Digital transformation: between buzzword and reality

12CDM 16 September 2020
 Digital transformation: between buzzword and reality

 The “digital transformation” is a buzzword which is used more and more often but its definition still remains unclear to many people and organisations. This analysis provides an insight into the understanding of this “digital transformation”.

Digital transformation is certainly the buzzword. Not only is it the subject of countless conferences and articles, a quick look at Google trends confirms its popular emergence since 2015.


This term represents a stinging reality indeed. The consumer has become extremely active. He questions and challenges the status quo and possesses an arbitration power, i.e. a growing power of sanction through the Internet. All businesses are facing a technological acceleration impacting upon the entire architecture of their value proposition.


Digital transformation impacts upon many different aspects:  

Barriers to market entry are becoming weaker and weaker

The famous uberisation which highlighted the fragility of economic models previously considered as solid (taxis, hotels, banks, etc.) can serve an example. 


Digital transformation sets the pace to an increasingly rapid innovation cycle 

The agility shown by start-ups and digital players made us confront a real technological revolution that appears to have no boundaries (streaming offers, drones, self-driven cars, virtual reality, connected objects, etc.)


The consumer has become extremely active

The consumer has a growing power as he or she has a resonant space of expression (internet and social media) and consequently a wide choice in the offers he or she chooses.


The frontier between a product and a service becomes tenuous

Customers seek an experience first of all. An impeccable experience making no boundary between offline and online channels.


Digital transformation, did you say “to transform”?

All these changes make last century companies and even companies of only 20 years vintage rethink their approach.

The digital transformation is not just about a digitalisation of product or service with provided e-commerce website.

The digital transformation requires a profound change of the processes and of the organisation. It implies positioning customers at the very center of all business strategy, i. e. it is customer centric. It is also important to review the value proposition in order to focus on the experience and therefore to question the business model.

The digital transformation is therefore a three-level revolution:


Organisation: how not to operate in silos by trade.

Customer experience: how not only to sell a product but offer an experience.

The business model: what value can I add that will attract customers to me? 

The digital transformation is a real revolution that scares companies because it requires a humility and a genuine desire for change. The basis of this transformation is human, and its source is a profound change of attitude, behaviour and practices. 


We would like to conclude with a Charles Darwin’s quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

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