• Paul Armstrong

Are you getting enough DX?

Updated: Jan 13, 2019

Like a teenage boy talking about sex, if someone is talking a lot about digital transformation you have to wonder if they are really getting it.

Business transformation through technology is a very old battle cry. Prior to the now ubiquitous digital transformation (DX) meme, business transformation had been used for many years to inspire customers and sell technology.

So, is DX different from good old fashion business transformation? Well, it should be.

Technology applied to business problems has the ability to make a business better, faster, stronger; where stronger means more reliable and more available.

The benefits here are not to be ignored. Such IT investments have turned employees from ‘resources’ into ‘knowledge workers’. Once accounting departments had an army of ‘calculators’; people, often women, in the back-office (literally) doing the maths behind everyday accounting activities. Now, with fewer people, not only is a finance team cheaper to run, faster at producing results, and more accurate, but it also has the time and information to help answer questions about how the wider business might run better.

But, this is not DX.

DX is when your business would not exist without technology.

The poster children examples for DX businesses are easy to find. Last year Google’s revenue was circa $USD 110 billion from advertising, Facebook made $USD 40 billion from media, and Amazon $USD 177 billion from retail.

Advertising, media, and retail revenue that would not exist, at all, if it was not for how they did it with technology. These are DX businesses.

This key insight is important not for when you decide on your next IT investment. But instead, for when you decide on your next business goal.

This was true before DX and remains true now. IT investments follow business goals. And more so now if you really want to digitally transform your business.

Like a teenage boy eventually learns, talking about it turns people off. Instead, listening, learning and respecting what's important in life and business gets you results.