Digitally Mature Companies Are Employers of Choice

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By Caryn Freeman

July 28 — Employees across all age groups want to work for businesses that have reached “digital maturity”—where “digital has transformed processes, talent engagement and business models,” according to a study from the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte.

“Strategy, not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation,” published July 14 in the MIT Sloan Management Review, surveyed more than 4,800 business executives, managers and analysts in 129 countries and 27 industries, and found that across age groups, from 22 to 60, the vast majority (80 percent) of respondents said they want to work for digitally enabled organizations.

David Kiron, executive editor of MIT Sloan Management Review's Big Ideas initiatives, told Bloomberg BNA in a July 28 e-mail that employees want to work for a digitally enabled company or digital leader because such companies are seen as more innovative and collaborative.

“Our survey results show that four out of five managers in maturing digital companies view their organization as more innovative (81 percent) and [more] collaborative (83 percent) compared to their competitors,” he said. “Many people (though not everyone!) want to work in innovative and collaborative settings,” Kiron added.

Three Stages of Digital Employers

The study assessed digital business maturity and how such organizations differ from others. Researchers asked respondents to rate their company on a scale of 1 to 10 in digital maturity. The study found that three groups emerged: 26 percent of respondents characterized their company as being in the early stages of digital maturity, followed by “developing” (45 percent) and “maturing” (29 percent).

Employees in digitally maturing organizations are more confident in their leaders’ ability to play “the digital game.” More than 75 percent of respondents from these companies say that their leaders have sufficient skills to lead the digital strategy. Nearly 90 percent say their leaders understand digital trends and technologies.

Only 15 percent of respondents from companies at the early stages of digital maturity say that their organizations have a clear and coherent digital strategy and just 27 percent think their leaders possess sufficient understanding of the value of a clear digital strategy, the study said.

Kiron said digitally mature companies are much more likely to have a strategy for what they want to do with digital technologies.

“That often means having a human resource strategy to create employee engagement with digital tools,” he said. “You don’t have to have the most technically skilled employee base to thrive with digital technologies; you need a culture that fosters engagement and experimentation. Maturing companies have that, low-maturity companies don’t.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Caryn Freeman in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at

For more information on the study, go to