Book Review- Digital Transformation: A Model to Master Digital Disruption

We don’t communicate, do business or even entertain in the same way it was 10 years ago. With so many technological disruptions that shapes our life, we experience different outcomes of what is called “Digital Transformation“. As per Wikipedia, Digital Transformation is defined as “the transformation of business by revamping the business strategy or digital strategy, models, operations, products, marketing approach, objectives etc., by adopting digital technologies”.

b990bebb5d3f42a4109e6b29da69ddf4.jpgThe definition sounds simple, yet, as the authors of Digital Transformation: A Model to Master Digital Disruption book said, it is as difficult as trying to answer this question: “How can you rebuild a plane while you are flying it?”. While we all understand that the Digital Transformation did not happen suddenly; it emerged through as a series of waves of moving from analogue to digital, and from building advanced computers, widely-spread internet connections, different social media platforms, and finally mobile ecosystem. Despite of that, we all know that we cannot switch off our business until we fully embrace this transformation. We have to rebuild our planes white we are flying with them.

Dose it sound impossible? Well, we are surrounded with many examples about how technology changes industries like music, photography, TV, News media, Recruitment and Travel industries through new entrants like Netflix, LinkedIn, Uber, Airbnb, Booking.com and many more. Disruption will continue to impact our industries forever so it is better to learn how to deal with it.

The authors suggested a Digital Transformation Model that consists of 5 layers as shown below

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Digital Transformation Model (Source: same book)

The First Layer: Create Insights

In this layer, the organization works hard to get everyone onboard so they can open their eyes on the outside digital transformation. This could be done through meetings, communications, and networking.

The Second Layer: Impact Analysis

The goal of this layer is to understand the impact of the digital transformation on the business itself.

The Third Layer: Scenarios’ Planning

In this layer, the organization sets different future scenarios on how digital transformation might affect its business.

The Fourth Layer: Business cases

The purpose of tis layer is to suggest and evaluate different projects that are needed to face the digital transformation in the organization.

The Fifth Layer: Trends watching

The goals of this layer is to keep watching the external trends in our industry.

The book tackled also the other critical elements in the digital transformation journey starting from the need to a dedicated Chief Digital Officer as a permanent role, the importance of applying a structured change management approach, the value of managing by data, the value of having Digital Officers, Digital Leads, and Digital Supporters who all act as ambassadors for the digital transformation agenda in the company, and finally, how much should we spend on this agenda and many more.

A very good summary for the who concept the book covered is:

“If you decided by now that you will be taking digital transformation seriously, you know you cannot continue this way. Setting up a digital office, hiring a CDO, setting out a roadmap with small and large projects, initiating internal change, acquiring companies and talent, it will all cost money. You invest in digital transformation or you will not transform and eventually go down through disruption. It is that simple”.

Although that was my first book about Digital Transformation, it gave me very good insights about the topic and successfully opened my eyes to many examples around me. I highly recommend this book.

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