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October 25, 2021

Introducing ScalePad’s Digital Maturity Index (DMI™)

Peter Martens

DMI™ is a credit rating-style score for an organization’s IT infrastructure risk

There’s a lot of detail to unpack in this post, so here’s what you’ll find:

  • What is the Digital Maturity Index (DMI)?
  • How did you set standards for the Digital Maturity Index? 
  • Why should my DMI score be important to me?
  • Why are my individual clients’ DMI scores important?
  • What is a good DMI score?
  • How is a DMI score calculated?
  • My client’s DMI score isn’t where it should be. How can I increase it?
  • If I don't use ScalePad Warranty Services, will it affect my DMI?
  • We’ve just made improvements, but the score hasn’t changed yet. When is the DMI calculated? 
  • There are good reasons my client has risky assets in their environment. Does that impact my DMI?

What is the Digital Maturity Index (DMI™)?

ScalePad’s Digital Maturity Index (DMI) is a dynamic score, recalculated daily, that objectively benchmarks your clients' IT environments against key productivity and risk factors. DMI provides a shared accountability framework for MSPs and their clients to make data-driven decisions on how to improve their technology outlook.

DMI is essentially a credit score for a technology environment, derived from analyzing it for risk. A 300 to 850 point scale was used to make it easy for you to explain to your clients, who may be familiar with scoring systems used by credit reporting bureaus to assess credit risk. 

Here’s how DMI scoring breaks down on a per-client basis:

300 - 579 (Poor) - This client's infrastructure has major deficiencies. Productivity challenges and downtime are very likely.

580 - 669 (Fair) - There are significant deficiencies in this client's infrastructure. Productivity challenges and downtime are likely.

670 - 739 (Good) - There are notable deficiencies with this client's infrastructure. Productivity challenges still exist and downtime is less likely.

740 - 799 (Very Good) - There are fewer deficiencies with this client's infrastructure. Reduced productivity and downtime are possible but unlikely.

800 - 850 (Excellent) - This client's infrastructure is exemplary. Productivity challenges and downtime are unlikely.

If you or your clients aren’t familiar with credit scoring, not to worry — read on to learn more about how the DMI works and what it can do for you.

How did you set standards for the Digital Maturity Index™? 

The DMI incorporates best practices as highlighted by our 9,000+ member partner base. Each partner has their own standards; however, DMI was created to identify the highest risks to clients to ensure they don't have a poor technology experience.

Why should my DMI™ score be important to me?

The DMI is an objective measurement of each clients' environment. It gives you a single number for each client, allowing you to quickly rank their infrastructure from best to worst. You can see which clients to prioritize for improvement initiatives before they get noisy and begin generating tickets.

Your MSP’s overall DMI score provides you with management insights as well — this is why we’ve included it in the Strategy dashboard. 

  • If you’re new to the MSP space and have just begun the process of converting break-fix clients to the MSP model, you will likely have a lower DMI score overall, as each individual client’s environment is not in an ideal state. You could expect your clients to create more tickets, and your techs to be busier triaging issues, meaning your operations require a higher tech to endpoint ratio and thus run at a higher cost. 
  • Conversely, if you have a more mature MSP, implementing and maintaining high hardware standards consistently across all your clients, you’ll have a high DM score. Instead of putting out fires, your team can focus on value-added services for your clients and roadmap projects that use technology as a business enabler. In other words, a low score means more techs; a higher score means more vCIO opportunities.

Why are my individual clients’ DMI™ scores important?

DMI provides an objective measurement of each clients' environment and presents it as a single number. It’s a simplified common language for MSPs and clients to discuss that environment. It helps you and your clients make data-based decisions to improve their technology experience.

What is a good DMI™ score? 

A higher score is always better. We recommend aspiring to the highest score possible so that clients have the best experience. That said, each client is unique and each business has different priorities and needs. A Very Good environment is likely acceptable.

How is the DMI™ score calculated? 

We use a proprietary algorithm to score the health of your environment based on asset data. The minimum score is 300, with a  maximum possible score of 850. Like a credit score assesses creditworthiness, DMI first and foremost assesses risk — because your MSP should be risk averse, the riskiest clients have the lowest scores, and clients with the least risk have the highest scores.

Your overall DMI is calculated from all assets under your MSP’s management. It is not an average of each clients' DMI™ scores.

My client’s DMI™ score isn’t where it should be. How can I increase it?

A low DMI score means there are many opportunities for improving a client’s technology experience, and the Insights shown on the four panes of the Client dashboard show you the way. 

Your top priority should be to address the four critical High-risk insights first, and then modernize your client’s other hardware and software. The least expensive and simplest way to mitigate risk (if your clients don’t have the budget to immediately replace aging servers) is to re-protect them with warranty coverage.

Depending on how your client currently scores, we recommend looking at different solutions to attack the problem and improve:

  • Poor - Work in triage mode. Determine the client's critical problems that can be addressed within their budget immediately to get some quick wins. Because the status quo is dire, the client may be receptive to implementing a larger improvement plan. 
  • Fair - Work on establishing standards with this client, and then prioritize and implement initiatives that will bring them up to meet those standards. You will find many opportunities for rapid improvement.
  • Good - Work on closing the identified gaps. Focus on bringing client infrastructure up to your established standards and eliminating time-consuming exceptions.
  • Very Good - Work on the initiatives for the remaining opportunities, and have conversations with this client about enabling their strategy and planning for future growth.
  • Excellent - While it’s difficult to increase this exemplary client’s DMI score further, this is an opportunity to plan for future business growth needs. Provide and demonstrate value by supporting strategic IT initiatives, enabling their growth and success by applying technology. 

Here are some tips on where to start. Create initiatives to upgrade: 

  • High-risk servers — servers that are over 7 years old and without any warranty coverage are at a significant risk of failure which could lead to extended downtime. 
  • Servers with an unsupported OS — servers with an unsupported OS will not get security updates, and thus become a significant risk factor for your clients. 
  • Assets without endpoint protection — servers or workstations that do not have endpoint protection software installed are a high security risk for the client’s organization. 
  • Servers over 7 years old and workstation assets over 5 years old — performance will have degraded on these assets and the risk of hardware failure has increased. 
  • Workstation assets with an unsupported Operating System installed — workstations with unsupported OSes will no longer receive security updates, and become a significant risk factor for your clients. 
  • Desktop installations of Microsoft Office that are not cloud-based Microsoft 365 — older installations of Office present an attractive attack vector and are not as secure as cloud-based 365.

Propose hardware replacements quickly and easily with templated Initiatives right from the ScalePad platform. See our new Initiatives feature to learn more.

If I don't use ScalePad Warranty Services, will it affect my DMI™? 

No, it does not. We offer ScalePad warranties on our platform as a better alternative to an outdated procurement process. Assets without warranties are an elevated risk, and we recommend all in-production devices have coverage. 

We’ve just made improvements, but the score hasn’t changed yet. When is the DMI™ calculated? 

A minimum of once per day. Check the update timer below the DMI score to see when it was last calculated. Environments are constantly aging and changing, so the score is updated dynamically.

There are good reasons my client has risky assets in their environment. Does that impact my DMI™? 

While there may be valid business reasons for your client to have certain deprecated hardware assets or unsupported OSes or software, DMI highlights risks in that client's environment. Right or wrong, your client will submit a ticket if an issue arises, so you need to be aware of these assets and the associated risks since you will likely have to expend considerable resources to fix problems with them (or explain why you won’t touch that 15 year old production line control system).

If you’re already a ScalePad partner, simply sign in and start using the DMI today. If you are not a ScalePad partner yet, sign up today or book a demo with our Partner Development team.

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