What is Digital Transformation anyway?

What is Digital Transformation anyway?

Do you know a gadget junky?

My in-laws used to be kitchen gadget junkies, (sorry folks), constantly on the lookout for items to enhance their culinary exploits from the all-essential mushroom brush to the George Foreman grill. This resulted, as expected, in worktop overload, and I may have borrowed that mushroom brush….

We are sitting on the bomb in a technology gadget explosion, from apps that help you to wake up at the optimal time, diet and exercise planning and monitoring, to financial planning and time management.

Then when we grind to a halt from digital overload, we seek out a gadget-free retreat. No phone, no social media, no Clubhouse, and no idea what to do because we have forgotten what we did before: they have changed our behaviour.

The introduction of the washing machine was simply the automation of the washing process but arguably – along with other household gadgets, it enabled women to join the workforce. This changed behaviour and led to a transformation of the idea of domesticity.


Digitisation – taking an existing process or task and automating it with technology to create a more efficient way of doing the same thing, plus digitalisation – using technology in ways that create a whole new way of doing things – equals Digital Transformation.

A good example is the world wide web. Set up originally by Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at CERN in 1989, as a way of sharing documents between scientists, with click-through links to pull up the references.

The digitisation.

Now it is recognised as the most transformational technology of modern times – responsible for the dotcom boom: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Uber and all the rest. Without it we’d still be using Teletext – remember that? With no amusing cat pictures.

The digitalisation.

This last year has seen the forced digitisation of personal engagement on a mass scale. Although we hope to be able to comfortably meet again face to face at some point, those that harness the digitalisation possibilities of this change will be on the road to real Digital Transformation.

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