A global research project by Altimeter and Autodesk has revealed that digitally mature companies are embracing the next wave of digital disruption through practices such as virtual communications, personalized digital engagement and efficient collaboration.

The research, which surveyed 749 leaders from companies in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan and China across architecture, engineering and construction, (AEC), design and manufacturing (D&M) and media and entertainment (M&E) industries, found that disruptions caused by the pandemic has created two classes of companies:

  • The first, at a low level of digital maturity, struggled to implement innovative practices and is still in the process of catching up.
  • The second, at higher levels of digital maturity, had already implemented the latest innovative practices and have thrived. This group is prepared for the next wave of digital disruption, a practice known as convergence.

“Convergence is the blending of previously separate technologies, processes, and data to create new combinations of products, services, and experiences that reshape industry processes and structures,” a release stated.

“Most businesses today recognize convergence as a trend that will impact them in some form. This research found that 58% of respondents have either given thought to convergence or acknowledge it is one of the most critical parts of their business. A key takeaway from the research reveals that digital maturity is a strong predictor of how much a company believes it will be impacted by convergence.”

To determine how digitally mature a company is, respondents were asked to self-select one of the following stages to define their business:

Stage 0: Digital transformation is not a priority for us, nor do we expect it to become one in the short term.

Stage 1: We've just begun to build a business case for digital transformation.

Stage 2: We're starting to understand customer journeys, improving digital skills, mapping processes and seeing early traction.

Stage 3: We've begun to digitize our operations at scale, but modernizing platforms and processes is happening on a departmental basis.

Stage 4: We have digitized operations and are now focused on integrating them so that data can be used more strategically across the organization.

Stage 5: We have laid a strong digital foundation and are now focused on leveraging data and AI to optimize processes; products and services; and customer experiences.

Upwards of 59% of companies with the highest digital maturity (Stage 5) said convergence was one of the most critical influences on their business.

“Understanding convergence and making it work for your organization is an under-leveraged competitive advantage,” said Alexander Stern, technology strategist at Autodesk. “Process, data, and technology convergence impacts most the internal workings of a company.

“It's industry convergence – driven by external forces – where the magic happens. This is when previously disparate industries, or industries that operate in parallel, find ways to collaborate for mutual benefit. This collaboration can take many forms, including partnerships, transactional relationships, or simply shared resources.”

The report can be downloaded via this link