Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Background: Maturity models are strategic and systematic instruments that help firms in the process of digital transformation. They are widely used as tools to display trajectories to guide the progression from an analog to a digital stage. To date, maturity models for industries such as manufacturing, software development, public services, telecommunication, and startup companies have been developed, and also being applicable in real-life practice. However, for the sector of personal services (e.g., education, retail, hospitality, healthcare, arts and entertainment, and craftmanship), maturity models are missing. To address this gap, this research aims to present a digitalization maturity model for the specific needs of personal service firms, and evaluate its applicability, usefulness, and impact in practice.

Method: The research is embedded in a comprehensive Design Science Research cycle. Based on descriptive and prescriptive knowledge, a maturity model has been developed. This paper evaluates the applicability, usefulness, and impact of the maturity model by conducting a mixed-method approach, including a survey with 30 experts from personal service firms and eight semi-structured in-depth expert interviews.

Results: Our results indicate that the maturity model serves as a strategic and systematic tool for short-, mid-, or long-term digital transformation projects by guiding personal service firms through consecutive development maturity stages until reaching a so-called stage of “digital maturity”. The model has been determined to be applicable, useful, and to potentially impact personal service firms towards the development of a digital business ecosystem.

Conclusion: The presented maturity model offers guidance for personal service firms to achieve the transition from analog to digital and serves as a basis for future research in developing effective instruments and strategic tools to cope with challenges from digital transformation.