What Exactly Is Digital Transformation?  

So, what is digital transformation anyway? Many people who utter the words are repeating something they have heard others say, rather than leveraging a concept they deeply understand. Here are a few memorable definitions from various industry players:


“Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. The reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.”


“A necessary disruption; a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people, and processes to fundamentally change business performance; companies have embarked on digital transformation journeys to counter the potential for disruption from incumbents and startups.”



“Companies are pouring millions into digital transformation initiatives — but a high percentage of those fail to pay off. That’s because companies put the cart before the horse, focusing on a specific technology (“we need a machine learning strategy!”) rather than doing the hard work of fitting the change into the overall business strategy first.”

At Dataiku, we see a parallel to this one a lot when organizations say “We need to do AI!” without having a plan in place to get there and facilitate that change in a way that will drive business value. More often than not, the fundamental tension (for both digital and data/AI transformation) stems from organizations trying to make headway without a clear plan.

The TL;DR is that digital transformation has been happening for years (we’re talking since the 1940s and 1950s) and organizations all have a different meaning of it based on where their digital maturity and sophistication currently stands, but also how old the company is. For example, digital transformation will hold an entirely different meaning for a 100-year-old company versus a 20-year-old one.

To read full download the whitepaper:

Digital + Data/AI Transformation: Parallels and Pitfalls

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