digital maturity index
Research Intelligence

Digital Maturity Index: Your GPS For Growth Online

by Molly Winik , Senior Digital Research & eCommerce Specialist 6 Min.
November 23, 2021 | Updated September 18, 2022

In a 2018 report, Deloitte announced that 87% of respondents believed digital technologies would disrupt their industry. 

Fast-forward four years and disruption would be an understatement. COVID-19 was the catalyst to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The loss of face-to-face interactions meant that businesses had to adopt new technologies and experiment with new processes to survive. 

According to Andrew Dugan, chief technology officer at Lumen Technologies, there’s a key distinction between companies that are thriving in the post-pandemic world and those that are stuck in the past: “taking advantage of the data that is available out there.” 

Digital research intelligence is no longer a bonus for any company hoping to achieve growth and maturity in 2022. 

But is digital maturity measured by the number of tools you use or integrations you make? To answer that we’ve looked into a powerful market research tool: the digital maturity index (DMI). Read on to understand the value of each index and make sure you’re on track for achieving digital growth.

fourth industry revolution andrew dugan quote

Technology Review

When do you need a digital maturity index? 

Always. Digital transformation is percolating into every aspect of life. There’s nothing we do that doesn’t involve some form of technology. 

For companies, this means increased efficiency and profitability. Customers have come to expect digitalization because it’s convenient, meaning that technological progress today is largely driven by competition. Who can provide a better customer experience? Who can react faster? Who can handle more in a shorter time?

To map out your path toward digital maturity, you first need to know where you are — much like a GPS, which can’t tell you where to drive until it first identifies your exact location. 

A maturity index lets you pinpoint your company’s level of digital capability so you’ll know where to put your effort.

To understand how different indices work, let’s first understand what digital maturity means. Take a look at some of the key definitions below. 

definition of digital maturity index

The question isn’t if, but how digital technologies are implemented and affect operations and outcomes. What matters is how the use of digitalization frames business activities — we’re looking at results and initiative as much as capabilities. 

It’s difficult to come up with a standard digital maturity assessment template for all companies. There are several approaches to measure your digital maturity. Let’s dive into the details of some of our favorites: 

Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Digital Maturity Model 

Probably the most well-known digital maturity index was developed by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and names four stages: nascent, emerging, connected, and multi-moment. Where do you currently stand based on the different criteria?

google digital maturity model

Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

  1. Nascent – organizational-centric, focused on data access and integrity. Companies in this stage use digital technologies, but their data is managed separately, and they’re usually monitoring only one or two data sources at a time.
  2. Emerging – channel-centric, tracking conversations and engagement rate. In this stage, your company’s management team is aware of the imminent need for cooperation between departments and actively supports stronger digitalization.
  3. Connected – tech-centric, analyzing personalization and data integration. Data-driven business processes and the connection of online and offline datasets allow you to link efforts to outcomes. Data has become the backbone of your business.
  4. Multi-Moment – embedded digital intelligence. You’ve achieved true data-driven marketing, custom attribution, and offline data integration. Cross-function insights are the norm and you use continuous data monitoring and analysis to identify opportunities to increase effectiveness.

Deloitte Digital Maturity Index

Deloitte offers a slightly more differentiated model that calculates digital maturity based on different company “archetypes,” which measure your approach to digitalization. According to Deloitte, only 5% of companies today are Champions, combining a consistent digital strategy with operational excellence:

Deloitte Digital Maturity Index

Deloitte Digital Maturity Index

  1. Laggards – lack capabilities and fall behind in terms of digitalization activities
  2. Followers – seek to advance digital skills and transition to the next level
  3. Operators – focus on the digitization of processes, neglecting the strategic activities
  4. Innovators – focus on strategic activities, but lack capabilities in process digitalization
  5. Potentials – focus on developing digital strategy hand in hand with operational excellence
  6. Champions – focus on both strategic and operational activities, adapting exceptionally to demand shifts, benefitting from operational excellence

This model describes a path towards an inherently data-driven business model. It includes more connectivity, integration, and automation that result in maximum efficiency, profitability, and flexibility.

Dynamic Systems Maturity Theory (DSMT) 

DSMT looks at how a variety of internal and external forces affect an organization’s systems and internal processes. The main goal of this index is to track functions that correlate to specific values. Your goal is to make sure that you’re performing at a specific level. 

With this type of digital maturity index, you’ll first outline different areas of your organization and the value they provide. It’s a roadmap for charting change, tracking transformation, and pinpointing areas of improvement.

Dynamic Systems Maturity Theory (DSMT)


How do you measure digital transformation?

Advancing on the digital transformation journey to reach digital maturity isn’t a question of how diligent you are or how long you’ve been working at it. 

It means monitoring the market and the competition in real-time to stay on the ball. Aim high, set measurable goals, and reach data-driven decisions.

Website analytics turn into powerful market research tools and an instrument to drive your digital maturity and business growth.

Know who you’re speaking to 

Business success depends on how well you and your entire company know your target audience, which is why it’s a good starting point for digital maturity assessment. Since the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there’s been an increase in digital tools for market research that go way beyond discovering your website demographics.

For example, Similarweb enables you to collect information that lets you conduct an in-depth audience analysis, including geographical breakdown, age distribution, and even search-interest analysis, and new vs. return users. You can identify and characterize your competitors’ target audience, map the competitive landscape according to user loyalty, and target any defined audience.

audience loyalty insights

Track trends over time 

For digitally mature companies, measuring consumer behavior is a must. When your entire company is on the same data page, you can understand the numbers, motivation, and intention. High user engagement is a sign that your content or product is valuable to the user, and will almost always result in higher revenue. Score!

Engagement metrics reveal something about the quality of your content, design, and user experience. Do customers respond better to colorful designs or more monotone, informative ones? Do videos lead to longer page views? Quantify your daily active users, bounce rate, average page views, and so on. These tell you what your audience enjoys and what they’re looking for.

traffic and engagement metrics over time

Contextualize your performance vis-a-vis your competitors 

Metrics such as website traffic, mobile app performance, marketing channel performance, and more will give you the context of where you stand in your industry, as well as any changes you need to make in order to grow your market share, helping your company meet its goals.

When it becomes a routine activity, competitive benchmarking will directly complement your digital transformation strategy. Benchmarking is critical to accurately pinpoint your market position and discover your competitors’ strategies, ultimately increasing your market share.

track trends over time with similarweb

Save time where it matters most 

If you want to establish your digital maturity index efficiently, you can use Similarweb Website Intelligence to assess your company from start to finish. 

Digital maturity is competition-driven, and Similarweb provides the most accurate and comprehensive data of your industry and your competitors. You can get the insights you need to support your digital maturity level and set the KPIs for your digital advancement.

Try Similarweb for free and find out for yourself how our research tools can simplify and strengthen your journey to digital maturity.

Step-by-step guide to digital maturity

If you’re not measuring your digital maturity level by now, you should be. Get the guide and get started.


What is digital maturity index?

The Digital Maturity Index (DMI) is a maturity reference model that represents the key capabilities and their respective maturity levels for any company’s digital business management and performance.
What does the digital maturity index measure?
Digital maturity measures how prepared an organization is to understand and adapt consistently to customer demands created by ongoing technological change.


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