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All companies today are engaged in the implementation of some digital transformation projects. The impact of digital is so pervasive that it is virtually impossible to ignore. But how to evaluate the “readiness” of a company, i.e. whether or not it is ready to undertake a project of this type?

There are 8 thematic areas to investigate further to evaluate this readiness. These are the areas around which we focus our preliminary activities, to understand what type of difficulties we will deal with for and with our client.

1 – Management commitment

Digital transformation projects are never just technical projects. They can’t start from the bottom. One of the necessary conditions for their success is that they must have a strategic standing and enjoy very high sponsorship within the organization because they will commit potentially huge resources and require decisions.

2 – Digital culture

The organization must be pervaded by a digital culture. People must have the desire to grow and develop themselves and be open to innovation, to the possibility that their ways of working are modified, even in depth, by the projects undertaken by the organization. They must be used to using digital channels, must be able to read reports, and have the curiosity to participate in events on the topic. There must be a shared digital/social media policy that everyone follows when using digital channels.

3 – Customer engagement

Digital channels are by their nature bi-directional. Undertaking a digital project means accepting this fact and being ready to engage customers, not using them only as a megaphone to spread press releases about the company. Digital channels have to be considered as an additional tool for interacting with the target markets and to support and strengthen the positioning and value proposition offered by the company.

4 – Competitive insight

Digital channels are the ideal tool for monitoring and analyzing competitors, the evolution of their offerings, and their behavior. We must start from the assumption that our competitors are at least as intelligent as us and that they are therefore in turn using digital channels to acquire information about us, our offerings, and our initiatives. What is learned from the competitive intelligence activity must be used to update the company’s offerings and to inform and involve business partners to consolidate competitive positioning and fill any existing competitiveness gaps.

5 – Staff and resources

The company must be sure that it has the necessary personnel and resources available to adequately support the digital transformation project undertaken. The processes, roles, and responsibilities involved in the project itself must have been identified and defined and there must be points of reference capable of addressing the problems and removing the obstacles that will inevitably arise along the path to implementing the project.

6 – Planning and selection of channels

The digital transformation plan must have been defined and explained. Its objectives, initiatives to be undertaken and metrics to be monitored must have been identified. The channels to be used for interacting with the target market must have been defined within the plan, without getting caught up in the easy enthusiasm and fashions of the moment. The action plan must be shared by management and communicated to the structure.

7 – Process documentation

The contact points and reciprocal roles between the digital interaction channels and the traditional communication channels used by the organization must be defined within the plan, which must interact in harmony and coherence with the set of values linked to the brands. Editorial plans and calendars must have been defined for the various channels that have been chosen to manage with the related approval processes. Finally, specific meetings must have been scheduled both for the discussion of the key elements of the overall digital communication strategy and for the approval of the operational activities envisaged by it.

8 – Governance and measurement

The digital project must be monitored and measured carefully. For example, a social media policy must have been prepared that serves as a guide to the members of the organization when they interact on social media even outside the context and working hours. The metrics to be measured must have been identified, the dashboards for their monitoring must have been built and the reporting for management must have been defined. Finally, the terms of use and privacy policy for the company’s web properties must have been defined which, necessarily, must be GDPR compliant.

For each of these 8 thematic groups, we can measure the level of performance of the organization by assigning a variable score from 0 to 10 and at the same time define its relative importance by assigning a weight (expressed in percentage or absolute terms). The digital readiness index will therefore be given by a value between 0 and 10 and will indicate a greater readiness the higher the index itself is and closer to 10.

Repeating an analysis like this over time will provide insights into how the organization is moving towards digital readiness.