What Does Digital Transformation Mean?

The term “digital transformation” has become a buzzword lacking clear meaning. This blog post offers clarification for industrial organizations in an asset performance management (APM) context. Digital transformation is segmented into three categories with case examples of each to provide strategic guidance as to where organizations can focus their programs. These also help provide clarity for communications and avoid obfuscation. The three categories are:

  • Business process re-engineering for operations

  • New services for existing products

  • New business aligned with current domain expertise

Adding Clarity to Digital Transformation

A Google search on the term “digital transformation” (with the quotes) gets 12 million hits. The definitions found contain grandiose terms that lack a useful interpretation for industrial enterprises. Wikipedia, which usually has very instructive encyclopedic definitions, also has this difficulty, and ends with a vague statement about “going paperless.” As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digital transformation evolved, the term obtained broad meaning and use.


Ralph Rio, ARC Advisory Group: December 20, 2017