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Best Digital Transformation Books You Should Read

Books dedicated to Digital Transformation are on the rise in 2020. For that reason, we present a selection of the best Digital Transformation books recently written by talented authors.

1. The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age (Columbia Business School Publishing) 

by David Rogers | April 5, 2016

Rethink your business for the digital age.

Every business that began before the Internet now faces the same challenge: How to transform to compete in a digital economy?

Globally recognized digital expert David L. Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about updating your technology but about upgrading your strategic thinking. Based on Rogers’s decade of research and teaching at Columbia Business School, and his consulting for businesses around the world, The Digital Transformation Playbook shows how pre-digital-era companies can reinvigorate their game plans and capture the new opportunities of the digital world.

Rogers shows why traditional businesses need to rethink their underlying assumptions in five domains of strategy―customers, competition, data, innovation, and value. He reveals how to harness customer networks, platforms, big data, rapid experimentation, and disruptive business models―and how to integrate these into your existing business and organization.

Rogers illustrates every strategy in this playbook with real-world case studies, from Google to GE, from Airbnb to the New York Times. With practical frameworks and nine step-by-step planning tools, he distills the lessons of today’s greatest digital innovators and makes them usable for businesses at any stage.

Many books offer advice for digital start-ups, but The Digital Transformation Playbook is the first complete treatment of how legacy businesses can transform to thrive in the digital age. It is an indispensable guide for executives looking to take their firms to the next stage of profitable growth.

2. Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction

by Thomas M. Siebel | July 9, 2019

From visionary Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tom Siebel comes a penetrating examination of the new technologies that are disrupting business and government—and how organizations can harness them to transform into digital enterprises. 

The confluence of four technologies—elastic cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things —writes Siebel, is fundamentally changing how business and government will operate in the 21st century.

Siebel masterfully guides readers through a fascinating discussion of the game-changing technologies driving digital transformation and provides a roadmap to seize them as a strategic opportunity. He shows how leading enterprises such as Enel, 3M, Royal Dutch Shell, the U.S. Department of Defense, and others are applying AI and IoT with stunning results.

Digital Transformation is the guidebook every business and government leader needs to survive and thrive in the new digital age.

3. EDGE: Value-Driven Digital Transformation

by Jim HighsmithLinda LuuDavid Robinson | September 26, 2019

EDGE: The Agile Operating Model That Will Help You Successfully Execute Your Digital Transformation

“[The authors’] passion for technology allows them to recognize that for most enterprises in the 21st century, technology is THE business. This is what really separates the EDGE approach. It is a comprehensive operating model with technology at its core.”
―From the Foreword by Heidi Musser, Executive Vice President and Principal Consultant, Leading Agile; retired, Vice President and CIO, USAA

Maximum innovation happens at the edge of chaos: the messy, risky, and uncertain threshold between randomness and structure. Operating it is uncomfortable but it’s where organizations “invent the future.” EDGE is a set of fast, iterative, adaptive, lightweight, and value-driven tools to achieve digital transformation, and EDGE: Value-Driven Digital Transformation is your guide to using this operating model for innovation.

Jim Highsmith is one of the world’s leading agile pioneers and a coauthor of the Agile Manifesto. He, Linda Luu, and David Robinson know from their vast in-the-trenches experience that sustainable digital transformation requires far more than adopting isolated agile practices or conventional portfolio management. This hard, indispensable work involves changing culture and mindset and going beyond transforming the IT department.

EDGE embraces an adaptive mindset in the face of market uncertainty, a visible, value-centered portfolio approach that encourages continual value linkages from vision to detailed initiatives, incremental funding that shifts as strategies evolve, collaborative decision-making, and better risk mitigation. This guide shows leaders how to use the breakthrough EDGE approach to go beyond incremental improvement in a world of exponential opportunities.

  • Build an organization that adapts fast enough to thrive
  • Clear away unnecessary governance processes, obsolete “command and control” leadership approaches, and slow budgeting/planning cycles
  • Improve collaboration when major, fast-paced responses are necessary
  • Continually optimize investment allocation and monitoring based on your vision and goals

4- Digital Transformation Game Plan: 34 Tenets for Masterfully Merging Technology and Business

by Gary O’BrienGuo XiaoMike Mason | November 12, 2019

The Digital Age is having a broad and profound impact on companies and entire industries. Rather than simply automate or embed digital technology into existing offerings, your business needs to rethink everything. In this practical book, three ThoughtWorks professionals provide a game plan to help your business through this transformation, along with technical concepts that you need to know to be an effective leader in a modern digital business.

Chock-full of practical advice and case studies that show how businesses have transitioned, this book reveals lessons learned in guiding companies through digital transformation. While there’s no silver bullet available, you’ll discover effective ways to create lasting change in your organization.

