Today, your ability to compete in the business landscape is measured in large part by your digital maturity. The more digital processes you have, the easier it is for you to be agile and pivot in the face of challenges. Yet, how do you accelerate your digital maturity?
The answer lies in finding the right B2B integration approach. In this article, we’ll explore how a B2B integration strategy that fits your needs can accelerate digital maturity.
Digital Maturity: A Definition
Digital maturity refers to the ability of an organization to respond to and leverage technological innovations to achieve better business outcomes. Digitally mature organizations are typically tech-centric, strategic when it comes to digital transformation, and data-driven. To measure your organization's level of digital maturity, begin by asking yourself these questions:
- How many of your processes are digital?
- Do you have the right infrastructure in place to support digital processes?
- Does your C-suite support a culture shift that embraces digital maturity?
- Does your staff have the knowledge, skillset, and mindset to make higher levels of digital maturity a reality?
How Does the Right B2B Integration Approach Speed Digital Maturity?
The right B2B integration strategy speeds digital maturity in three ways:
- Improved access to data
- Better use of data
- Improved agility
Improved Access to Data
Digitally mature organizations rely on data. One of the ways the right B2B integration strategy speeds digital maturity is by improving access to data. In digitally immature organizations, data is often fragmented into departmental silos, where it can only serve the needs of one department at best.
Integration brings data from multiple sources into one place, breaking down departmental silos and providing organization-wide access to essential data. Further, because the data is being exchanged via technological integration rather than manual processes, the possibility of human error in data entry is reduced (which is helpful, because some studies have placed the rate of human error for data entry at as high as 10%).
Better Use of Data
Another way that choosing the right B2B integration approach accelerates digital maturity is that you’ll find yourself using data in ways that are more useful to your firm.
What does that mean? When you have better access to data, you’ll find you’ll use it in a way that improves your operations and your relationships with customers. For example, 2016 research from McKinsey shows that companies that have improved data access can enhance their targeting efforts – a step that increased one company’s sales by 8%.
Another example of how the right B2B integration approach helps you leverage useful data is in the area of supply chain management. SCM World notes: "With each progressive step on the B2B integration path, there is an expected 2-3x improvement in the cash conversion cycle rate."
Today, something that’s on everyone’s mind is being able to effectively navigate a highly uncertain business environment. COVID-19 was a massive disruption to the supply chain; factories closed down, companies were unable to fulfill orders, and firms struggled to stay in business. However, there were some firms that were able to thrive during a time of chaos.
Specifically, technology, telecom, financial services, and energy/utility companies were those who were best-positioned to adapt because they were already largely digital. What's the lesson?
B2B integration allows you to speed up your digital maturity by increasing your agility. You have accurate, up-to-date information at your disposal that allows you to act quickly and pivot if necessary. Digital maturity doesn’t have to be an elusive goal. The right B2B integration strategy helps you get there.