Digitalization and Business Transformation: 21st Century key challenges

So much noise about the digital business revolution! Looking for the signal in all that noise? This blog tries to separate hyperbole from facts.


Digitalization is creating a business environment of super competition. Conventional organizational models fail – established corporations can’t match the speed and therefore the success of their digital competitors. These days success depends more and more on businesses having a strong, customer centric digital DNA embedded in company practices and cultures. But what exactly should the organization transform to? And even if this target is clear, how should a company manage its transformation? These are two main questions of our decade, if not the main questions, corporations are puzzled about, irrespective of sector or geography.

If you are interested in these questions, this blog is for you. I will attempt to shed some light on what I perceive to be key challenges, concepts and approaches to digital transformation. The subject is big, so let me try to map out the journey in three way points:

  1. First, lets have a look on why digital transformation is different from business transformation in previous decades.
  2. Then I will focus on these differences first, their challenge to established business practice and hints how to tackle them.
  3. Finally we will going to work towards a cohesive, holistic framework to digital business transformation by adapting or revolutionizing current business transformation practices.

And of course: It is quite a personal take, a mashup on digital transformation. But I will build it on empirical evidence, a hoard of well accepted best practices and on accepted academic theories or business practioneer views, mentioning and collecting sources for you to refer to along the way. Truth is an elusive thing, so get engaged and slam my views by commenting: Hypothesis and Falsification is still the way to enhance knowledge!

My personal views are – for good or bad – influenced by my background and values. Let me shortly elaborate on this so that you know where i am coming from:

  • I studied economics in Germany and Scotland and hold a university degree in economics.
  • Specialized in empirical organizational theory during my studies and stayed with this pet subject ever since.
  • Had a strong exposure to IT as I started my career doing global ERP implementations and ventured into the start-up sphere building platforms and market places.
  • Spend 15 years in consulting all over the world, mainly as a program manager for major transformation projects of international clients within automotive, manufacturing, telecom and retail.
  • Have been a managing director for the last 5 years for a mid sized (about 920 MEuro) fashion retailer.

FT-177-Bearbeitet Kopie

As i focused so long on business transformation, the one constant over the whole period, I am subject to use the jargon of a manager and a consultant. Should you find yourself a victim of that just write a comment and I will try to explain and correct.

Hope you find the content useful and the journey entertaining!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *