Is there one best approach to digital transformation?

It's really easy for some of us, I'm using the royal us, to say that digital transformation doesn't apply, or that it definitely does apply. I think digital transformation and the journey that is digital transformation may apply to almost any company. When I look at companies that are assumed to be digital today... Google is a good example: What would Google have been if Google had started in 1985? They would have been a library. And who among most librarians today would say, "We might have a Google of an opportunity in our building, and in our partnerships with other buildings that offer books or information." Now, admittedly it's the format that allows it to get to where it is. But I would argue that if we spent a reasonable amount of time on it, we could get to the point where, whether you're a manufacturing firm with just 10 partners that you sell to, who sell to other people, or whether you're a flower shop or whether you're a bank or a new business that digitization in people and process and tools is a clear opportunity.

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Anonymous Author
It's really easy for some of us, I'm using the royal us, to say that digital transformation doesn't apply, or that it definitely does apply. I think digital transformation and the journey that is digital transformation may apply to almost any company. When I look at companies that are assumed to be digital today... Google is a good example: What would Google have been if Google had started in 1985? They would have been a library. And who among most librarians today would say, "We might have a Google of an opportunity in our building, and in our partnerships with other buildings that offer books or information." Now, admittedly it's the format that allows it to get to where it is. But I would argue that if we spent a reasonable amount of time on it, we could get to the point where, whether you're a manufacturing firm with just 10 partners that you sell to, who sell to other people, or whether you're a flower shop or whether you're a bank or a new business that digitization in people and process and tools is a clear opportunity.
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Anonymous Author
It is really hard for me to say digital transformation is the same regardless of company and stage and maturity... I have to say absolutely not. I think it is very much dependent on those things. I have had the opportunity to work at companies like Facebook that are digital from the ground up. I'm on the board of directors for Rackspace, which is a company that is transforming itself right now. They grew up as a digital company now they have to become the next generation of that. And I'm on the board for the high school business which did not start as a digital organization. They've just been thrust into that in the last year. And the steps these organizations have to take to deal with digitization are very different. So I think it is very much dependent on those factors and the approach should be different. Leadership necessarily is different. Even the technologies that you would look at are different.
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Anonymous Author
I'm now working for Samsara, which is serving what some would consider a pretty underserved market: industrial technology. Our primary product is for fleet management. We're a digital company bringing digitization to an industry that has had no optics for safety and management. That digital transformation looks completely different than it would from what I'm actually leading internally from an applications perspective. So I absolutely don't think it's one size fits all, I think it definitely varies across the spectrum of industry, stage of company, maturity of company, and what they're actually trying to achieve.
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Anonymous Author
IMO approaches for digital transformation need to be bespoke and depends heavily on the industry vertical, customer expectations, organizational culture and maturity, heritage of the organization, and the people. It’s like preparing an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone has one but there are variations.
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Anonymous Author
It certainly is not a cookie cutter approach, despite what consultants would have you believe. In saying that, there are a number of approaches which could be labelled "worst"
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