Digital Transformation is Not New; Just Necessary

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Digital Transformation is Not New; Just Necessary

If you have been reading about digital transformation in last year or two, you might think this whole phenomenon is a recent trend sweeping organizations everywhere. The fact is, digital transformation is anything but new; it’s just become a necessity now.

Digital transformation started many decades ago even before the advent of the personal computer and Internet connection. Large organizations were already embracing change with mainframe data systems that could manage millions of data points that were once physical files and records. With the release of desktop publishing in the 80’s, the world of print production was disrupted as the physical process of printing and publishing began to turn digital and organizations started internalizing everything from word processing to creating “in-house” marketing materials.

In the early 90’s when the Internet first debuted, the opportunity for organizations to claim their intellectual property space came in the simplest form of registering a domain name and creating a first-generation Web presence. Although the world was far from connected, the transformation of digital technology continued to shift as millions of people started adopting email as a primary form of communication.

In the late 90’s, the money attached to technology created a currency and fever that built large-scale awareness. Digital technologies were now regarded as having a major impact on the future of business and human interaction. Although Internet connections were slow, and adoption of the world wide web was still far from critical mass, there was an era of risk and opportunity where millions of organizations participated by learning through experimentation.

In the 2000’s, broadband connection became a real and inexpensive option as higher speeds and more choices online drove people to begin changing their habits.  These consumer changes were starting to affect buying research, e-commerce, communications, collaboration as new digital businesses pushed the envelope on how to find offers and opportunities. Even with the advent of new social media platforms and high-speed connections, true digital transformation was still building momentum into the mindset of the mainstream organization.

In the 2010’s, after the financial crisis wore off, the pendulum of digital transformation swung hard as a perfect storm of better connectivity, user activity, and new digital business models became powerhouses almost overnight. The age of disruption was fueled by smart devices and an increasingly engaged population that was now hungry for digital solutions. Somewhere in that mix, the lifestyle habits of culture shifted where everyone developed their unique and personal relationship with digital technology. This phenomenon has now reached global, epic proportion.

So, in this current state of digital transformation, organizations are moving forward in all directions. This shift is not new; it has become necessary. No one can escape the fact that digital surrounds us with the promise of opportunity and change. The reason digital transformation is so important today is the rapidly changing behavioral relationship between people and technology. They are blending together, and the results of this massive shift are forcing every organization to transition accordingly or risk a default transition into the obsolete.

Peter Bowman is a digital strategist, growth consultant, and entrepreneur with twenty-five years of proven experience helping organizations and business owners succeed through digital transformation. Call him 904-295-6196 at to discuss your digital transformation status, needs or to learn more about having him help create Digital Transformation Plan for your organization.