With this book, you’ll discover how to:

  • Realign the business and operating architecture to focus on customer value
  • Build a more responsive and agile organization to deal with speed and ambiguity
  • Build next-generation technology capability as a core differentiator

5- Healthcare Digital Transformation: How Consumerism, Technology, and Pandemic are Accelerating the Future

by Edward W. MarxPaddy Padmanabhan | August 3, 2020

This book is a reference guide for healthcare executives and technology providers involved in the ongoing digital transformation of the healthcare sector.

The book focuses specifically on the challenges and opportunities for health systems in their journey toward a digital future. It draws from proprietary research and public information, along with interviews with over one hundred and fifty executives in leading health systems such as Cleveland Clinic, Partners, Mayo, Kaiser, and Intermountain as well as numerous technology and retail providers. The authors explore the important role of technology and that of EHR systems, digital health innovators, and big tech firms in the ongoing digital transformation of healthcare.

Importantly, the book draws on the accelerated learnings of the healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic in their digital transformation efforts to adopt telehealth and virtual care models.

Features of this book:

  • Provides an understanding of the current state of digital transformation and the factors influencing the ongoing transformation of the healthcare sector.
  • Includes interviews with executives from leading health systems.
  • Describes the important role of emerging technologies; EHR systems, digital health innovators, and more.
  • Includes case studies from innovative health organizations.
  • Provides a set of templates and frameworks for developing and implementing a digital roadmap.
  • Based on best practices from real-life examples, the book is a guidebook that provides a set of templates and frameworks for digital transformation practitioners in healthcare.

6- Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take off and Stay Ahead

by Tony Saldanha | November 12, 2019

Former Procter & Gamble Vice President for IT and Shared Services, Tony Saldanha gives you the keys to a successful digital transformation:

a proven five-stage model and a disciplined process for executing it. Digital transformation is more important than ever now that we’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where the lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds are becoming ever more blurred. But fully 70 percent of digital transformations fail. Why? Tony Saldanha, a globally awarded industry thought-leader who led operations around the world and major digital changes at Procter & Gamble, discovered it’s not due to innovation or technological problems. Rather, the devil is in the details: a lack of clear goals and a disciplined process for achieving them. In this book, Saldanha lays out a five-stage process for moving from digitally automating processes here and there to making digital technology the very backbone of your company. For each of these five stages, Saldanha describes two associated disciplines vital to the success of that stage and a checklist of questions to keep you on track. You want to disrupt before you are disrupted be the next Netflix, not the next Blockbuster. Using dozens of case studies and his own considerable experience, Saldanha shows how digital transformation can be made routinely successful, and instead of representing an existential threat, it will become the opportunity of a lifetime.

7- Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation

by George WestermanDidier BonnetAndrew McAfee | October 14, 2014

Become a Digital Master—No Matter What Business You’re In

If you think the phrase “going digital” is only relevant for industries like tech, media, and entertainment—think again. In fact, mobile, analytics, social media, sensors, and cloud computing have already fundamentally changed the entire business landscape as we know it—including your industry. The problem is that most accounts of digital in business focus on Silicon Valley stars and tech start-ups. But what about the other 90-plus percent of the economy?

In Leading Digital, authors George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfee highlight how large companies in traditional industries—from finance to manufacturing to pharmaceuticals—are using digital to gain strategic advantage. They illuminate the principles and practices that lead to successful digital transformation. Based on a study of more than four hundred global firms, including Asian Paints, Burberry, Caesars Entertainment, Codelco, Lloyds Banking Group, Nike, and Pernod Ricard, the book shows what it takes to become a Digital Master. It explains successful transformation in a clear, two-part framework: where to invest in digital capabilities, and how to lead the transformation. Within these parts, you’ll learn:

• How to engage better with your customers
• How to digitally enhance operations
• How to create a digital vision
• How to govern your digital activities

The book also includes an extensive step-by-step transformation playbook for leaders to follow.

Leading Digital is the must-have guide to help your organization survive and thrive in the new, digitally powered global economy.

8- The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation (Management on the Cutting Edge)

by Gerald C. KaneAnh Nguyen PhillipsJonathan R. CopulskyGarth R. Andrus | April 16, 2019

Why an organization’s response to digital disruption should focus on people and processes and not necessarily on technology.

Digital technologies are disrupting organizations of every size and shape, leaving managers scrambling to find a technology fix that will help their organizations compete. This book offers managers and business leaders a guide for surviving digital disruptions—but it is not a book about technology. It is about the organizational changes required to harness the power of technology. The authors argue that digital disruption is primarily about people and that effective digital transformation involves changes to organizational dynamics and how work gets done. A focus only on selecting and implementing the right digital technologies is not likely to lead to success. The best way to respond to digital disruption is by changing the company culture to be more agile, risk-tolerant, and experimental.

