Defining Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is "a series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution's operations, strategic directions, and value proposition." Many people mistake digital transformation for other applications of information technology to work and personal life: digitization (of analog information) and digitalization (of processes) (see figure 1). But Dx is very different from either of these. It is more complex and more impactful. Our survey was careful to provide a definition and context for Dx to ensure that respondents were reporting on digital transformation rather than digitization or digitalization by defining all three and repeatedly clarifying whether we were asking about digital transformation, digitalization, or digitization.

Diagram breaking down the 5 steps to Digital Transformation in three stages as follows: Digitization: Changing from analog or physical to digital form. Includes Step 1 Digitize information and Step 2 Organize information.  Digitalization: Using digital technologies and information to transform individual institutional operations. Includes Step 3 Automate processes and Step 4 Streamline processes. Digital transformation: A series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution's operations, strategic directions, and value proposition. Includes Step 5 Transform the institution.
Figure 1. Digital transformation in context