Key Ingredients of a Digital Transformation (DX) Recipe

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We are hearing a lot about “digital transformation” in the workplace, but what does it mean and what are some of the current statistics and trends. This post discusses the key ingredients for a successful DX implementation.

Definition of DX

According to Bill Schmarzo, CTO of Dell ECM Services (aka Dean of Big Data), Digital Transformation is:

“The coupling of granular, real-time data (e.g., smartphones, connected devices, smart appliances, wearables, mobile commerce, video surveillance) with modern technologies (e.g., cloud native apps, big data architectures, hyper-converged technologies, artificial intelligence, blockchain) to enhance products, processes, and business-decision making with customer, product and operational insights.”

Gartner describes it as:

“Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models.”

And Wikipedia explains it as:

Digital transformation (DX) is the adoption of digital technology by a company. Common goals for its implementation are to improve efficiency, value or innovation.

Merging these persepectives together, DX can be defined as an organization’s digital footprint; their commitment to the technological modernization for the continual improvement of organizational processes and business value; and their leadership capability in the digital age that enables effective business models.


DX Latest has compiled a number of current statistics and trends on Digital Transformation from various sources.

  • 38% of traditional enterprises and 55% of start-ups have already adopted digital business strategy technology.
  • 89% of enterprises have plans to adopt or have already adopted a digital-first business strategy.
  • 39% of Executive expect their organisations to get the most value out of digital initiatives in 3-5 years.
  • 44% of Europeans between the age of 16 and 74 years do not have basic digital skills
  • Speed of technology adoption: In 2017, <10% of enterprises used multi-cloud strategy. This figure is expected to be 70% by 2019.
Key ingredients of a successful DX implementation

1. Digital Leadership

Ritter (2005) defines digital leadership is the strategic use of an organisation’s digital assets. It is how these vital assets are effectively and efficiently managed to solve business problems and achieve business value.

At an individual level, it is a defined role, for example CIO, who is responsible for leading the development of strategies to get more business values out of digital assets.

There are three chracteristics of a digital leadership: mindset, skill set, and tool set. A digital leader must have a digital-age mindset i.e. a specific leadership capability to lead in the digital age.

Understanding the importance of building digital leadership capacity is the first step in developing a digital capability.

2. Digital Capability

JISC descibes digital capability as “the skills and attitudes that individuals and organisations need if they are to thrive in today’s world”. They articulate that digitally capable employees are essential in acheving a high level of organisational digital capability.

Technologies also play an important role in the development and improvement of an organisation’s digital capability.

Digital leadership capability is the first element in developing a digital capability.

3. Digital Strategy

According to Indeed and Incremental, Digital Strategy is a plan (or an approach) that lays out the skill sets, competencies, technologies required by an organisation to thrive in the digital age.

It can be referred to as a roadmap that guides the management and use of an organisation’s digital assets setting a direction towards a successful digital transformation.


Statistics shows that organisations are adopting digital transformation in a rapid pace (70% by 2019). The recipe for success for these initiatives must contain at least these three key ingredients – digital leadership, digital capability, and digital strategy.


Ritter, J., 2015. Digital Leadership. [Online] Available at:,be%20addressed%20at%20both%20organizational%20and%20individual%20levels. [Accessed 8 November 2019].

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