The Heart of the South West (HofSW) Digital Skills Partnership was launched in 2018, bringing together the public, private and third sector to tackle the digital skills divide in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. It is part of a pilot of six Local Digital Skills Partnerships created by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (now, Department of Science, Innovation and Technology).
As part of this effort, Devon County Council created Digital Advantage Devon to help tackle the digital skills divide in their region and to help businesses harness digital technology to become more productive, resilient and competitive. The programme is funded by ERDF and Devon County Council.
Digital adoption, especially for SMEs and micro-businesses, often starts at the top. Business leaders need digital skills, vision and purpose-driven strategy to successfully lead on technology adoption and implementation. Recognising that it is not just staff that needs to upskill, Devon County Council created a created a four-part leadership course to support busy leaders in gaining necessary digital skills and know-how so they are better positioned to drive their business forward through digital adoption.
With respect to leaders’ time demands, the series is delivered through a combination of group learning, one-to-one counselling and project coursework. The courses cover emerging and enabling technologies, implementation processes, risk management, staff training and how to develop a digital strategy for now and the future.
To underpin the Digital Advantage programme and its leadership course, Devon sought a digital tool that could assess businesses’ current digital maturity level, as well as track their progress over time. The tool had to be robust, flexible, and easy to use for both self- and adviser-guided assessments.
Winning Moves developed a local version of our Digital Capabilities Assessment Tool (DCAT) for the Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) to be underpin Devon’s Digital Advantage progamme and its leadership course. Powerful and proven, the tool supports businesses to identify digital capability strengths, as well as areas for development. Businesses use this data to create effective plans to improve their digital skills and to grow their business.
Predominantly a self-assessment tool, the diagnostic was designed for ease o use and impact, including features such as:
- Added value through all stages of the customer journey
- Quick to complete – ideally in 15 minutes or less
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Clear, jargon free language
- Adaptable to all SME sectors and sizes
The tool is based on our Benchmark Index platform, which has been used as the foundation for more than 100 business digital tools. It follows accessibility standards and is fully responsive and optimised for all main platforms and browsers, making it flexible, reliable and highly secure.
After discussion with the client, we amended our established question set to meet their specific needs. In its final form, the structure covered six broad areas:
- Developing a digital culture
- Workforce and skills
- Management and operations
- Product and service development and delivery
- Sales and marketing
- Regulations and compliance
Participants responses to the questions provide:
- Detailed current level of proficiency against each statement
- The future importance of each competency
- Digital Tools adopted and the level of proficiency in using them
- The future importance of each digital tool.
Users obtain feedback on their current levels of skills and proficiency instantly online. A more detailed, personalised report is available to download that breaks down the results and intelligently signposts businesses to relevant resources and support. The report also provides a basis for one-to-one consultancy.
After six weeks of development, Winning Moves delivered the customised tool to Devon County Council in early 2023. We also provided training to their advisers who will be supporting the businesses through Digital Advantage, while it is also available to be used as self-assessment tool.
Within the first two months of use, 50 Devon businesses used and benefitted from the Digital Maturity Index Tool. With the launch of the Digital Leadership Programme that number is expected in increase significantly.
To learn more about Benchmark Index, please visit the website here.