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Digital Transformation Recommended Reading

Updated: May 25, 2022

A wealth of literature is available for those seeking information about the challenges of digital transformation. There is one caveat though – many of them are written for much larger markets and businesses than those found in New Zealand. It can be hard to relate the examples and strategies when the scale is different.

Notwithstanding that, there are a number of thought-provoking books on the subject of digital transformation, and many of them are cracking good reads too.

Vaporized: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World by Robert Tercek describes information, like matter, as existing in three states: solid (such as a book), liquid (digitised), and gaseous (moving with you wherever you go on a smart device). It’s quite a fun read - although in the six years since it was written, some points are starting to look a bit dated.

Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Business Disruption by Tim Goodwin describes four types of disruption: self-disruption, continuous reinvention, measured bets, and hedged bets.

Goodwin’s central point is that to survive, businesses must be willing to put innovative change at the heart of their business plan. Released just 3 years ago, Goodwin is producing an entirely revised new edition called Digital Darwinism: Surviving the New Age of Business Disruption, due out in February 2022.

The Human Edge: How curiosity and creativity are your superpowers in the digital economy by Greg Orme, highlights that although Artificial Intelligence can do many of the things that have traditionally been done by people, AI cannot yet replicate our uniquely human traits such as creativity. Hopefully he’s right, although it may not be the case in another decade or so.

On a different subject, Bruce Daisley, former European Vice President at Twitter, suggests in Eat Sleep Work Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to Your Job that work pressure encourages people to take a safe, well-understood path rather than trying something new. At the same time, they feel they’re being more creative even though that’s objectively not true. Given that innovation is key to business success in the long term, that's fairly thought-provoking.

Reading helps spark creative ideas. In the end, we must take all of these ideas and build a way forward that suits our unique circumstances.

If you are trying to figure out what’s important for your business and its digital transformation, why not talk to us? We’ve read a lot of books, but we’ve also got years of practical experience you can draw on to transform what you do.

Ray Delany is the Founder of CIO Studio, a company built to partner with SMEs and help them solve the “strategy” problem and align their digital investment with their business outcomes.


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