into the market in which your organisation operates. You must also consider the goals of your organisation. From there, you should try and reach these goals within that market in the most digitally mature way. Thus, you must consider the nature of your organisation when deciding which new technology to implement. This will help guide you toward the best digital solutions for your specific needs.

But, how to implement new technology? There are several barriers to digital transformation and reaching digital maturity. It is important to understand that the transition to new technology includes both acquiring the relevant new technology and teaching your employees how to use it.

Deloitte Consulting has an approach that you can use to increase digital maturity:

The first step is to imagine. You must consider your technological goals and identify possible strategies that can help you achieve them. This includes defining strategy, igniting innovation and gaining insights.

The second step is to deliver. You should start taking action and see what works and what does not. This includes creating experiences, reinventing the core and leading the change.

The final step is to run. After you have identified the most effective strategy, you should implement it. This includes:

  • building your new platforms
  • enhancing cybersecurity
  • sustaining and optimising processes

Focusing on continuous improvement with digital technologies will help you to keep increasing your digital maturity over time.

Five stages of digital maturity

There are various models illustrating the level of digital maturity for certain capabilities. However, the digital maturity of any organisation can be described as falling into one of 5 stages.


The first stage is the traditional stage of digital maturity. Organisations in this stage often cling to outdated practices. They make little effort to include digital technologies and there is no strategy to digitally transform.

Companies in this stage struggle to keep pace with their competitors and should quickly commence a digital transformation strategy.


The second stage of digital maturity is the emerging stage. In this stage, organisations embrace a degree of digitisation. However, their technological advancement is mainly reactive – it occurs when it has to. These companies do not have a comprehensive digital transformation strategy.


The third stage of digital maturity is the engaged stage. In this stage, organisations start to engage with some elements of a successful digital transformation strategy. While there is some innovation, there is generally a lack of a comprehensive programme or focused leadership.


The fourth stage is the competitive stage. Here, a plan for digital transformation is beginning to emerge. Organisations are starting to compete in the current market. However, they will need a better strategy for the future to remain competitive.


Last is the maturing stage. In this stage, organisations have a comprehensive, successful digital transformation strategy. This strategy allows the organisation to remain competitive in the changing market. It allows them to realise their potential and keep up with changes in the rest of the world.

However, the digital maturity is an ongoing process without an end-point. You have to continue to adapt your digital transformation strategy to keep up with technological advancements.


In the past few decades, technology has revolutionised how we conduct business. Digital maturity is now, more than ever before, an important goal in organisations.

The tips mentioned in this blog post can be used to identify and increase your level of digital maturity. Remember, the goal is to effectively implement relevant new technology. It is not simply to acquire new technology that employees are unable to use effectively just to appear technologically advanced!

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