Digitally-advanced businesses perform better, according to study

A recent study by BDC reveals some interesting findings about digital maturity, and the effects it can have on Canadian businesses.

What is digital maturity?

In the study, “digital maturity” is defined as a combination of digital intensity and digital culture. Digital intensity comprises customer experience; data and analytics; digital technologies; and process and communication. Digital culture comprises leadership and strategy; and staff and expertise. These six factors work together to influence a business’ performance in our current technological climate.

Canadian business digital maturity statistics

BDC’s study, “Seize the Technological Advantage – Why Digitally Mature Companies Perform Better” surveyed 1,500 small and medium-sized businesses on their use of digital technology. Here are the key findings from that study:

  • The most digitally mature businesses grow faster, are more resilient, innovate more and are more likely to export.
  • 9 out of 10 SMEs invested in digital technology in 2021.
  • Only 60% of companies have a website; 34% analyze customer data.
  • The average digital maturity score of Canadian SMEs was 51 out of 120.
  • The main challenges of digitization are cost (42%), cyber security (32%), uncertain benefits (27%) and technology integration (27%).
  • Larger SMEs, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and young entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of digital maturity. Women owned businesses lag behind in digital adoption.
  • Digital maturity is unevenly distributed across industries. The retail sector went completely digital during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the construction and services to individual sectors had the least investment in 2021.

The study divided these businesses into four categories: Latecomers, Beginners, Emerging, and Advanced. Out of those, 47% of businesses were classed as Beginners, with only 5% being digitally advanced.

For more detail about these findings, real-world examples of how Canadian businesses use technology, and to learn how to digitize your own business, check out BDC’s study here.

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