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The two faces of digital transformation

Some pundits think digital transformation is yesterday’s news. Here’s why they’re wrong.

It’s fashionable among some professional technology pundits and futurists to complain “Why are CXOs are still talking about ‘digital’ and digital transformation? This is yesterday’s news.” The new shiny thing has now shifted somewhere else – digital is just part of the landscape now, right?

Unfortunately, no, that’s BS. Anyone who’s telling you this isn’t living in the real world – they’re living in an echo-chamber populated solely by other pundits.

So why isn’t this all done and wrapped up with a nice bow?

A big part of the reason is that many, many organisations are still figuring out what ‘digital’ means for them, and secondarily what digital transformation means – so they can start to make practical plans. But the answer to the former question is very context-specific, and the answer to the latter question is also multi-faceted.

Here I’m going to look at the second piece. There are two ways to read the phrase ‘digital transformation’, and they’re both crucially important to understand:

So the concept of digital transformation is partly about introducing new capabilities into an organisation to drive business results; but it’s also about driving that change in what will be a very new way for most organisations.

Let’s be specific here. ‘Transforming digitally’ means using the playbooks of digital natives – using strategies like these:

Why use these strategies? Because they’re born from the perspective that change is constant, change must be embraced, and change must be fast and confident. We should all know why that perspective is valuable.

From my recent conversations and interviews with CXOs, I’m finding that – just as there’s a multitude of perspectives on digital technology and its value – there’s also a lot of confusion about what digital transformation means.

So, in answer to a question I get asked quite a lot: no, digital transformation isn’t just the same as every other kind of transformation.

The post The two faces of digital transformation appeared first on The Advisor.

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