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2018  – The Year of Digital Transformation?

This guest blog is from Tim Davis, a data thinker and interaction communication strategist who works regularly with us here at Designate.

Do you remember which year was predicted to be the year of mobile?
Or precisely when the year of customer-centricity gave way to the year of data-centricity?
It didn’t – I made that one up. But you get the point.
These attention-grabbing headlines are simply a means of shining the spotlight on an issue at a time when priorities for the coming year are being set.
A note to self, if you like, to pay more attention to (“insert zeitgeist here”) in the coming twelve months.

As far back as 1992, William Gibson said “The future has arrived — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” The same can be said of digital transformation.
So why is digital transformation still such a hot topic?
Partly because the term is loosely defined and is therefore flexible enough to incorporate the most recent innovation.
And partly because as an agenda item it has attracted the close attention of the c suite.

You know how young children who’ve just learned to say the word “Why?” insist on repeating it?
During the Christmas holidays, a version of the following conversation may be overheard:

“Not now dear, mummy has something to finish for work”
“Why?”
“Mummy’s company needs a strategy for digital transformation.”
“Why?”
“So that she can serve her customers better.”
“Why?”
“Because mummy’s customers demand more today.”
“Why?”
“Because they have more choice of shiny new toys.”
“Why?”
“Because other companies are making toys that mummy’s company can’t make.”
“Why?”
“Because mummy’s company still makes toys the same way it did when grandpa was your age.”
“Why?”
“Because mummy’s company needs a strategy for digital transformation.”
“Oh, can I have some more chocolate?”

For me, the focus on digital transformation is born of a business imperative to remain relevant.
Markets and consumers are experiencing seismic change.
Much of this change is technologically driven or enabled.
Within existing ecosystems, change is particularly disruptive to established market leaders, as legacy systems and historical processes act as a brake on innovation.
Organisations that do not adapt (and quickly) will not survive.

The big question behind the focus on Digital Transformation?
“Using the latest technology, how could we enhance what we do to exceed changing expectations?”

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