What is digital transformation?


digital transformation

The wave of digital change sweeping industry

Digital transformation is a term that has moved from obscure to almost common place. In a nut shell digital transformation is the evolution of businesses from a purely physical presence to virtual and predominately online. In the time before cloud computing and SaaS most business processes were either paper based or run on a desk top with proprietary software. Today most businesses sales, marketing and workflows are becoming digital, paperless and cloud based. The migration from physical, paper based processes to virtual and cloud based is a big part of the digital evolution.

I have been fascinated by digital transformation for over a decade and first started blogging about it in 2008. However, back in 2008 the term digital transformation did not exist. In 2008 I started writing a series of blog posts titled “The Forces of Change” (essentially digital transformation). Every couple of years I would be inspired to revisit and update the series. Well … with COVID 19 being the great digital transformation catalyst 2020 seems like a great time to revisit these posts and do another update.

2008 to 2012 – Forces of Change blog post series

Forces of Change and Change Accelerant were blog posts series from 2008 and 2012 respectively. The 2012 posts have links to the original content. However, the 2008 post will be posted over the coming weeks and months. Unfortunately due to a blog conversion processing error all of my posts prior to 2012 were lost. I do still have the word version of the posts and will be republishing them. I think the posts are as or even more relevant today than they were a decade ago. Here is a bullet form history of the posts on “forces of change” blog post series.


Transition from TV Industrial Complex to a Knowledge Based Society
Business Model Migration
From Lifecycle to Long tail
Rise of the Micro-multinational

2012 – Global Economy – Change Accelerant

Japan style slow growth
Financial Crisis

Repost | Revisit | Review “Forces of Change” Blog Post Series

I look forward to revisiting / republishing these posts over the coming weeks and months. I will be adding eight to ten years of reflection, the benefit of 2020 hindsight and looking through the lens of digital transformation to analyze the posts. The intent is to provide some critical thinking on these post and then do a 2020 update on the series. One of the aspects of COVID 19 that we are just starting to get a handle on is how much it will accelerate digital transformation. We live in interesting times!

Ian Graham