It’s no surprise that innovation is top-of-mind for C-level executives across all industries. But like many technology keywords, this one is often misunderstood. What is really meant by innovation? That’s what the 2018 TIBCO CXO Innovation Survey is designed to explore. The survey examines the topic of innovation in depth and determines supporting strategies companies can use to ensure that they keep pace and lead through innovation.

In this post, we are going to explore trends in digital transformation and what that means for your business when it comes to being an innovator or disruptor in the industry.

A company’s digital transformation journey often begins with determining what phase of the digital maturity cycle your company falls into. The digital maturity segment that your company aligns to becomes an indicator of how well your company can innovate. According to the MIT Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting, digital maturity can be segmented into four groups:

  • Digital Beginner – Does very little with advanced digital capabilities, although may be mature with more traditional applications.
  • Digital Fashionista (Experimentor) – Implemented or experimented with many digital applications. Some of these initiatives may create value, but many do not.
  • Digital Conservative – Favors prudence over innovation. The company understands the need for a strong unifying vision including governance and corporate culture to protect investments.
  • Digirati (Expert) – Truly understands how to drive value with digital transformation, combining a transformative vision, careful governance, and engagement, with sufficient investment in new opportunities.

Of the over 600 respondents of TIBCO’s Innovation survey, nearly 35 percent classified themselves as Digirati in their digital transformation maturity, leaving the remaining 65 percent spread evenly across the other segments. These findings illustrate how difficult, expensive, and time-consuming digital transformation can be. For companies who are striving to build a foundation for innovation, especially digital beginners, the road to digital transformation is long.

SOURCE: 2018 TIBCO CXO Innovation Survey

It can be argued that digital maturity is inversely related to the business maturity lifecycle. The business maturity lifecycle represents the stages that a business goes through over the course of its life. Businesses start out in the startup stage, continue to the growth stage, peak at the maturity stage, and can either end with renewal or decline. That being said, companies who are in the establishment or growth phase are more likely to be driving value with digital transformation, which is a key characteristic of Digirati.

Businesses who identify as Digirati are more likely to be innovating and disrupting within their industries than those who are not. These are going to be companies such as ridesharing services (Uber/Lyft), Airbnb, and Venmo—companies who have found a way to disrupt in their industries.

Digital transformation is crucial for any company during the maturity stage. The maturity stage determines whether the business will decline, renew, or remain stable. If a company does nothing in terms of innovation and digital transformation (aligning with a digital beginner), it will likely go into decline. On the other hand, if your business is a digital fashionista or digital conservative, it will likely remain stable, neither declining nor renewing. But, by innovating and digitally transforming your people, technology, and culture, your business will begin to renew itself.

While there is a litany of factors that determine the success of a business, digital transformation is a significant one. Businesses across all industries need to think about where they want to be in the future—innovating and disrupting or standing by on the sidelines watching. The road to digital transformation is not easy, but it is possible if you align your people, organization, and company culture. By doing this, you will drive digital transformation and disrupt in your industry.

So what are you waiting for? Join the race to digital transformation today.