Digital Capabilities specify the key functions and skills that are required to become a Digital Enterprise. By performing a digital capabilities assessment on your organization, you can gain tremendous insights on how well positioned or enabled your currently are to transform and innovate simultaneously while leveraging the best technologies available to your organization. 

Additionally, you can start positioning yourself for new ways of engaging with your customers, expanding the skills sets within your organization that will be required for this new level of engagement and possibly changing the culture of how your organization collaborates and implements its newest initiatives.

Developing a digital capabilities assessment, which is a set of six digital capabilities that are individually assessed to enable you, leadership, and stakeholders from IT and the Business, to determine your organizations current level of digital maturity.

The six digital capabilities to be assessed are:

Innovation Capability – Organizational capability related to the creation of new products and services, which is the basis for innovation. The capability of managing innovation-related business processes, enables a company to generate, identify, assess, and realize new products, services and processes facilitated or driven by digital technologies, as well as, having the ability to continuously transform these ideas into new, beneficial and profitable products and services.

This capability enables a Digital Enterprise to continuously think about new business opportunities and leverage the latest developments in technology to improve important areas of its business.

Transformation Capability – is a continued focus on the organization’s fundamental purpose and core values, while changing the way these are pursued in response to changing market conditions or other drivers in the external environment.

Defined more succinctly as the holistic management of extensive, complex changes on which the organization’s future success strongly depends.  Becoming a Digital Enterprise means transformation. The changes involved usually have a great impact on the entire organization, and the transformation does not stop when certain areas have been improved. New and unforeseen influences are constantly emerging, and companies have to react to them. Thus, the ability to transform is critical for Digital Enterprises.

Transformation Capability requires a culture that is open to change and an understanding that this is a complicated idea and that this change, though a benefit to the organization, may have a negative impact on stakeholders. Leaders need to communicate the reasons for the change and its impact on the company as well as on the individual employee. Furthermore, leaders need to listen to their team, solve issues of resistance and take care of employees’ and other stakeholders’ concerns.

IT Excellence – is the usage of new technologies (such as mobile connectivity, cloud computing, big data, and social media) to enhance ‘business technology’ and, as a consequence, the business. This includes, but is not limited to, real-time insight into important company data, stability, agility, security and dynamic plug-and-play functionality.

The success of the digital transformation heavily depends on IT Excellence which is not simply about implementing new software systems. Companies should not buy new technology because it is trendy, and everyone does it. A detailed understanding of the possible usage, benefits and risks is necessary.

Customer Centricity – is an approach to doing business that focuses on creating a positive experience for the customer. Client centric businesses ensure that the customer is at the center of a business’s philosophy, operations or ideas.

Customer Centricity is defined as the capability of focusing on the most valuable customers by using modern technologies. Thereby, one aims at reaching strategic advantage and increased long-term profits through the alignment of one’s products and services with the wants and needs of the ‘right’ customers.

Organizations that aim to become Digital Enterprises listen to and focus on their customers!

Digital Enterprises embed customer service into their organizational goals and missions. Their leaders demonstrate how a great customer experience helps the company to achieve its mission. The culture is about the customer and the employees are excited and motivated to provide awesome services. Furthermore, the employees need be trained to understand the shift to customer centricity and the culture of the company should value what it means to provide customers with a great experience.

Effective Knowledge Worker – are workers whose main capital is knowledge. Meaning that employees are the main resource for companies to be competitive. Areas of effective knowledge working are collaboration, work teams instead of hierarchies, knowledge sharing, coaches instead of managers, managing by objectives.

The workplaces of Digital Enterprises are designed in a way that creativity is encouraged and fostered among employees. Knowledge workers need a flexible workplace: worldwide, anytime and anywhere. The effective knowledge worker is only as good as the organization’s culture and its choice of training and competence-building. 

Operational Excellence – is the execution of the business strategy more consistently and reliably than the competition. Operational Excellence is evidenced by results.

It means managing business processes in an organization, so that their performance is outstanding. It is a centric capability for any organization that wants to compete. The objective of operational excellence is to realize efficient and effective business processes through continuous improvement and it is a key requirement to use a standardized method to assess the capability and maturity of business processes.

To achieve operational excellence an organization should strive to fully integrate both process and data as a foundation for operational performance while aligning these processes and key data elements to the organization’s overall strategy, goals and objectives.

The six capabilities are made up of transformation enablers and business goals, providing the perfect opportunity for IT and the Business to collaborate from the outset. A simple heat map can be an effective tool when used to capture, communicate and analyze the “as-is” state of each of your digital capabilities. It is paramount to understand where you are in current state, to plan for future state.