6 Components of Digital Readiness (+Challenges, Tips)


Undergoing digitization is a massive step for any organization — but making transformation moves before your team is ready can be more like a leap of faith. Without the proper support system in place, any big changes are unlikely to stick. 

Organizations need to know their digital readiness before they can begin implementing digital transformation initiatives. Let’s take a look at what digital readiness is, what it includes, and how to accelerate it.

What Is Digital Readiness?

Digital readiness describes an organization’s ability to undergo and adopt a software or technology transformation. In addition to considering whether or not the company can financially commit to digital transformation, it looks at how equipped the organization’s people, processes, and culture are. 

Assessing digital readiness before transforming helps ensure that the changes stick and have the desired impact.

Components Of Digital Readiness

How does an organization assess its digital readiness? Here are the top components. 

1. Technological infrastructure

An organization’s technological infrastructure refers to the software, hardware, and systems that enable operations. Because digital transformation requires making big changes to the tools and applications an organization uses, it’s critical to first ensure the existing infrastructure is capable of navigating the desired change.

2. Digital skills and literacy

Your team must be prepared to take on the upcoming changes. Do they have the proper skills, literacy, and training required to embrace digital transformation and innovation? And as those needs change and develop, they need to be ready to continuously evolve to stay on top of new technologies and initiatives. 

3. Organizational culture

A digital-ready organizational culture embraces innovation and collaboration. To be digitally ready, your team must be centered around core values and beliefs, and must be on the same page about what goals and next steps are for reaching the ideal outcome. Organizational culture also must foster an environment where experimentation is encouraged. 

4. Leadership and vision

Digital readiness starts at the top. When leaders are committed to the vision behind the recommended changes, it will be felt throughout the rest of the organization. Digital-ready leaders become champions for the transformation initiative and help keep the rest of the team motivated, focused, and moving forward.

5. Data management and analytics

Data is critical to digital transformation. To be digital-ready, data management systems need to be in place to keep information secure, available, and accessible throughout the transition process. Analytics systems can provide data-driven insights to drive decision-making and keep transformation initiatives on track.

6. Customer-centric approach

Digital initiatives should have the customers’ best interests in mind. The changes you implement must bring more value to your end-users, whether that’s through lowering costs, increasing team productivity, or improving customer connections. This means having a customer-centric approach is key to being digital-ready.

How to Measure Your Organization’s Digital Readiness

Here’s how you can measure how digital-ready your organization is.

1. Define digital goals and objectives

What do you hope to accomplish with your digital changes? Establish specific goals and objectives. How will you measure success, or when will you know that you’ve achieved these goals? Your goals and objectives will give you a baseline to measure your digital readiness.

2. Evaluate technological infrastructure

Identify the gaps between your existing and ideal technological infrastructure. Do you need to make major infrastructure changes before you can begin implementing digital changes? What do those changes look like and how long will they take to put in place?

3. Assess digital skills and literacy

Look for skill gaps that exist within your team. Before you can properly implement digital changes, do you need to reskill or upskill your team members? Or do you need to hire additional team members or leaders? Work on building out your training materials before you begin your digital transformation to ensure you’re properly prepared.

4. Analyze organizational culture and change readiness

If your team is resistant to change, it will be more difficult to implement long-lasting transformation initiatives. Analyze your organizational culture to determine your company’s change readiness. If they’re not already onboard, develop a change management initiative to help educate and influence your team to adopt upcoming transformations.

5. Conduct a competitive benchmark

A competitive benchmark shows where your organization stands against your competitors. Knowing your positioning will help guide you in determining the direction you should move. A competitive benchmark helps gauge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.

What Challenges Impact Digital Readiness?

Here are three of the biggest challenges that can impact your organization’s digital readiness.

1. Resistance to change

Change can be hard for companies and their teams, especially if those changes are poorly introduced or implemented. High resistance to change can tank digital transformation initiatives and make it hard to get desired results. A lack of change champions on the team can increase resistance and make change even more difficult.

2. Skill gaps

Even if your team is on board with the proposed changes, if they don’t have the right skills or systems to manage new systems or processes, the initiatives won’t be impactful. Skills gaps need to be identified and handled before changes are made to ensure your team is properly equipped to handle them.

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3. Budget constraints

Budget constraints can kill digital readiness quickly. If you don’t have the proper investment, it can be challenging to prepare to implement changes. But even if your budget is tight, you can create a plan that will bring you closer to digital readiness.

5 Ways to Accelerate Digital Readiness Across Your Organization

If you’re ready to evaluate and improve your organization’s digital readiness, here are five steps you can take.

1. Leverage digital maturity models for strategic insights

Digital maturity models (DMMs) are frameworks a company can use to measure their current level of digital maturity. Based on these frameworks, the company can see what steps they need to take to reach their maturity goals. There are multiple digital maturity models to measure against.

Leveraging a few of these models can help identify strategic areas of improvement. Insights gathered from these DMMs can be used to set direction, provide benchmarks, and help save time, money, and other resources.

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2. Implement agile and lean methodologies

Agile and lean methodologies focus on improving operational flow and minimizing waste. They aim to be flexible and adaptable and prioritize continuous improvement. Implementing these methodologies can help move processes and projects forward, bringing you closer to reaching digital readiness faster. 

But keep in mind that both of these practices require setup, training, and upkeep. Adopting and implementing these methodologies should be seen as a long-term commitment, not just a short-term practice to bring you closer to a goal.

3. Enhance digital skills and literacy at all levels

Providing digital skills and literacy training to employees of all levels can bring the entire team one step closer to digital readiness. While some teams, departments, or individuals may need specialized training based on how their specific roles are changing, introduction-level or beginner skills training can go a long way in getting your team prepared to adopt changes. 

As your team starts to become more confident in their digital skills, you can begin to build upon them and introduce additional training resources.

4. Leverage technology to address critical gaps

Technology can help you fill critical gaps preventing you from achieving digital readiness. Relying on tools to help skill, train, and educate your team allows you to automate some of the processes and move forward more efficiently. 

Implementing a digital adoption platform is your best bet to achieving digital readiness. DAP enables end-users with in-app guidance and support. This approach allows users to learn how to use new tools or software as they go, providing a personalized training experience that sticks.

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Enable your employees with in-app guidance, self-help support, process changes alerts, pop-ups for department announcements, and field validations to improve data accuracy.

5. Drive data-driven decision-making

Using data to make decisions can bring strategy into decision-making. When you use data to back up your choices, each initiative can bring you closer to achieving digital readiness — without wasting time and resources on trial and error or guessing what will work. 

Data can fuel decisions across your entire organization, from training insights to key transformation initiatives.

Accelerate digitalization by enabling end-users with Whatfix’s in-app guidance, support, and behavioral analytics

By integrating Whatfix’s advanced in-app guidance, support, and behavioral analytics into your digitalization efforts, you can significantly accelerate the process and enhance the overall user experience.

Whatfix not only simplifies the adoption of new digital tools and processes for end-users but also provides invaluable insights into user behavior, enabling organizations to tailor their digital solutions more effectively. This dual approach ensures that employees are not only supported through their digital journey but are also engaged in a manner that promotes continuous learning and improvement. The result is a faster, more efficient path to digitalization, marked by increased productivity, user satisfaction, and ultimately, a stronger competitive edge in the digital era.

Embrace Whatfix, and empower your end-users to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and ease. Schedule a free demo with us today!

What Is Whatfix?
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guidance on any application that looks 100% native. With Whatfix, create interactive walkthroughs, product tours, task lists, smart tips, field validation, self-help wikis, hotspots, and more. Understand how users are engaging with your applications with advanced product analytics.
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