Background on the Digital Transformation

TransDigitalExpress This blog covers issues arising from the digital transformation we are experiencing in every area of life today.  Enough has been written already to convincingly establish the changes we are living through as of the significance of a third Industrial Revolution[1].  Focusing on different aspects, some have labeled the emerging new state of affairs as the “application economy”[2], the “digital economy”[3], and the “sharing economy”[4].

Whatever you call it, we are going through massive changes of the order that will cause deep social schisms and are worthy of being described as a major paradigm shift.  Largely this transformation is being driven by “users” and those shaping user experiences. It is being fueled by IT and a convergence of technical influences including component miniaturization, open source software and the ubiquity of high-speed network access.

These changes penetrate our whole lives; home, work, recreation, business, politics and religion. They re-shape our individual experiences and our interactions at all levels; family , friends, local social, national and global. Think about our dependance on smart phones and how that increases as you move towards the younger generations. Think about the disruption of traditional businesses by new technology based experiences like Uber, AirBnB, iTunes, Pandora, Skype, AppleTV, eBay, PayPal and Bitcoin.  Is there any area of life where an “app” or a computer based technology doesn’t augment or replace how we used to do things just a few years ago?

Every business is now in the software business to some extent. The ones destined to grow and survive long term are those that can embrace the digital world and re-invent themselves with software and data. Reinvent their value prop, their delivery methods, their business models and most of all the experience that their customers know them for. This is the digital transformation. It has only just begun, but is hurtling towards us like an express train out of control.


[1] For examples see this interview at and Jeremy Rifkin’s site about his book with the same name

[2] See CA’s definition of the Application Economy

[3] Horizon Digital Economy Research

[4] The Economist, 2013