The authors draw on four years of research, conducted in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, surveying more than 16,000 people and conducting interviews with managers at such companies as Walmart, Google, and Salesforce. They introduce the concept of digital maturity—the ability to take advantage of opportunities offered by the new technology—and address the specifics of digital transformation, including cultivating a digital environment, enabling intentional collaboration, and fostering an experimental mindset. Every organization needs to understand its “digital DNA” in order to stop “doing digital” and start “being digital.”

Digital disruption won’t end anytime soon; the average worker will probably experience numerous waves of disruption during the course of a career. The insights offered by The Technology Fallacy will hold true through them all.

9- Driving Digital Strategy: A Guide to Reimagining Your Business

by Sunil Gupta | August 14, 2018

Digital transformation is no longer news–it’s a necessity.

Despite the widespread threat of disruption, many large companies in traditional industries have succeeded in digitizing their businesses in truly transformative ways.

The New York Times, formerly a bastion of traditional media, has created a thriving digital product behind a carefully designed paywall. Best Buy has transformed its business in the face of Amazon’s threat. John Deere has formed a data-analysis arm to complement its farm-equipment business. And Goldman Sachs and many others are using digital technologies to reimagine their businesses. In Driving Digital Strategy, Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta provides an actionable framework for following their lead.

For over a decade, Gupta has studied digital transformation at Fortune 500 companies. He knows what works and what doesn’t. Merely dabbling in digital or launching a small independent unit, which many companies do, will not bring success. Instead, you need to fundamentally change the core of your business and ensure that your digital strategy touches all aspects of your organization: your business model, value chain, customer relationships, and company culture. Gupta covers each aspect in vivid detail while providing navigation tips and best practices along the way.

Filled with rich and illuminating case studies of companies at the forefront of digital transformation, Driving Digital Strategy is the comprehensive guide you need to take full advantage of the limitless opportunities the digital age provides.

10- Driving Digital: The Leader’s Guide to Business Transformation Through Technology

by Isaac Sacolick  | August 24, 2017

Every organization makes plans for updating products, technologies, and business processes. But that’s not enough anymore for the twenty-first-century company. The race is now on for everyone to become a digital enterprise. For those individuals who have been charged with leading their company’s technology-driven change, the pressure is intense while the correct path is forward unclear. Help has arrived! In Driving Digital, author Isaac Sacolick shares the lessons he’s learned over the years as he has successfully spearheaded multiple transformations and helped shape digital-business best practices. Readers no longer have to blindly trek through the minefield of their company’s digital transformation.

In this thoroughly researched one-stop manual, learn how to:

• Formulate a digital strategy

• Transform business and IT practices

• Align development and operations

• Drive culture change

• Bolster digital talent

• Capture and track ROI

• Develop innovative digital practices

• Pilot emerging technologies

• And more! Your company cannot avoid the digital disruption heading its way.

The choice is yours: Will this mean the beginning of the end for your business, or will your digital practices be what catapults you into next-level success?


by Jace An | August 29, 2018

This is not a theory book that discusses academic concepts of digital capability, but rather a practical field book that describes the proven digital capabilities as the building blocks of digital transformation and the approach to assessment and improvement of the digital capabilities to achieve successful digital transformation. This book, therefore, caters best to digital ‘practitioners’ including IT professionals, marketers, and sales reps as well as digital consultants and digital planners.

The Digital Capability Model in this book consists of 12 mega capabilities and 77 capabilities, where a mega capability is comprised of a set of capabilities. This book is organized to describe the CAPABILITIES and their MATURITY LEVELS individually according to the taxonomy of the Model. A digital capability is defined in this book as an organizational capacity to produce the intended business outcome by combining process, people, and technology elements in a way that is unique to each organization.

Process element includes process flow, input & output information, and business rules & policies. The people element includes organizational structure, and roles, responsibilities & skills. The technology element includes applications, data, and infrastructure around digital technology. The Social Listening capability is for example defined as an organizational capacity to understand what users are talking about on social media and use that for business by combining its well-defined processes, people, and technologies.

The Model is comprehensive in scope, making it best suited for those who desire to have a broad understanding of the entire scope of digital capabilities and wish to obtain cross-boundary, multi-disciplinary knowledge across business and technology.

12- Building the Agile Business through Digital Transformation: How to Lead Digital Transformation in Your Workplace

by Neil PerkinPeter Abraham | April 28, 2017

Building the Agile Business through Digital Transformation is an in-depth look at transforming businesses so they are fit for purpose in a digitally enabled world. It is a guide for all those needing to better understand, implement, and lead digital transformation in the workplace. It sets aside traditional thinking and outdated strategies to explain what steps need to be taken for an organization to become truly agile. It addresses how to build organizational velocity and establish an iterative working, remove unnecessary process, embed innovation, map strategy to motivation, and develop talent to succeed.

