diagram that show the 5 stages of digital maturity as a curve with commentary beneath

We devised the Prospero Digital Maturity Curve to act as a framework to answer the question ‘How do I know where I am on the digital journey?’.

With many fresh digital challenges facing retailers and brand businesses, we often get asked how clients can understand their own digital journey better, specifically:

  • What do I need to do to make my business more digitally competitive?
  • How fast do I need to do it and how much organisation change / pain will I need to go through?
  • Where do I start?

Historically, these haven’t been easy questions to answer, whilst there are some common fundamentals, different sectors move at different speeds and non-like-for-like comparisons can prove unhelpful.

Much more useful, in our experience, is to articulate the key milestones in the journey towards digital leadership, such that anyone can understand the key characteristics and behaviour at each point

Hence the  Prospero Digital Maturity Curve which explains the 5 different stages of digital maturity for organisations, particularly retailers and brands.


What is the Digital Maturity Curve?

At its heart the Prospero Digital Maturity Curve does 2 things:

  1. Plots the dynamics of 5 different business stages so you can understand your relative maturity
  2. Indicates a movable inflection point (inflexion point to our US cousins), at which stage the fundamentals have to change to continue making progress towards digital maturity

The five stages of Prospero Digital Maturity Curve are:

  1. Digital Beginners – are often characterised by traditional structures (silos) and thinking, little vision from the outside-in, with multiple disparate data sources and largely ad-hoc activity
  2. Digital Siloed – begins to see some collaborative working across silos, however, assets are largely stored locally and the early day view of the customer is patchy. Very little Voice of Customer (VOC)
  3. Digital Aspirations – enterprise KPIs are frequently in place, decisions are more likely to be based on shared data and collaborative working, attribution models often used and networked assets are common
  4. Digital Organisation – this has a degree of automation and optimisation built-in, VOC is common, data is actively sought & championed and channels are blurred. Workforce specialism skills more common and deployed flexibly.
  5. Digital Leadership – brings alignment of customer outcomes with business strategy; the organisation now “thinks digitally” and has no separate digital unit or P&L; growth and self-disruption strategies are normal; agility and resilience are achieved through smart teams; lightweight technology and flexible processes are the norms.


The Inflection Point:

The inflection point is essential in understanding how to progress – it’s the point at which business can no longer continue to think and act in the way they always have.

Being successful beyond this point depends upon four factors:

  1. You must be prepared to constantly re-invent the business, so that it is customer-focused
  2. Developing very high levels of curiosity and being prepared to fail many times before success hits
  3. Utilising external voices and experience from outside the business to bolster internal teams and validate decisions and actions
  4. Embedding digital resilience and ways of working, and even adopting a new digital philosophy that contradicts the old

Remember, the Prospero Digital Maturity Curve isn’t an organic sliding scale; once you reach the inflection point you need to be permanently doing things differently – organisations and their leaders who are going through the inflection point today  may not fully realise this.

If you want to read more about Digital Maturity – have a look at this article on MIT Sloan Management Review

Prospero Commerce can help you plan for the New Normal and support you as you go through the inflection point – just reach out.




Leave a Reply