A Simple Guide to Assessing Mobile Maturity

JULY 6, 2016 // By Russ Miller

“Jim, how do our company’s mobile capabilities rank against our competitors? What do we need to do be the Uber of our industry?”

If you’re Jim, you have your work cut out. Often you’ll want to start with an effort to gauge your current “mobile maturity”—where you are now—and then map out steps to grow and compete at a target level.

Assessing your organization’s level of mobile maturity is a daunting task—the mobile ecosystem is a large, fluid and complex web of people, processes and technologies. And shooting for “Uber-fication” is a tall order only a few companies—all startup/disruptors—have mastered. What’s more, by the time you complete a typical full organizational evaluation and plot a path forward the landscape will have shifted, sometimes significantly.

Industry Guide Posts

Looking to leading industry analysts, Forrester and Gartner each provide approaches to evaluating mobile maturity based on progressive frameworks.

Based on the seminal book The Mobile Mind Shift, Forrester has developed the Mobile Mind Shift Maturity Framework (subscription required). In short, Forrester sees mobile maturity as a progression through four key stages:



Shrink and Squeeze
Move PC experiences to mobile devices


Mobile First
Enhance physical world experiences with mobile; add unique mobile experiences


Customer Experience Transformation
Identify “mobile moments” that proactively engage in context


Business Disruption
Mobile disrupts whole industries, business models—not just digital business

Gartner takes a five-stage approach to their Mobile Maturity Model (subscription required) which is more process improvement oriented:

Five stage approach to mobile maturity model


Ad Hoc
A few apps, tangential to business, no strategy


Business drives, strategy needed, siloed technology


Core channel, strategy prioritizes, technology stable, reusable


Core business mobilized, strategy continually evaluated


Analytics drive capabilities and prioritization, social- and context-aware apps

Both models are very useful maps for pinpointing your current position, identifying steps to improve outcomes and finally transforming your business. However, as Gartner pointed out in a recent webinar, “evaluating all the elements [of mobile maturity] takes too much time” and that “a complete evaluation may not tell more than a limited one.”

Getting a Mobile Maturity Snapshot

So, what’s an efficient and effective approach if you want to get a quick snapshot of your current position? Based on working with a variety of clients’ (of widely varying levels of maturity) mobile initiatives over the years, we believe that there are seven key areas that go a long way toward quickly determining current mobile maturity level:

  1. Prioritization
  2. Measurement
  3. Ownership
  4. Governance
  1. Talent
  2. Technology
  3. Customer Experience


For each area (and in no particular order) we’ll briefly describe three levels of maturity on the scale and also reference related content should you wish to dig in further.

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1. Prioritization


How does your organization identify and then determine which mobile initiatives will be worked on? (See also Magenic’s Why Your Mobile Initiative Isn’t Getting Funded)




When someone in IT has spare time we see what they can do with this mobile thing

We have a mobile steering group that prioritizes projects for our business unit

We’re executing an enterprise digital transformation strategy where mobile is prioritized as a key enabler


2. Measurement


How does your organization measure mobile initiative success? (See also Magenic’s Developing a Mobile Analytics Strategy)




Success is simply completing the work on time and on budget

We have some basic analytics in place but adoption is what we’re looking for

We’re constantly measuring business outcomes enabled by mobile products—and making adjustments accordingly

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3. Ownership


How does your organization approach management of mobile products? (See also Magenic’s Mobile Project Vs. Mobile Product)





We have assigned IT BAs as part-time product owners who liaise with a business partner

We have dedicated mobile product managers who work in concert with our product management organization and marketing teams

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4. Governance


How does your organization manage mobile initiatives and products over time? (See also Magenic’s 8 Reasons Why You Need Mobile Governance)




Well, no one’s really using the app we built, so…

We have a mobile steering group that attempts to drive standards and share knowledge between teams in our business unit

We have dedicated enterprise Mobile Center of Excellence (mCOE) team focused on innovation and enabling business outcomes

hat with helicopter blades

5. Talent


How does your organization ensure that top minds are designing, delivering and evolving product? (See also Magenic’s Best in Class Consultants or Learning on Your Dime)





Our top minds are busy working on real important projects, not mobile

We still trying to find the balance between internal resources, existing consulting partners, and agencies; we find they each don’t have experience with key parts of mobile

We have built strong internal development teams as a competitive advantage and augment these teams with consulting partners to achieve higher velocity

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6. Technology


How does your organization ensure the technology foundation for mobile initiative investment will be effective and durable? (See also Magenic’s Choosing a Mobile Development Platform)




We develop on whatever is free, hot at the moment and leverages technologies we already know

We’ve standardized on a few technologies that are compatible with our teams’ skills but are finding they have limitations

We work with mobile experts to define and implement mobile technology stacks and integration infrastructure that supports standard as well as innovative approaches to mobile product development

mobile phone icon

7. Customer Experience


How does your organization ensure that customers’ (internal, partners, external) mobile experiences are high quality and exceed expectations? (See also Magenic’s Frictionless Mobile Experiences and Why They Matter)




Our developers design screens and do their own QA; we’re still not sure why no one is using our apps

We’ve got UX and QA resources who have mobile skills and understand how to design and test mobile apps but our process is still slow and sometimes prone to oversight

Our Mobile UX and Mobile QA teams have the tools and processes in place to both quickly design and test apps, including through automation

Maybe you’ve been scoring your organization as you’ve been reading. How did you do? Of course, the biggest room in the house is always the room for improvement!

How Magenic Can Help

While the journey toward mobile maturity for each client is unique, Magenic has learned a great deal from our own and clients’ mobile successes (and failures) over the years. A number of common themes have emerged and proven relevant for clients across many industries as they work toward mobile maturity.

Evaluating your current mobile maturity level, and then identifying an actionable, measurable plan to meet your business’s objectives, is a service we can tailor to suit your unique scenario and objectives. We offer strategic consulting engagements and workshops that address key parts of the reaching mobile maturity so we can bite off a piece at a time together if that approach is right for you.

Interested in learning more? Contact us and we can show you how Magenic’s Mobile Practice can help you take the right approach to developing your plan to grow your mobile program toward maturity.

Categories // Mobile
Tags // Mobile, MVP, Mobile Strategy, UX, Mobile Development

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