The concept of digital transformation has been around for decades, ever since we started replacing manual processes with more efficient ones using computer-based automation. However in the last few years, digital transformation became a central theme for all kinds of organizations, so it is necessary to understand what is driving this urgency.
The reason digital transformation became so prominent was the convergence of several technologies that taken together have created this perfect storm: the internet, cloud computing, mobility, sophisticated software, big data, blockchain, and smarter algorithms that allowed us to take automation to a level we recently considered science fiction. And some digital-native businesses emerged and rose to the top of the prominence and valuation charts while disrupting the business model of incumbents.
However as digital transformation takes hold, and older companies try to survive and thrive alongside the digital-native competitors, we find ourselves in a new economic reality with dazzling implications on how business will be done and how fortunes will be made. This new reality can be well described as the Idea Economy.
One definition I liked for it is this one:
“We’re now living in an Idea Economy where success is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than your competition.” — Meg Whitman, Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
So speed and agility will be core strengths of the new successful businesses. Let us note this important point, and then see how becoming a data-driven organization is a key competency, a key ingredient, for businesses to achieve the needed level of business agility.
There are many more facets and dimensions to digital transformation and although it has many common threads, it will vary by industry and market. A good place to start is to perform a digital maturity assessment for your particular organization, then identify the best roadmap for you.
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