Forrester defines digital transformation as harnessing digital assets to continually improve customer outcomes while increasing operational agility. Digital transformation is a state of being; it’s not something with definitive beginning and ending points, but a constant state of motion. And building a technology road map for digital transformation presents greater difficulty than it might seem at first glance. There are lots of shiny distractions in the tech world!

Technology and business decision makers report that their drivers for digital transformation include both customer-facing outcomes (such as improving the customer experience and retention) and operational results (such as reducing costs):

To determine where to focus your next technology investments in your digital transformation, first determine whether your enterprise is a beginner, intermediate, or advanced digital business. This takes honest self-assessment — and different people within an organization may come to different conclusions. Forrester helps you to gauge your digital business maturity with a self-assessment tool.

This tool provides a high-level maturity model, built around five competencies that digital business demands: 1) vision and strategy; 2) culture (which we define as the emotional readiness to make change); 3) talent (recognize if you have the skills you need); 4) structure (including how you govern); and 5) technology. The self-assessment helps you to evaluate each of these competencies and identify where the gaps are. This makes it easier to prioritize investments.

Based on your firm’s maturity as a digital business, apply Forrester’s framework for developing a digital technology road map. Beginners invest primarily in technology for customer engagement, delivered as point solutions. Intermediate firms build technology platforms to accelerate growth, transitioning to integrated, ecosystemwide customer experiences. And advanced firms harness emerging technology to differentiate, operating as agile businesses to quickly adjust to pursue new opportunities.

Watch VP/Principal Analysts Ted Schadler and Bobby Cameron’s webinar Master The Digital Transformation Technology Road Map to develop effective short- and long-term plans and turn your enterprise into a digital master.