Digital maturity: Where does your company stand?

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The BDC estimates that only 5% of Canadian SMEs are digitally advanced. Very few businesses are using new technologies effectively: Is your company one of them?

As part of its Seize the Technological Advantage study, BDC surveyed 1,500 Canadian SMEs from various industries and of various sizes and profiles to assess the link between digital maturity and business performance. While the relationship between these two elements was found to be very strong, the situation is not good for SMEs. The survey reveals that most Canadian SMEs are not fully utilizing digital technologies, which is affecting their financial performance.


What is digital maturity?

Digital maturity is the result of the interaction between two dimensions of your company: digital intensity and digital culture.

Digital intensity is concrete, and can be measured by observing the extent to which digital technologies are used in your company’s operations. This dimension is divided into four areas: customer experience, processes and collaboration, data and analytics, and digital technologies (digitization of processes, integration of technological systems, etc.).

Digital culture is less tangible, but just as important. It is the ability of a company to adapt to increase its digital maturity. From leadership and strategy to staff and expertise, a strong digital culture is essential.

Based on this definition, companies can be classified under 4 digital profiles:

Latecomers (19% of SMEs)

These companies use little to no digital technologies. The sectors that are lagging behind the most are construction and services to individuals (mechanics, beauty salons, household services, etc.). Of the SMEs that have not invested in digital technologies in 2021, 42% belong to these two sectors.

Beginners (47% of SMEs)

Making up nearly half of Canadian SMEs, these companies are using digital technology in customer-related activities, mainly to digitize sales and marketing.

Emerging (20% of SMEs)

These companies have begun to apply digital technology throughout the entire enterprise.

Advanced (5% of SMEs)

With only 5% of Canadian SMEs, this profile can be considered a select club. These businesses effectively use digital technologies to transform themselves.


“The most digitally advanced companies use technology not only to improve or support their current business, but also to solve their problems differently.”

– Pierre Cléroux, VP, Research and Chief Economist, BDC


Move up to the next level

Gaining digital maturity pays off! Moving up one category on the digital maturity scale:

  • increases the odds of growing (at least 10% of sales) by 80%
  • increases the odds of exporting abroad by 54%
  • increases the odds of becoming highly resilient by 241%
  • decreases the probability that a company would be denied funding by 63%

Where to start? One serious avenue of solution is to create a digital plan. While 99% of advanced businesses have one, only 9% of latecomer businesses can say the same. The digital plan, which consists of an analysis of your reality, technology recommendations and a definition of the strategy to adopt, guides your company on the road to success.


You want to increase your company’s digital maturity?

Contact our experts, they’ll be happy to discuss it with you!



BDC, Seize the Technological Advantage