Digital Maturity, Meet Business Impact

The Digital Maturity Report uses a matrix to evaluate organizations digital maturity, determining whether they are lagging, competitive or leading based on the 5-core elements of Digital Maturity; Digital Strategy, Digital Skills, Digital Tools, Data & Data Flow, and Data Infrastructure. 

Digital Maturity, Applied.

Author: Charlie Cosad, M.Sc.

Is your organization delivering ongoing business impact through its digital initiatives?

Executives, managers and scientists alike often feel stuck or frustrated by a lack of progress at various points along their digital journeys, including false starts and dead ends. Based on recent experience collaborating with science-driven companies on their digital transformation initiatives and projects, we examined why, and found an insightful way to frame the issues through defining digital maturity.

Enthought has 20 years’ experience in scientific software development, associated training, and in recent years, collaborating on larger scale digital transformation projects. This experience led to the creation of a model for Digital Maturity, and a two part evaluation methodology. The methodology enables individuals within science-driven businesses to better understand and evaluate their organizations’ digital maturity, how it is affecting results, and where necessary, how to change strategy and tactics to get on track.  

The 5 core elements of digital maturity are defined as; digital strategy, digital skills, digital tools, data & data flow, and data infrastructure. The first part of the Evaluation model is a self-evaluation survey, asking a set of questions designed to lead an individual through the core elements of digital maturity, scoring their organizations’ performance in each. The second part of the model enables an in-depth analysis through a report aligned to the survey, guiding scoring and associated issues for each of the 5 elements.  

Self-evaluation and a Deeper Dive 

The survey investigates each of the 5 areas of digital maturity with a single question on each, leading with Digital Strategy. For senior leaders, insights can come at the strategic level, for example ‘Why can’t we scale our individual project successes, which are strong?’. 

When the survey is given across an organization – to scientists and engineers, lab and function managers – inconsistencies in responses can be insightful. For example ‘Why is it IT thinks we are in a leadership position when the engineers are saying they can’t access the data they need to innovate, and the lab is still typing into Excel?’ 

The second part of the evaluation model, the Report, enables an in-depth analysis through a report describing in detail different levels of digital maturity in each of the 5 core elements, with the subsequent consequences for business performance. The report can be used to score an organizations’ digital maturity into three categories; Lagging, Competitive, and Leading. 

Those who believe they are ‘Lagging’ behind their peers in industry can do a deeper, more structured dive into why, auditing their current strategy and plans. Individuals within lagging organizations often feel frustration, but find it difficult to understand these frustrations beyond the immediate problems. Those who are ‘Competitive’ can use the tools to investigate the gaps preventing them from becoming a leader. ‘Leading’ companies have clear strategic vision, are advancing digital skills, have strong adoption of digital tools with a strong data culture. These organizations are digitally mature, and lead their peers in the industry, yet they understand that leadership is always under threat. For these leading organizations, the model can be highly informative, for example on business risks. 

Corporate; Built on Digital Transformation Experience 

Enthought created the digital maturity model during multi-year digital transformation projects with materials, chemistry and life sciences companies. A number of the companies are now 3-4 years into their digital transformation journeys, and have discovered the importance of integrated plans that cover the 5 elements of the model, plans that deliver continuous business value. 

Mitsunobu Koshiba, former CEO and Chairman of JSR, said, “Enthought probed to find the pivot point that improved our process. They built the right AI tools and developed [the] right skills in our scientists. We got immediately actionable value.”

Laboratories; Experience Delivering Results Through Applied Digital Innovation  

Where digital innovation is enabled – going beyond digitizing data and digitalizing tools and processes – transformational results become possible. Existing processes are reinvented, freeing experts to focus on the science, enabling new business models for customers, both internal to the company and ultimately, external ones.   

Scaling up R&D lab formulations to production scale is a common challenge, extending to include Design of Experiments (DoE). The Digital Maturity elements can inform developing plans to transform lab workflows. In one example a specialty chemical company wanted to remove a bottleneck in a polymer scale up process, with applied digital innovation ultimately delivering $90k in cost savings per formulation and in another example, a GUI application took weeks off of P&Gs chemicals mixing workflow.  

For those who understand the power of applied digital innovation, the Digital Maturity Evaluation methodology is for you. Download the report here, or start the survey now.

About the Author

Charlie Cosad holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University and a M.Sc. in Aerospace & Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University, where his research focused on gas dynamics, compressible flows, and high speed flight.

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