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Someone was asking me today what my definition of Digital Transformation is. My definition is below. I had to think about it because I will be doing a presentation on the topic of "Managing Digitial Transformation and Disruption" on May 6, 2019 at the PMI NJ Symposium and I will provide the audience with a link to this blog post so they can find more information. So, this blog post will most likely be updated over time.
My Definition of Digital Transformation:
Digital Transformation is the use of digital technologies (AI, IoT, Cloud, Big data and analytics, blockchain, AR, VR, drones, etc.) to transform business.
It's not just about changing existing systems to use these technologies, but it's about leveraging these technologies to transform business.
Digital Transformation is much more effective when it delivers a focus on the customer. There are several links below that demonstrate that importance.
Some helpful links:
Digital Transformation (DT) Definitions
- Brian Solis "The Definition of Digital Transformation" Jan 2017 - provides this graphic and definition of the 6 stages of DT. A very helpful article to understand the transformational stages provided by DT.
- TechRepublic defines Digital Transformation - including financial forecasts, a video and link to Forrester report.
- Zdnet "What is digital transformation? Everything you need to know about how technology is reshaping business" May 2018 - with video, text, and infographics, this article expresses spending figures around DT and top business projects.
- CIO "What is digital transformation? A necessary disruption" (Dec 2018) Includes links to secrets of highly successful DT and 7 Myths of DT. Includes some stats, examples, and advice.
- McKinsey: Five Moves to Make During a Digital Transformation : April 2019. This article emphasizes the following needs for successful digital transformation programs: clear objectives, bold scope, adaptive design, adopt agile, and clearly define leadership and accountability.
- How to Manage Disruptive Innovation - April 2019 Motley Fool interviews my friend John Cohn, IBM fellow. This article discusses several points about managing DT and my favorite point that John makes is to do it incrementally.
- Forrester "Forrester: Digital Rewrites The Rules Of Business" Feb. 2018 - This article (and accompanying white paper) stresses using DT to focus on the customer and deliver emotional customer experiences.
- Gartner: "Embrace the Urgency of Digital Transformation" October 2017 with a reference to the Gartner "Hype Curve"
- Forbes: "What Is A Digital Transformation And Why Should You Care?" - (Aug. 2018) A very good explanation of the new technologies that are driving digital transformation, examples, and what a businesses can do to be involved.
- Harvard Business Review "Digital Transformation Is Not About Technology" - gives a failure rate of DT initiatives and provides lessons learned about how to go about DT
- The "Business Agility Manefesto" - While not directly about DT, this article speaks about business agility which can be supported by DT
- Salesforce "What Is Digital Transformation?" (not dated) - This article defined DT and provides addittional chapters on why businesses are going through DT, Examples of DT, and how to DT your business.
- Linkedin Member post "Digital Transformation isn't only about Uber, Netflix, AirBnB or acronyms" Aug. 2007 uses a bit of humor (including a Dilbert comic), an example (in the job recruiting industry), and good story telling to show how he explains DT to customers.
- CIO: "Who in the C-suite owns emerging technology?" 2017 - Describes the clash at the C-lvel for ownership and responsibilty for emerging tech which enables DT.
- CIO "8 digital transformation mistakes (and how to fix them)" - October 2018
- Digital Transformation and AI adoption: 5 lessons from senior leaders - techrepublic April 2019 - gives methods of how to make DT and AI adoption successful
- Tasktop "Discover Why Digital Transformations Fail at Scale" - (not dated) Free download (without email registration) of an ebook "Why Agile and DevOps transformations are failing at scale"
- Forbes "The Three P's Of Digital Transformation" (April 2018) - Statistics relating to the challenges encountered with implementing DT strategy and ways to tackle these challenges. This article also emphasizes the importance of a customer experience centered strategy.
- CIO "12 reasons why digital transformations fail" (August 2018) - Great examples of how to learn from others
Digital Transformation and Project Management
- Silicon Angle "Gartner says AI will assume 80% of all project management tasks by 2030" Summary and reference to a Gartner press release of a similar title.
- Villanova University "Disruptive Technology: Expanding the Project Manager’s Role" - speaks to how PMOs have had to change their roles due to disruptive technologies. Emphasizes the need for Change Management
- TechRepublic "5 ways project management can help you hack digital transformation" Feb 2019 - Videos and Text- figures of companies with DT strategies and number successful, how project management will be involved and help
- Projectified with PMI "Digital Transformation — Why It Matters" Oct. 2017 - 26 minute podcast and transcript with DT definition, examples, culture.
- Simplilearn "Digital Transformation Hits the Project Management Profession Head On" Oct. 2018 - While this has a bit of advertising for their PMP classes, it does reference some stats on DT projects and an Altimeter group survey.
- The Telegraph "All change please: it’s digital transformation time" Nov. 2018 - This article supplies some business stats, viewpoint from Vodaphone CEO, and references a report.
Digitial Transformation Use Cases
- WIRED: "McDonald's Bites on Big Data With $300 Million Acquisition" - March 2019 - McDonald's is acquiring a Predictive Analytics company to provide customer centric service
- Informatica "Heard Enough About Digital Transformation From Uber and AirBnB?" Dec. 2016 Videos and text give additional examples of DT including Land O'lakes
- The Digital Transformation People "Are Digital Platform Companies Like Uber & Airbnb Disrupting Traditional Industries?" Feb 2017 Gives good infographics and examples.
Disruption / VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity)
- Forbes: "What Does VUCA Really Mean?" Dec. 2018 - Explains VUCA very well with a graphic
- Harvard Business Review: "What VUCA Really Means for You" Jan/Feb. 2014 - has a great chart with VUCA examples.
- PWC "Six AI Priorities you Can't Afford to Ignore" - Great list of business priorities for AI. The left navigation also has access to a video and more pertinent AI challenges to be tackled
- WIRED guide to AI
Customer Experience and Design Thinking
- The Right Way to Lead Design Thinking - Harvard Business Review March-April 2019. This article speaks about the importance of empathizing with the customer. There are good case history stories and a good example of how to navigate ambiguity.
- Project Complexity Model - This article explains many aspects of project complexity. Most, if not all of these, occur in DT projects