Are You an Armchair Quarterback in the Digital Economy?

by: Isabelle Perreault

Many of us are “armchair quarterbacks” (“chesterfield goaltenders” in Canada). It’s easy to criticize the pros from the comfort of our living rooms.  But deep down we know that there’s a thing or two we could learn from even the most novice professional athlete.  Here’s what professional sports teams can teach us about the use of digital technology in business.

Recently, Stratford Managers Corporation conducted a Digital Maturity AssessmentTM with over 75 technology leaders from the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, National Football League as well as college sports and venues.

The survey revealed that:

  • While the majority of the teams and venues have a strong digital strategy only 13% said there is an enterprise digital vision, owned and communicated by the Executive team.
  • 69% say there is a high level of partner integration to improve customer service and fan experience but many teams (58%) still struggle with platform integration and legacy systems.
  • The lack of a single view of the customer/fan is seen as a key barrier to improved business performance for many organizations.

OK, so you’re not a pro sports team.  But in this day when digital has become a significant driver for both cost savings and revenue, all organizations need a clear enterprise vision from which to build an integrated digital road map. Otherwise ad hoc initiatives remain misaligned and resources aren’t optimized.  Organizations must move from simply leveraging digital technology in consumer and marketing channels to applying it across the enterprise.

One way to understand your starting point is to perform a digital maturity assessment.  It provides actionable insight about digital strengths and weaknesses and can be a catalyst for creating an integrated digital and technology strategy that aligns efforts across the organization.  Stratford Managers’ Digital Maturity AssessmentTM uses an in-depth survey to evaluate an organization’s digital readiness across the 5 key factors that drive performance:

  1. Strategy: enterprise vision, opportunity assessment, digital channels
  2. Customer Experience: customer insight, ownership of customer experience
  3. Technology and Data: systems, analytics, platform and partner integration
  4. Operational Processes: business processes, automation, operational efficiency
  5. People and Culture: skills development, collaboration, innovation

A digital maturity assessment provides immediate insight into strengths and weaknesses across different parts of the business compared against industry standards and serves as a blue print for short-term gain and longer-term performance.

Think of it as your game plan for successfully competing in the digital economy!

If you’d like to learn more about how pro sports teams stack up, read the full report.

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