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What Caused Digital Transformation and Why Now?
By: Kevin Benedict
Apr. 27, 2016 03:00 PM
The words "digital transformation" appear everywhere today. I use them in discussions daily. They describe the era we live in - an era where the rules of business, strategies and the pace of business have changed. In this era the manner in which we operate our businesses, and interact with our customers, suppliers, employees, partners and even physical objects have changed. This new era is different. We feel urgency for more information, deeper insights, faster operational tempos and business agility. We recognize a need for change, but to what?
I propose that it is important to understand how we got to the era of digital transformation. What path led us here? What are the contributing factors? For that purpose, let's begin by considering how we moved over the past decade from a commercial environment full of disconnected unknowns, to the world of connected knowns. How we evolved from mass markets of faceless customers to precision markets of one. I propose that it is important to understand how we got to the era of digital transformation. What path led us here? What are the contributing factors? For that purpose, let's begin by considering how we moved over the past decade from a commercial environment full of disconnected unknowns, to the world of connected knowns today. How did we get here? I posit that rapid advances in six areas have converged to create the era of digital transformation:
The evolutionary path to digital transformation followed a timeline that included the invention and development of the following:
All of these innovations and advances, and our adoption of them, changed us. We are different consumers. We are different employers and employees. Our expectations increased. We became impatient and mobile. We became global. We demand immediate, accurate and real-time responses. We want personalized and contextually relevant experiences. We want digital experiences that are beautiful, simple and elegant. We want instant access to all products, services, news, information and friends' status. We want to share our lives instantly and globally. We want to find things, buy things, move money and complete transactions from anywhere at anytime.
All of these innovations and our resulting behavioral changes - changed commercial marketplaces and brought us to the tipping point. Definition of tipping point: the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more drastic change. That drastic change today is - digital transformation. Read more on digital transformation strategies here:
 Not a definitive list
Senior Analyst, Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant Writer, Speaker and World Traveler
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.
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