October 18, 2018 | 4 min read

Top 7 Articles to Read When Driving Digital Transformation

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Brands in every industry are in the midst of various degrees of digital transformation, and every in-the-know tech consultant, journalist, and analyst is writing about how to do it well. After reading hundreds of articles and posts, we’ve selected our favorites from 2017 and curated them below (with summaries) so you can pinpoint the content most valuable to you. Happy learning!

5 Ways to Help Employees Keep Up with Digital Transformation

Harvard Business Review | September 2017

HBR outlines the five key areas of focus for making digital transformation a reality throughout your org, which involves each employee transforming aspects of their workflows and mindsets. Here’s their list: commit (i.e. recruit) starting at the top; give employees direct access to consumers; help employees embrace agility; invest in “employee experience design”; and (our personal favorite) invest in lifelong learning.

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How to Ace Digital Transformation through IT Design

Bain Digital Consulting | September 2017

Any change comes with its own set of risks, and a savvy CIO is your best line of defense when driving digital transformation. By leading their teams to build a smarter infrastructure – “one that is complex, modular and hybrid”… and “includes public clouds, private clouds and software-as-a-service (SaaS), as well as legacy systems and services”, CIOs help their orgs mitigate risk and future proof their technology ecosystem. This article offers insight to CIOs ushering in digital transformation by outlining clear best practices for IT design.

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How to make sure your digital transformation succeeds

McKinsey | August 2017

The author of this article, Jürgen Meffert, literally wrote the digital transformation playbook, so he’s got a lot to say on the topic and it’s summarized well in this article. He outlines the top challenges and traps to avoid, give you a useful framework for asking “why”, “what”, and “how”, and emphasizes speed, scale, and the importance of the CEO.

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A CEO’s Guide to Leading Digital Transformation

Boston Consulting Group | May 2017

Every article, including the one above, emphasizes the role of the CEO in driving digital transformation. BCG goes a step further by directly addressing the CEO, advising them on how best to lead that transformation. On the one hand, CEOs must think in new ways, move more quickly than is comfortable, listen to outsiders, customers, partners, and the market, and understand how technological innovation is changing the battlefield. On the other hand, CEOs must remain true to their brand DNA and rich histories with customers, because it’s the essence of who they are that has the best chance of standing the test of time.

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The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention

McKinsey | February 2017

With CEOs at the helm, we believe they need all the help they can get in making decisions that could mean life or death for their orgs, so we’ve also included McKinsey’s take one the most important areas of focus for the leaders at the top. CEOs are constantly making decisions – these are the ones they’d better get right. This article is a deep, comprehensive, and organized take on how to make methodical choices that will drive effective digital transformation.

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To Lead a Digital Transformation, CEOs Must Prioritize

Harvard Business Review | January 2017

CEOs definitely don’t get enough love… just kidding. But this article is another great read and we couldn’t leave out HBR’s take on how CEOs can best drive digital transformation. This one explores the angle of prioritization, always a challenge for any leader. Here’s the key quote: “It’s about creating an agile organization that can detect what type of change is essential and respond quickly with the most competitive solution.”

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Five questions brands need to answer to be customer first in the digital age

McKinsey | July 2017

At Amperity we believe that digital transformation, at its heart, is about better serving customers, so we’ve included this as a last but not least article for our top 7 must-read list. The five questions it outlines are designed to help brands become more customer-centric in the digital age by catalyzing better internal and external discussion and problem solving. It focuses on customers and customer data, and the people, processes, and communications strategies that support compelling, data-driven customer journeys.

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