Think Digital Transformation is About Technology? Think Again

The explosion in digital transformation that occurred during the last two years was fueled by a sudden need to accommodate a remote workforce, telemedicine, online learning and new channels for reaching and serving customers.

“The pandemic enabled these transitions, but it’s up to organizations to sustain the momentum,” says pioneering digital transformation strategist, technology futurist and leadership advisor George Westerman, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and author of the longtime bestseller “Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation” (2014). “Digital transformation is not a technology challenge, it’s a leadership challenge. It’s about changing the business, and the culture.”

In a series of MIT Sloan Management Review articles, Westerman helps leaders reframe thinking around digital transformation so they can prepare their organizations for the post-pandemic digital economy.

In his award-winning books, transformative MIT courses and countless articles and papers, Westerman highlights the need for leaders to think beyond acquiring the latest technology. Companies he considers Digital Masters are those that excel on two levels: They have better digital capability, but also have better leadership capability that enables their companies to change over and over again.

“Within months of the lockdown, we saw a decade’s worth of change,” says Westerman. “Going forward, companies with nimble leaders who challenge their ingrained assumptions around employee and customer needs will remain most relevant and competitive during, and long after, the pandemic.”

Whitney Jennings: