January 22, 2020

What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't) - InformationWeek

If you're confused about what digital transformation means, you're not alone. But survey data highlights some agreement about how it's changing the way companies do business.
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Over the past few years, enterprise leaders have become captivated by the idea of digital transformation.

Perhaps that shouldn't be surprising given all the hype from analysts and vendors. These days it’s tough to find an enterprise technology product that doesn't advertise itself as a key ingredient in digital transformation. And expert analysis is full of promises that sometimes seem too good to be true. For example, Forrester proclaims, "Digital technology dramatically improves the economics and capabilities of every business. Using hardware, software, algorithms, and the Internet, it's 10 times cheaper and faster to engage customers, create offerings, harness partners, and operate your business."

That kind of promise is certainly enticing. But it's tough to find agreement on what exactly "digital transformation" means.

For some organizations, it just means getting into ecommerce. For others, it involves doing away with paper-based processes and becoming more efficient. Still others are embracing cloud computing, DevOps, automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to become more competitive. And many seem to be doing most of this and more.

Everyone does seem to agree that digital transformation involves harnessing technology to achieve business goals. But even those goals seem to differ from company to company. Some want to generate more revenue. Others want to do a better job engaging customers, and still others are hoping to become more innovative and disrupt their industries. And of course, some are hoping for all the above.

So, what do companies agree on about digital transformation?

The following slides take a closer look at some survey data that helps shed light on what digital transformation is and isn't. It examines organization's track records with digital transformation so far and considers where it might take them next.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay
Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio
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