Tony Byrne and his team at Real Story Group (RSG) are trying to help businesses turn digital transformation from a lofty aspiration to a practical business reality.

They recently announced the general availability of RealScore, an assessment tool with three key components.

Digital leaders can use it to measure their effectiveness, benchmark against their peers, and better asses future investments in key digital workplace and marketing technologies, Byrne explained.

Evaluating Capacity for Success

Byrne, founder of the Olney, Md.-based independent research and advisory firm, said RealScore provides companies with a clear understanding of their current capabilities. It also helps them accurately evaluate their internal capacity to execute digital transformation projects, he added.

"A lot of what we see around digital transformation right now is very aspirational. This tool provides a very practical, specific and shareable assessment," he told CMSWire. "It helps businesses optimize the effectiveness of the technology they already have."

RealScore builds on the success of RSG's earlier maturity models, which provided a structured framework for aligning technologies for things including digital asset management and enterprise content management (ECM) with business efforts.

It enables businesses to evaluate their effectiveness in seven areas:

  1. Digital and media asset management
  2. ECM and cloud file sharing
  3. Enterprise collaboration and social software
  4. Marking automation and social technology
  5. Portals and content integration
  6. SharePoint and Office 365
  7. Web content and experience management

The framework suggests graded levels of capabilities that can help you audit, assess and explain your current state, as well as inform a roadmap for maturing your enterprise capabilities, Byrne explained.

RealScore

The Struggle to Digitally Transform

For many businesses, digital transformation is akin to happiness: something everyone wants but struggles to find. The challenges are acute for numerous reasons, starting with the fact that there is no standard definition of what it means to digitally transform.

But generally speaking, it involves aligning technology and business models to more effectively engage customers at an ever-growing number of digital touchpoints in the customer experience journey.

It requires businesses to adopt organizational, operational and technological strategies that support continuous improvement and cross-functional collaboration. And it underscores a commitment to things such as cloud, big data, mobile and social technologies to better serve customers in a digital world. 

Digital effectiveness is based on how organizations leverage people, information, systems and processes to accomplish digital transformation, Byrne explained.

Early Days

But even though such transformation is increasingly viewed as a business imperative, Byrne cautioned that most businesses have made relatively slight progress on their journeys.

"These are very, very early days for digital transformation," he said.

Byrne said recent RSG surveys confirm many businesses are still struggling to execute digital transformation projects. The surveys show:

  • Only 21 percent have achieved successful enterprise social-collaboration
  • Only 15 percent report adequate staffing and development resources for their web content and experience management
  • Half of enterprises lack sufficient marketing technology talent

"We need to look at how we can improve, how we can move beyond all the mom and apple pie thinking about digital transformation and instead develop specific roadmaps," he explained.

It's a business necessity, he said — one that has offers a strong. For example, customer projects are 15 percent more likely to complete on time and 50 percent more likely to stay on budget when employing the DAM Maturity Model, he said.

"The question we're having business ask is 'How good are we at leveraging the technologies in which we have invested?'" he continued.

Creating a Roadmap

By asking highly structured questions, RSG said it can help businesses understand the extent to which they are adopting the necessary infrastructure, governance, workflows and talent to successfully execute their digital initiatives.

As with the earlier maturity models, there is no one size fits all, Byrne stressed. Establishing digital experience maturity depends on the business imperatives for each specific organization as well as a defined customer lifecycle with engagement strategies for each stage of the lifecycle, he noted.

"RealScore takes a very holistic view," he added. "We are moving beyond our historical roots — which was to help people pick the right technologies — by providing a tool they can use to align their teams, weigh investments, analyze systems and processes, and get the right people in place."

RealScore is based on data RSG has collected through its research and interactions with its subscribers. As more people sample the tool, RSG will continue to build out and refine the benchmarking data.

Want to see how you measure up to your peers? You can try RealScore free of charge.

RSG subscribers get deeper analysis, including a PowerPoint and other deliverables that can identify where and how an enterprise should improve.

(Tony Byrne will be sharing insights about RealScore and the ways businesses can advance their digital maturity when he returns to CMSWire's DX Summit in Chicago this November for the second consecutive year. DXS16 will be held Nov. 15 and 16 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, with a full day of pre-conference workshops on Nov. 14.)