Check out our FREE Resources page – Download complimentary business frameworks, PowerPoint templates, whitepapers, and more.







Flevy Management Insights Q&A
How do Maturity Models support the execution of digital transformation strategies in legacy organizations?


This article provides a detailed response to: How do Maturity Models support the execution of digital transformation strategies in legacy organizations? For a comprehensive understanding of Maturity Model, we also include relevant case studies for further reading and links to Maturity Model best practice resources.

TLDR Maturity Models act as structured roadmaps for Digital Transformation in legacy organizations, guiding them from current capabilities assessment to strategic execution, ensuring alignment with Strategic Objectives.

Reading time: 4 minutes


Maturity models serve as a comprehensive roadmap for organizations undergoing digital transformation, especially those with entrenched legacy systems. These models provide a structured framework, enabling organizations to assess their current state, identify gaps in capabilities, and prioritize initiatives that drive them toward their desired future state. By leveraging maturity models, legacy organizations can systematically approach digital transformation, ensuring alignment with their strategic objectives and maximizing the return on their investment in digital technologies.

Assessing Current Capabilities and Identifying Gaps

Maturity models start by offering a clear benchmark against which organizations can measure their current digital capabilities. This assessment covers various dimensions, including technology infrastructure, data analytics, digital culture, customer experience, and innovation. For legacy organizations, this initial evaluation is critical as it highlights areas where outdated systems and processes are hindering growth and competitiveness. By understanding their starting point, organizations can make informed decisions about where to focus their digital transformation efforts.

Identifying gaps is a crucial outcome of this assessment. It allows organizations to pinpoint specific areas that require improvement or overhaul. For instance, a legacy organization might find that its data analytics capabilities are rudimentary, limiting its ability to leverage data for strategic decision-making. This insight directs the organization to invest in advanced analytics tools and training, thus closing the gap and enhancing its competitive edge.

Moreover, maturity models facilitate the prioritization of digital initiatives. By understanding the relative importance and impact of different capabilities, organizations can allocate resources more effectively, focusing on areas that offer the highest return on investment. This strategic approach to digital transformation ensures that efforts are concentrated where they can generate the most significant value, rather than being spread thinly across numerous projects with limited impact.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Maturity Model Customer Experience Data Analytics Return on Investment

Are you familiar with Flevy? We are you shortcut to immediate value.
Flevy provides business best practices—the same as those produced by top-tier consulting firms and used by Fortune 100 companies. Our best practice business frameworks, financial models, and templates are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience.

Trusted by over 10,000+ Client Organizations
Since 2012, we have provided best practices to over 10,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes, from startups and small businesses to the Fortune 100, in over 130 countries.
AT&T GE Cisco Intel IBM Coke Dell Toyota HP Nike Samsung Microsoft Astrazeneca JP Morgan KPMG Walgreens Walmart 3M Kaiser Oracle SAP Google E&Y Volvo Bosch Merck Fedex Shell Amgen Eli Lilly Roche AIG Abbott Amazon PwC T-Mobile Broadcom Bayer Pearson Titleist ConEd Pfizer NTT Data Schwab

Guiding Strategic Planning and Execution

Maturity models provide a structured framework that guides the strategic planning process for digital transformation. They help organizations set realistic, achievable goals for each stage of their digital maturity journey. This step-by-step approach ensures that the transformation is manageable and aligned with the organization's overall strategic objectives. For example, an organization might aim to move from a basic digital presence to a more integrated, omnichannel customer experience over a defined period. Maturity models offer the milestones and metrics needed to track progress toward this goal.

The execution of digital transformation strategies is greatly enhanced by the clarity and direction that maturity models provide. They outline specific actions and initiatives required at each maturity level, ensuring that the organization's efforts are focused and coherent. This is particularly important for legacy organizations, where the complexity of existing systems and processes can make transformation efforts challenging. By following the roadmap provided by a maturity model, these organizations can navigate their transformation more effectively, avoiding common pitfalls and accelerating progress.

Furthermore, maturity models emphasize the importance of continuous improvement and adaptation. Digital transformation is not a one-time project but an ongoing journey. As organizations progress through different stages of digital maturity, the model guides them to reassess their strategies and adapt to new technologies, market conditions, and customer expectations. This iterative process ensures that the organization remains agile and responsive, capable of sustaining its competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Learn more about Strategic Planning Competitive Advantage Continuous Improvement Agile

Real-World Examples and Authoritative Insights

Leading consulting firms have highlighted the effectiveness of maturity models in supporting digital transformation. For instance, McKinsey & Company has emphasized the role of digital maturity assessments in helping organizations identify their strengths and weaknesses, enabling targeted investments in technology and capabilities. Similarly, Gartner's research underscores the importance of maturity models in providing a roadmap for digital transformation, helping organizations navigate the complexities of changing their operating models and integrating new technologies.

