Digital transformation

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Digital transformation (DX) is the adoption of digital technology by an organization.[1] Common goals for its implementation are to improve efficiency, value or innovation.[2][3]


Digitization is the process of converting analog information into digital form using an analog-to-digital converter, such as in an image scanner or for digital audio recordings. As usage of the internet has increased since the 1990s, the usage of digitization has also increased. Digital transformation, however, is broader than just the digitization of existing processes. Digital transformation entails considering how products, processes and organisations can be changed through the use of new, digital technologies.[4][5] A 2019 review proposes a definition of digital transformation as "a process that aims to improve an entity by triggering significant changes to its properties through combinations of information, computing, communication, and connectivity technologies."[1] Digital transformation can be seen as a socio-technical programme.[6][7]

Adopting digital technology can bring benefits to a business,[8][9] however, some company cultures can struggle with the changes required by digital transformation.[10]

A 2015 report stated that maturing digital companies were using cloud hosting, social media, mobile devices and data analytics, while other companies were using individual technologies for specific problems.[11] By 2017, one study found that less than 40% of industries had become digitized (although usage was high in the media, retail and technology industries).[12]

As of 2020, 37% of European companies and 27% of American companies had not embraced digital technology.[13][14] Over the period of 2017-2020, 70% of European municipalities have increased their spending on digital technologies.[13][15]

In a 2021 survey, 55% of European companies stated the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for digitalization, and 46% of companies reported that they have grown more digital.[16] Half of these companies anticipate an increase in the usage of digital technologies in the future, with a greater proportion being companies that have previously used digital technology.[17][18] A lack of digital infrastructure was viewed as a key barrier to investment by 16% of EU businesses, compared to 5% in the US.[13] In a survey conducted in 2021, 89% of African banks polled claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the digital transformation of their internal operations.[19]

However, since there are no comprehensive data sets on the digital transformation at the macro level, the overall effect of digital transformation is still too early to comment.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b doi:10.1016/j.jsis.2019.01.003
  2. ^ Schmarzo, Bill (31 May 2017). "What is Digital Transformation?". Archived from the original on 2019-11-30. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  3. ^ Wren, Hannah (1 December 2020). "What is digital transformation? Definition, Examples, Main Areas". Archived from the original on 2020-12-02. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  4. ^ Matt, Christian; Hess, Thomas; Benlian, Alexander (2015). "Digital Transformation Strategies". Business & Information Systems Engineering. 57 (5): 339–343. doi:10.1007/s12599-015-0401-5. S2CID 30892786.
  5. ^ Hess T, Matt C, Benlian A, Wiesböck F. Options for Formulating a Digital Transformation Strategy. MIS Quarterly Executive. 2016;15(2):123-139.
  6. ^ Hartl, Eva and Hess, Thomas, (2019). "IT PROJECTS IN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: A SOCIO-TECHNICAL JOURNEY TOWARDS TECHNOCHANGE". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8–14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research Papers.
  7. ^ Butt, Aurangzeab; Imran, Faisal; Kantola, Jussi; Helo, Petri (2021). "Cultural Preparation for Digital Transformation of Industrial Organizations: A Multi-case Exploration of Socio-technical Systems". Advances in Physical, Social & Occupational Ergonomics. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems. Vol. 273. pp. 457–463. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-80713-9_58. ISBN 978-3-030-80712-2. S2CID 237298363.
  8. ^ Aleksej Heinze; Marie Griffiths; Alex Fenton; Gordon Fletcher (2018). "Knowledge exchange partnership leads to digital transformation at Hydro-X Water Treatment, Ltd". Global Business and Organizational Excellence. 37 (4): 6–13. doi:10.1002/JOE.21859. ISSN 1932-2054. Wikidata Q56622208.
  9. ^ Westerman, George; et al. (2014). Leading Digital: Turning technology into business transformation. ISBN 9781625272478.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ McConnell, Jane (28 August 2015). "The Company Cultures That Help (or Hinder) Digital Transformation". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 12 January 2017.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Kane, Gerald; et al. (14 July 2015). "Strategy, not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation". Archived from the original on 2015-07-17. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  12. ^ Bughin, Jacques; et al. (9 February 2017). "The case for digital reinvention". Archived from the original on 2017-02-09. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b c "EIB Investment Report 2020-2021". Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  14. ^ "Unlocking Private Investment in Climate Adaptation and Resilience". World Bank. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  15. ^ "Smart Cities and Inclusive Growth" (PDF). OECD. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-05-30.
  16. ^ Bank, European Investment (2022-01-12). EIB Investment Report 2021/2022: Recovery as a springboard for change. European Investment Bank. ISBN 978-92-861-5155-2.
  17. ^ "EIB Investment Report 2020-2021". Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  18. ^ "EIB Corporate Digitalisation Index 2020/2021: Most EU countries are trailing the United States in digitalisation". European Investment Bank. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  19. ^ Bank, European Investment (2021-11-18). Finance in Africa: for green, smart and inclusive private sector development. European Investment Bank. ISBN 978-92-861-5063-0.
  20. ^ Kretschmer, Tobias; Khashabi, Pooyan (August 2020). "Digital Transformation and Organization Design: An Integrated Approach". California Management Review. 62 (4): 86–104. doi:10.1177/0008125620940296. ISSN 0008-1256.