Digital-Business Transformation: What Does It Mean to You?

Digital-Business Transformation has become a "catch-all" phrase today, molded to fit many offerings, creating a huge amount of complexity around what was a relatively simple concept. Less than fifty percent of companies worldwide understand the true meaning of transformation; in fact, only a few companies are making rapid strides in the area starting a cone of distribution of companies across industries.

This race of transition from "laggards" to "middle of the pack" to "leaders" seems more like crowds hopping on to a train that is leaving a platform without asking where they want to go and if this is the train we want to be on! It then becomes pertinent to take a pause and check what exactly do we mean by Digital-Business Transformation?

In our Global Digitalization and Transformation Survey 2019, we asked them the same question – "What does digital transformation mean to you?" The answers surprised us.

The four definitions of Digital Transformation


We gave the respondents four choices as well as an option to come up with their own definition. Here is what we found:

  • Basic Websites: A simplistic approach where transformation means the deployment of a standalone, information-oriented website for a function or department.
  • Integrated Websites and Portals: Transformation in this approach means the integration of most or all websites related to a function or department. These integrated sites have a combination of informational content and process or transaction capabilities.
  • Reinvented Experiences: This model represents an approach where the focus is on providing a 'hybrid' stakeholder experience by digitalizing the chain of activities. It combines existing processes, content, and engagement with new content, process, and transaction capabilities. These are well-defined and continuously upgraded.
  • Transforming Products-Services & Digitalizing the Value Chain: An approach where the company transforms its products & service portfolio for competing in the digital era while reinventing its value chain with a business function and across the enterprise. It invests in sophisticated digital capabilities, sometimes disrupting previously successful business models to deliver a re-imagined customer value proposition that offers a holistic digital experience.

Only 7% of companies have transitioned into a state where they define their future independent from their past. These are the leaders across all industries. Following them closely are 39% of companies which are reinventing their value chains. The remaining, estimated at over 50%, are still in the world of websites and portals. These companies have to evolve to higher levels of maturity quickly.

How does Trasers define Digital-Business Transformation?

Since the Internet and Mobility, we have seen various waves of technology come in over the past two decades. In retrospect, we can categorize them into three waves with each pioneer of each succeeding wave taking off before the wave comes to a rest. We begin with the well-known acronym -SMAC or Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud. As these technologies converged and became interwoven, we transitioned into Digitalization. This pattern is foundational and will continue for the next five to seven years. During this time, companies would have reached a ‘tipping point’ where a majority of models and processes are digitalized.


Transformation is not a destination - it is a continuous process with no finish lines for winners!

There is no final phase in this journey. Business Transformation is a continuous and iterative state achieved via a function of four elements- Leadership IQ & Decision Making in the Digital Era; Product & Service Portfolio Transformation; Value Chain Transformation; and Organization, Talent and Cultural Transformation. Companies that get this will move rapidly.

Learn more from Trasers - lead Transformation with fact-based insights!

Trasers insights are based on comprehensive GDTS 2019 surveys and engagement with leaders (Directors and above) with over 9,300 responses and an analysis of over 1 million data points. Our insights are fact-based and organized into industry-specific libraries for Boards & CEOs, CXOs of Business Functions, CIOs, and their direct teams. We present all our insights through a digital collaboration platform designed for leaders to share their perspective with teams and to drive action and collaboration. Subscribe, Read, Lead and Succeed in your digital-business transformation.

Coming Next- Current State of Digitalization & Future Investments across the Enterprise!