6 of the Signs that a Company is Digitally Mature

Keith Krach
October 7, 2016

Though digitally mature companies continue to outperform peers that have yet to make the leap to digital, the definition of a digitally transformative business can be unclear to some. To spot a company that is a digitally mature competitor in the modern business market, look for the following six important signs.

1. The company is able to retain longtime employees.

Digitally mature companies are more likely to retain employees than companies that operate on outdated business models and technologies. Employee retention has always been an important component of successful business due to the high costs that turnover can incur. In addition to the loss of company knowledge and increased workload for continuing employees, industry experts suggest that an employee’s resignation costs the company an average of 25 percent of that employee’s annual salary.

A company that is digitally transformed, however, decreases the risk of losing existing employees in the digital age. According to a study conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with Deloitte Digital, half of employees working at companies that are perceived to be digitally behind the times revealed that they planned to leave their current positions within one year.

Conversely, the majority of digitally mature companies tend to invest in their employees’ digital skillsets by providing with the resources and opportunities necessary to develop them. This kind of training equips employees for success, leaving them feeling more satisfied with their jobs and therefore less likely to leave.

2. Top talent wants to work for the company.

The majority of top talent in today’s business market will not work for companies operating on outdated business models and technologies. Some studies suggest that more than 70 percent of workers between the ages of 22 and 60 reported a desire to work for a company that had embraced digital.

Some workers will be drawn especially to the disruptive technologies a company uses to conduct business effectively. However, technology is not the only element that brings the most gifted workers to the human resources departments of digitally mature companies. A company’s strategy, approach to leadership, and work culture also factor in to the decision a skilled worker makes when choosing employment.

3. Leadership follows a cutting-edge business strategy.

Digital maturity is about more than implementing the latest technologies into operations. A company can easily invest in innovative tools and software. However, if the company does not leverage these technological investments to increase business velocity and better meet customer needs, the company has not effectively gone digital.

A digitally mature company can be distinguished by the fact that its leadership has adopted a digitally progressive business strategy, leaving behind the outdated, traditional business models that make operations more complicated than they need to be in a digital age. This means that digitally mature companies are guided by leaders who take steps to simplify existing processes and streamline workflow in order to increase business velocity.

By following a strategy that provides the right tools and information, digitally mature companies are able to improve the performance of employees, adapt more easily to a changing market, and meet the needs of customers faster than their traditional counterparts.

4. Disruptive technologies are in place.

Though technological advancement is not the core goal of digital transformation, it still plays an important role in a company’s ability to reach digital maturity. In order to achieve digital transformation, a company must identify which areas of operation are more complex than necessary, and know which digital tools can help simplify those areas to increase the speed of business.

One way that businesses commonly take the first step toward digital transformation from a technology standpoint is to invest in a platform that allows them to conduct paperless operations. Technology like DocuSign’s eSignature and Digital Transaction Management platform make it easy to sign and save all office documents in a digital format. This, in turn, can improve communication, promote productivity, and increase customer satisfaction - all key elements of the digitally mature business.

5. Company operations are all about the customer experience.

The motivation behind digitally transforming operations is so that a company can meet the needs of its customers more readily and more comprehensively than ever before. In recent years, customers’ expectations of the companies that they patronize have risen as the online world has allowed them more direct access to brands than in the past. The internet and social media have created a consumer culture that demands expediency from businesses in the delivery of products and services.

The digitally mature company frames its operations around the customer experience in ways that increase speed-to-market and have a positive impact on customer satisfaction levels, which increases overall profitability. A digitally mature company is one that understands the strategic value of keeping consumers happy through efficiency.

6. The company moves faster than its competition.

If there is one thing that all digitally mature companies truly have in common, it would be speed. As evidenced by the five examples noted above, speed plays an essential part in the facilitation of digital business in many capacities. Whether it’s the speed of internal workflow, speed-to-market, or the speed of adapting to the changing desires of consumers, a digitally mature business always moves fast.

Keith Krach

Keith Krach is Chairman of DocuSign, The Global Standard for Digital Transaction Management.