Real-world examples further illustrate the value of maturity models. A notable case is a global manufacturing company that used a digital maturity model to guide its transformation. The company assessed its digital capabilities, identified critical gaps in its digital marketing and e-commerce platforms, and used the model to prioritize investments in these areas. As a result, it not only improved its customer engagement and sales but also enhanced operational efficiency and agility.

In conclusion, maturity models are indispensable tools for legacy organizations embarking on digital transformation. They offer a structured approach to assessing current capabilities, identifying gaps, and guiding strategic planning and execution. By providing clear benchmarks and a roadmap for progress, maturity models enable organizations to navigate their digital transformation journey effectively, ensuring that they can achieve their strategic objectives and thrive in the digital age.

Best Practices in Maturity Model

Here are best practices relevant to Maturity Model from the Flevy Marketplace. View all our Maturity Model materials here.

Did you know?
The average daily rate of a McKinsey consultant is $6,625 (not including expenses). The average price of a Flevy document is $65.

Explore all of our best practices in: Maturity Model

Maturity Model Case Studies

For a practical understanding of Maturity Model, take a look at these case studies.

Automotive Supplier Growth Readiness and Maturity Enhancement

Scenario: A mid-sized automotive parts supplier in North America has recently penetrated the electric vehicle market niche.

Read Full Case Study

Telecom Digital Maturity Advancement in North American Market

Scenario: A North American telecom firm is grappling with the complexities of digital transformation amidst a highly competitive market.

Read Full Case Study

Agritech Market Penetration Strategy for Sustainable Growth in North America

Scenario: The organization is a rapidly expanding agritech company in North America, which specializes in innovative farming solutions.

Read Full Case Study

Ecommerce Platform Evolution for Enhanced Market Penetration

Scenario: The organization is an established ecommerce platform specializing in consumer electronics with a growing customer base and expanding inventory.

Read Full Case Study

Telecom Digital Maturity Advancement in Competitive European Market

Scenario: A European telecom operator is grappling with the challenges of a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Read Full Case Study

Operational Excellence Roadmap for Telecom Provider in Competitive Landscape

Scenario: A telecommunications provider is grappling with the current state of its Operational Maturity Model amidst a fiercely competitive market.

Read Full Case Study

Explore all Flevy Management Case Studies

Related Questions

Here are our additional questions you may be interested in.

How can companies effectively measure the ROI of implementing a Maturity Model in strategic management?
Effectively measure the ROI of a Maturity Model in Strategic Management by establishing baseline metrics, conducting quantitative and qualitative benefits analysis, and ensuring continuous improvement for long-term value. [Read full explanation]
What role does customer experience play in the Business Maturity Model, and how can it be measured effectively?
Customer Experience (CX) is crucial at all stages of the Business Maturity Model, influencing growth and market position, and is measured using metrics like NPS, CSAT, CES, and advanced analytics. [Read full explanation]
What role does organizational culture play in advancing through the levels of a Maturity Model?
Organizational culture significantly impacts progression through Maturity Model levels by influencing Change Management, Strategic Planning, and Operational Excellence, with leadership and strategic alignment playing key roles. [Read full explanation]
How do Business Maturity Models integrate with agile methodologies in product development and service delivery?
Integrating Business Maturity Models with Agile methodologies aligns organizational growth with Agile's responsiveness, improving market adaptability, product quality, and delivery speed. [Read full explanation]
How do Maturity Models adapt to industries with rapid technological change?
Maturity models in rapidly changing industries must continuously evolve, integrate emerging technologies, and emphasize Innovation and Digital Transformation to guide organizations toward sustained growth and competitiveness. [Read full explanation]
How can Business Maturity Models be aligned with global sustainability goals?
Aligning Business Maturity Models with global sustainability goals involves integrating sustainability into core strategies, operations, and viewing it as a strategic opportunity for growth and innovation. [Read full explanation]

Source: Executive Q&A: Maturity Model Questions, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

Download our FREE Strategy & Transformation Framework Templates

Download our free compilation of 50+ Strategy & Transformation slides and templates. Frameworks include McKinsey 7-S Strategy Model, Balanced Scorecard, Disruptive Innovation, BCG Experience Curve, and many more.