By Corey Moss

On Wikipedia:

Digital Transformation (DX) is the novel use of digital technology to solve traditional problems. These digital solutions enable inherently new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhance and support traditional methods.

I borrowed this one from Inc. article 10 Buzzwords You Need to Forget in 2019 – it just so happens that it took the number one spot.

Digital transformation

This seemingly cutting-edge phrase dwells in obscurity. It’s a throwaway line. Instead of using it as a blanket statement of your technological intentions, be specific. Talk about how your teams will use artificial intelligence or cloud-based platforms. Without context, “digital transformation” says little.

I was once an absolute believer in digital transformation as the be all end all descriptor of technology advancement over the years. My perspective changed for good when I wrote Digital Perspectives – the Transformation is in the Roles, and the Data back in January. In a recent podcast discussion about AV and adjacent technologies, we talked about AI, and the discussion of data came up as well.

Here’s my issue concerning the term – in essence it represents a continuous technological revolution, without end. Honestly, there shouldn’t be an end per se, but there has to come a point where the design does properly fit the mold. Think of replacing a tech room system every year – we know full well it just doesn’t work that way. Minor upgrades and changes, yes, however full replacement – not possible, or viable. Clients would rarely request such, and likely don’t even use the term as in “we’re looking for digital transformation” when talking with an integrator or consultant (I’ve never spoken to an end user that ever referred to it). I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Thus, the tech-led throwaway line.

The key though, as expressed above – the approach should be more context-based than term-based. Another is of course gamechanging, which I would figure allegedly fits this digital transformation scheme. Someone threw that one at me yesterday describing a hardware product in a demonstration, and I just have to say sorry, but hardware is no longer anything resembling “gamechanging”…

Again as expressed above:

Talk about how your teams will use artificial intelligence or cloud-based platforms. Without context, “digital transformation” says little.

Not necessarily that it has to be about AI or cloud, however context in the discussion or presentation, beyond this “digital transformation,” becomes of utmost importance.

Innovation will always be a reference to ‘from the ground up technology design and execution’, and to take this one step farther, the transformation is really in technology innovation, as innovation provides an outcome that transforms a tech space or a full tech field. Consider videoconferencing, and how cloud and software (virtual machine) infrastructure – innovation – transformed the space from hardware-only. Here I point to cloud and software, and not “digital transformation” changing the space.

Context.

As for the future of technology and innovation (and even a more specific transformation), will we ever reach a point of contextual finality? That, and more to be discussed in an upcoming episode on the new series ‘Digital Perspectives – the Podcast.’

(Note: Header image – Pixabay license).

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV Media. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk, Convergent Week and The AV Tech Trade. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/mosscorey/.