The quickest, easiest ways to spot the ICT maturity of your customers

Our recent report “Selling ICT Products and Services to Business: Better Market Segmentation” introduced the concept of ICT maturity and showed how basing segmentation of the business market on level of ICT maturity could improve the targeting of sales and marketing messages and the accuracy of forecasting market size and growth.

This article describes the characteristics of companies at each level of ICT maturity in the model we built for our report. In building the model we thought carefully about the different ways we knew companies exhibited their maturity in use of ICT, grouping different indicators into four domains:

  • ICT strategy and processes
  • Services and applications
  • Hardware
  • Telecoms and connectivity

Taking all our different indicators into account, and bringing in the results of our survey of businesses, companies at each end of the spectrum of ICT maturity can be briefly, but usefully, described as follows:

Level 1 organisations – the least ICT-mature:

  • Tend not have any formal ICT strategy review, and make much less use of any form of collaboration technologies within their organisation or supply chain than more ICT-mature companies. They are less likely to have dedicated internal or external ICT resources, and less likely to provide staff with mobile devices for their work.
  • Tend to be smaller organisations – 40% of them have 2-9 staff – and tend to operate from a single site. However, we found examples of medium-sized (250-500 staff, operating from over 15 locations) financial services companies that were at ICT maturity level 1.

Level 4 organisations – the most ICT mature:

  • Tend to make significantly greater use of collaboration technologies and mobile devices for staff, make more use of dedicated ICT resources and use more online applications and services.
  • They also tend to be larger (and often  multi-site) organisations, though we found Level-4 organisations with fewer than 10 staff – in sectors including professional and business services, IT services, media and financial services.

There was little difference between organisations with different ICT maturity in terms of the annual ICT spend as a % of turnover. This metric is clearly important in determining its level of spend on ICT products and services, but not a particularly useful guide on its own to an organisation’s ICT maturity.

Our report gives information on how to spot organisations at Levels 2 and 3 too – and also explains the key questions to ask in order to make the most of the ICT maturity approach to segmentation. For report details and sample pages click here, or for a Prezi explaining how ICT maturity helps with business market segmentation, click here.

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