Digital Transformation Is Business Transformation

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

You’ve probably heard of digital transformation from tech enthusiasts who proclaim it’s the future.

And in today’s post we’ll go more in-depth and define the term and discuss the issues that go along with it.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation involves a business that is using or adopting new technology or digital technologies, to change the way the Business operates.

To be explicitly clear – it isn’t ‘digital’ a.k.a digital technologies that are transforming.

Instead,  ‘business’ transforms through using digital technologies.

We’ve given an example of digital transformation in our first blog post.

Let’s say, the Home Office UK processed Visa applications.

It then transformed its business by changing from a paper-based business model to an online or digital business model.

What the Home Office UK does hasn’t changed, but How it provides its service has
become more digitised.

They implemented scanning solutions, digital documentations and streamlined business processes to further remove paper from the process and become more ‘digital’.

What are the Problems With Digital Transformation?

A lot of businesses think digital transformation is the next big thing.

But there’s a problem, and the problem with digital transformation is two-fold:

  1. ‘Digital’ is the only focus by those in charge, or those leading the change.

It’s perceived that ‘because ‘digital’ is ‘transforming’ it creates a sense of urgency or panic.

Take for instance the infamous Y2K hysteria in the 1990s.

The Year 2000 bug or Millennium Bug as it was called then led to an emphasis in immediate and radical change because a lot of digital products would cease to function.

We all know how the story ended.

Although the armageddon didn’t materialise, it did instil a culture or phantom known as the ‘burning platform’ phase, which lingered around like a bad smell for the next decade or two.

People were constantly reminded that technology is our friend, but if not watched closely, it could also become a foe, which means everyone is focusing on it.

While focusing on digital isn’t a bad thing, there are some aspects of the Business’ transformation that you might ignore with an overemphasis on ‘digital’.

This leads me to my second point.

  2. If you focus too much on the ‘digital’, what is it you are not focusing on?

A data-driven organization is perceived as the next big thing.

Yet the Harvard Business Review found that there are critical challenges that companies must overcome before they can reap the benefits of digital transformation. 

In fact:


An eye-opening 77% of executives reported that business adoption of Big Data or AI initiatives remained to be a major challenge.

Additionally, only 7% of these executives cite technology as the challenge to adoption to digital transformation. Instead, 93% of respondents identify people and process as the key challenges.

Clearly, people and process are the biggest enablers of change – but 40.3% identify lack of organization alignment and 24% cite cultural resistance as the leading factors that contribute to the failure of digital transformation.

A similar study by New Vantage Partners 2019 Big Data and AI Executive Survey found similar results.

The study included 64 C-level technology and business executives representing very large corporations such as American Express, Ford Motor, GE, GM and Johnson & Johnson. While this a relatively small number of participants, they represented a large segment of the market, across different sectors.

The results found that 77% of those surveyed stated that although adoption of Big Data and AI initiatives remain a major challenge, 95% of the obstacles stem from people  and 

This proves what we advocate and teach as the key to successful digital transformation…

Technology is the enabler, but the real change happens with people, and process.

Regardless of what your technical enabler or ‘digital technology’ is that you are using in the transformation of your business, if you want to transform your business, where you begin is with people and process.

Thank you for reading this!


Heath Gascoigne

P.S. If you want to join our Business Transformator community of like-minded Business Transformators, join the community on the Business Transformator Facebook Group here.

P.P.S. If you want to learn more about business transformation, check out The Business Transformation Playbook here.

For more information, visit

  • 242

Can't get enough real insights? Subscribe to Transformology®!​

We’ll send jargon free insights that you can actually use to transform your business straight to your inbox once a week. 

Work Smarter, not Harder!

Subscribe to Transformology®

Connect with Us


Transformation Training Webinar

FREE Webinar

Are you a consultant, team or organisation embarking on your transformation and want to move from the model of transforming business? 

Join our free webinar and learn ‘The 6-Steps to Business Transformation Success!’

What's HOBA®?

HOBA® is the new way to transform organisations and the answer to the 70% failure rate of business and digital transformation projects today.

Learn more about HOBA®

Tired of being told what how to change your organisation?

Take control of your transformation and apply the systematic structured method that has already turned about many failing business transformations into success!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Articles.

Business Transformation Industry Is Broken

Business Transformation Industry is Broken

Why The Business Transformation Industry Is Broken? Before I show you how to transform your business, let’s define business transformation. What Is Business Transformation? Business Transformation is when a business changes the way it conducts business. It doesn’t necessarily change what it does, but how it does it.This can involve a change […]

  • 242
Read More »
Business Architecture Challenge

The Business Architecture Challenge

Let’s start this post by defining business architecture… What Is Business Architecture? Business architecture refers to an organization’s framework. The Business Architecture Working Group of the Object Management Group (OMG), calls it “a blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical […]

  • 242
Read More »
Aligns the Business

What Is Enterprise Architecture Really?

Let’s start this post by defining enterprise architecture… What Is Enterprise Architecture? Enterprise Architecture looks at both Business and Technology Architecture. TechTarget calls it “a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization”.Its aims to make sure your IT investment will help you achieve your current and future objectives at the […]

  • 242
Read More »
Business Transformation World

Get content like this sent directly to your inbox!

Scroll to Top
Business Transformator Genie 300 x 300

Want transformation insights delivered right to your inbox?


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.