Digital Transformation Four Years On - Hype Or Reality - Navigate Transformation Inc

Digital Transformation Four Years On: Hype Or Reality?

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com by Jason Bloomberg

I joined Forbes as a contributor in June 2014, covering the relatively new topic of digital transformation. Now four years and over 230 articles later, it’s time to take stock of the trend.

Has digital transformation worn out its welcome? Are people still confused about what it is? Or perhaps its time has come, as enterprises and public-sector organizations around the world achieve real successes with their digital transformation initiatives?

To get a read on the current mood around digital transformation, I Googled for news stories over the last week featuring the term. In a mere seven days, dozens of articles discussed the notion, appearing in both technical and business sites around the world.

The encouraging news: for the most part, opinions align with the four core characteristics I believe are essential for defining digital transformation. Here’s what I found.

While digital transformation is software-empowered, it’s most important characteristic is the fact that it is customer-driven.

Dispelling the canard that digital transformation is about technology is finally showing signs of catching on. “While every industry has different customer types, the customer is always waiting to be wowed by a flawless experience,” says Phil Walsh, Head of North American Field Marketing at Cognizant CTSH +1.99%, in an article for Market Mogul. “This is true whether the focus is B2B or B2C; this distinction, frankly, does not really matter when it comes to digital transformation.”

This customer-focused principle holds in the public sector as well. “For public bodies, digital transformation is more than a revamped website, unified communications, a new CRM system, a Facebook profile or giving employees iPads,” explains Rob Whiteman, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) in the UK, in an article for Open Access Government. “It’s fundamentally changing the way that organisations design and deliver services and how they operate internally.”

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