Alpha Software Blog

Why It May be Time to Give up the Term Digital Transformation

The term digital transformation may have become outdated and should be replaced by a more comprehensive look at how digital tools can help businesses run better.


digital transformationThe importance of digital transformation for businesses is now well known. I’ve been writing about it on this blog post for years. Everyone defines it slightly differently but at Alpha Software, we think of it this way:

“The adoption and integration of digital tools and techniques across all business functions, so as to achieve speed, accuracy, and efficiency…Digital transformation involves replacing old, obsolete tools and processes with cutting-edge technologies and software applications to speed work. Digital transformation seeks to improve user experiences, streamline operations and increase productivity by transforming manual processes into high-speed digital ones.”

is it time to retire the term digital transformation?There’s some evidence, though, that the term may be outliving its usefulness and needs to be retired. At least so says the blog post, “Is It Time to Retire the Term Digital Transformation?” The post argues: “As terminology, digital transformation has served its purpose in catalyzing the adoption of new technology and getting teams to think outside the box. The focus now should be to ensure that technology direction is embedded in every department’s annual strategy and plan. Every single plan should consider the role of technology in supporting department and corporate objectives.”

That may seem like splitting hairs, a distinction without a difference. But the author says that using the term hides the real work that still needs to be done by businesses, notably, “There are still too many siloed and tactical technology purchases driven by point problems to address. I continue to be amazed by how many companies don’t have a single source of truth for their technology or a process to manage technology plans, implementation and lifecycle.”

The author of that article isn’t alone. Several years ago, the article, “Can we retire ‘digital transformation’ already?” made the same points. It also pointed to practical reasons the term should no longer be used.

no-code software and low code software is making work easier. Perhaps the most important, the author says, “Transformation is scary. Evolving is much easier.” Transformation, he says, can be extremely disruptive to businesses, and because of that companies may shy away from trying to do it. But calling the process “digital evolution” he believes, will make it more likely that companies will embark on it, because it can be done without disrupting the business, and appears to be more easily achievable.

He says that calling it digital evolution “Shifts the goal from completely rewriting your business to making it work better and more efficiently which is way more palatable to customers (and less scary).” And he concludes “Layering the right technology can help businesses evolve and grow rather than transforming it wholly.”

The Best Software Platform for Digital Evolution, Digital Transformation or Whatever You Want to Call It

No matter what you call the process, it requires writing better apps to make your business run better, better meet your customers’ needs, and improve productivity and the bottom line. And for that, you need the best possible development platform.

TransForm 2022Alpha Software fits the bill. Alpha TransForm no-code software helps business users craft online or offline mobile apps in minutes. The apps can utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. Developers can even tie the apps into business process management systems. Get the no-code app builder.

Anywhere 2022Alpha Anywhere low code app development software has the unique ability to rapidly create applications and mobile forms with advanced features. These apps offer outstanding customer experiences and can easily access and integrate with any database or web service, and can exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality. Build low-code apps for free.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.