- The countries with the greatest digital maturity are Ecuador, Chile, Mexico and Colombia, respectively.
- On a 100-point scale, the average digital maturity in Latin America is 61.16.
- Telecommunications, Financial Services, Mining and Metals are the sectors with the greatest progress in this area.
One of the great lessons that the health crisis caused by COVID 19 left us is resilience, which has become essential for companies to survive. Digital Transformation became one of the top priorities, as it demonstrated that it simplifies and makes processes more efficient. In this sense, directors and general managers of Latin American companies have promoted greater investment in technology, which has increased in recent years.
This was demonstrated in the study "Transformation with a digital sense 2022: A new pace in Latin America's digital maturity", carried out by the audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY), in which 715 leaders from 16 industrial sectors participated. different in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela, who were surveyed on seven topics: Strategy and Innovation; Customer Experience; Operations and Supply Chain; Administrative areas; Information and Technology; Risks and Cybersecurity, as well as Culture and Organization within the businesses.
Specialists from A3Sec, a multinational company focused on shielding digital assets and cybersecurity, define digital maturity as the level of adoption and integration of digital processes across sectors, including government and private organizations. It also includes the level of implementation of new technologies in the process of digitization, whether by companies with customers or by government agencies with citizens.
Information collected by the EY study shows that on a 100-point scale, Latin America is located at a digital maturity level of 61.16, which places the region in the range of "In development of digital capabilities". Given this panorama, the countries with the greatest digital maturity are Ecuador (64.67 points), Chile (62.73), Mexico (62.11) and Colombia (60.55), especially due to the level of progress in the financial and consumer sectors.
"Investment, collaboration, and comprehensive programs that enable interaction between various sectors are key factors in a country's digital maturity," says Israel Gutiérrez, CTO of A3Sec. He also emphasizes that governments should establish clear guidelines for handling information, especially when technology can be used to ensure legal processes or facilitate economic transactions through digital means.
Alejandro Agudelo, Technical Manager of A3Sec Colombia, said that "public policies also play a role in a country's digital maturity by bringing government and business closer together, not just as a regulator but also as a promoter of new technologies. This helps redistribute the value of technology to benefit the population and narrow the gap between small and medium-sized companies that may have limited access to new technologies or trained personnel to implement them."
"Cybersecurity is crucial for a company's digital maturity, as it helps solidify processes and provide resilience against various digital risks. Digital maturity is necessary for survival in today's constantly evolving market, and protecting digital assets is no longer optional, but a necessity," said Gutiérrez.
The EY study found that companies with annual revenues over $500 million have a much higher level of digital maturity compared to other businesses in the region. 53% of those surveyed reported allocating more budget for digital transformation, with the goal of increasing the number of initiatives, implementing specific projects, hiring talent and adopting methodologies to speed up market changes. 42% said they invested more to simplify and make processes more efficient, 37% due to customer demand and to offer more value, and 15% due to a change in strategy.
When looking at digital maturity by sector, the Telecommunications, Financial Services, Mining, and Metals industries have made significant progress in recent years, while Finance, Human Resources, supply chains and legal and operations departments lag behind and hinder the achievement of high-efficiency levels.
Finally, Agudelo emphasized that in order to progress in the digital maturity process, it is essential to have a planning phase for each project that involves identifying the technology to be used, outlining implementation plans, and assessing risks associated with vulnerable assets that can impede the achievement of business objectives, whether caused by failures or external malicious actors.