Do you think “digital transformation” is a useful term, or just consulting speak?

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Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
The first thing that comes to mind is, do we have a common definition for what digital transformation is? I don't think there's one that exists. I think people take that term and they apply it liberally, saying we have old processes and ways of doing things and now we're going to move all those things to solutions that are in the cloud and become digital. And beyond that, there's a wide range of how you then say, this is what digital transformation looks like for us. There is really no definition of what digital transformation is or what it necessarily should look like based on a number of different factors, including the industry.
VP, Customer and Technical Operations in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
The term transformation itself, sometimes I find it too broad and it's a little too consulting speak. When I first went to Glu, I said something about transformation and people asked, "What do you mean transformation? Are you going to fix it or not?" At Glu, the whole business is selling digital assets. I would get messages from friends saying, "How is it working at a 100% digital business?" The product is digital, but when you got into the processes, there was a lot of room for improvement. Coming from many high-tech manufacturing companies, I saw a lot of similarities when it came to the back office process and the IT systems and where things weren't necessarily automated.
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
I've looked at the term digital transformation, very negatively for the better part of the last five or six years, because I feel like we've been trying to do digital transformation since we connected the first network printer 40 years ago. So why are we calling it digital transformation now? To me, it seems like the opportunity for us is to be able to be more responsive to demand and opportunity, regardless of where it comes from (an employee base, a customer base, a product partnership, a market entry, etc.). How do we build on that opportunity most efficiently and with appropriate alacrity and agility? To me, that's where business transformation and people actually make up the most important part of this concept.
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Director of Technology Strategy in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees

I'm going to extend you one further and suggest that digital transformation goes back nearly 300 years with the introduction of the Jacquard weaving loom.

Primatice, sure, but that was our first introduction to technology and introduced the industrial revolution.

Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees
I look at digital transformation a little bit more broadly. One, I look at transformation as significantly altering or restructuring how a business generates its revenue, interacts with its customers, and performs its operations. And it is digital if technology is at the center or a major piece of that.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
The definition of digital transformation is important in terms of where you currently sit on the spectrum and where you want to go on the spectrum. UCLA Anderson has been an in-person business for 100 years. They're not trying to take on a model that's been built in a totally digital way. It's about picking the pieces of whatever that transformation is that makes sense for the people and the skills that you have and the outcomes you're seeking. Then you can try and figure out where to apply the technology.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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