Mr. Saffo, let’s start with a definition. What is digital transformation? Or is it a catch-all term like artificial intelligence that’s open to interpretation? Digital transformation is not so much a definable term as a polite expression of the terror companies are going through right now. It’s a moment in time where digital technology is changing everything, and as people are trying to understand it they throw a label on top of it. Digital technology is the solvent leeching the glue out of our business infrastructures, our organisations and our governmental entities. This moment reminds me of the early 16th century with the invention of moveable type and the publication of the first book. Print technology launched a revolution that transformed business and culture across European society. Today, the equivalent is bits. Digital technology, which was launched just about 70 years ago, is gaining traction now, and the revolution in terms of impacts is beginning.
How much of that is a shift in mindset and how much is a technological change? First we invent our technologies, then we turn around and use them to reinvent ourselves as individuals, communities, and cultures. The anxiety, uncertainty, and opportunity we see stem from how we respond to the opportunities presented by those technologies.