Building the Agile Business through Digital Transformation provides guidance on how to set the pace and frequency for change and shows how to break old habits and reform the behaviors of a workforce to embed digital transformation, achieve organizational agility, and ensure high performance. Full of practical advice, examples, and real-life insights from organizational development professionals at the leading edge of digital transformation, this book is an essential guide to building an agile business.

13- Digital to the Core: Remastering Leadership for Your Industry, Your Enterprise, and Yourself

by Mark RaskinoGraham Waller | November 12, 2015

There is no simple strategic method for dealing with the multidimensional nature of digital change. Even the sharpest leaders can become disoriented as change builds on change, leaving almost nothing certain. Yet to stand still is to fail.

Enterprises and leaders must re-master themselves to succeed. Leaders must identify the key macro forces, then lead their organizations at three distinct levels: industry, enterprise, and self. By doing this they cannot only survive but clean up. 

Digital to the Core makes the case that all business leaders must understand the impact the digital revolution will continue to play in their industries, companies, and leadership style and practices. Drawing on interviews with over 30 top C-level executives in some of the world’s most powerful companies and government organizations, including GE, Ford, Tory Burch, Babolat, McDonalds, Publicis, and UK Government Digital Service, this book delivers practical insights from those on the front lines of major digital upheaval.

The authors incorporate Gartner’s annual CIO and CEO global survey research and also apply the deep knowledge and qualitative insights they have acquired as practitioners, management researchers, and advisors over decades in the business.  Above all else, Raskino and Waller want companies and their top leaders to understand the full impact of digital change and integrate it at the core of their businesses.

14- Agile IT Organization Design: For Digital Transformation and Continuous Delivery

by Sriram Narayan | June 14, 2015

To gain the full benefits of agility in any software organization, you need to extend it beyond developers to the organization as a whole. Aspiring digital businesses need overall agility, not just development team agility. Now, Sriram Narayan, IT management consultant at ThoughtWorks, shows how to do just that. Drawing on 15+ years of working with leaders in telecommunications, finance, energy, retail, and beyond, he introduces a comprehensive agile approach to “Business-IT Effectiveness” that is as practical as it is valuable.

Sriram demonstrates how to integrate agility throughout sales, marketing, product development, engineering, and operations, helping each function deliver more value individually and through its linkages with the rest of the business. Addressing people, process, and technology, he guides you in improving both the dynamic and static aspects of organization design, addressing team structure, accountability structures, organizational norms and culture, metrics, and more.

Using real examples, Sriram helps you evaluate and improve organization designs to enhance autonomy, mastery, and purpose. You’ll learn how to eliminate the specific organizational silos that cause the most problems… improve communication in organizations that claim to be (but aren’t really) non-hierarchical… optimize the way you build teams, and design office space, and even choose tools.

Simply put, Agile IT Organization Design will help you improve the performance of any software organization.

15- Architecting the Digital Transformation: Digital Business, Technology, Decision Support, Management (Intelligent Systems Reference Library (188)) 1st ed. 2021 Edition

by Alfred ZimmermannRainer SchmidtLakhmi C. Jain | July 28, 2020

This research-oriented book presents key contributions to architecting digital transformation. It includes the following main sections covering 20 chapters:

  • Digital Transformation
  • Digital Business
  • Digital Architecture
  • Decision Support
  • Digital Applications

Focusing on digital architectures for smart digital products and services, it is a valuable resource for researchers, doctoral students, postgraduates, graduates, undergraduates, academics, and practitioners interested in digital transformation.

16- Digital Transformation of Collaboration: Proceedings of the 9th International COINs Conference (Springer Proceedings in Complexity) 1st ed. 2020 Edition

by Aleksandra PrzegalinskaFrancesca GrippPeter A. Gloor | July 29, 2020

These proceedings are focused on the emerging concept of Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs). COINs are at the core of collaborative knowledge networks, distributed communities taking advantage of the wide connectivity and the support of communication technologies, spanning beyond the organizational perimeter of companies on a global scale.

The book presents the refereed conference papers from the 7th International Conference on COINs, October 8-9, 2019, in Warsaw, Poland.

It includes papers for both application areas of COINs, (1) optimizing organizational creativity and performance, and (2) discovering and predicting new trends by identifying COINs on the Web through online social media analysis.

Papers at COINs19 combine a wide range of interdisciplinary fields such as social network analysis, group dynamics, design and visualization, information systems and the psychology and sociality of collaboration, and intercultural analysis through the lens of online social media. They will cover the most recent advances in areas from leadership and collaboration, trend prediction, and data mining, to social competence and Internet communication.

17- Industrial Digital Transformation: Accelerate digital transformation with business optimization, AI, and Industry 4.0

by Shyam Varan NathAnn DunkinMahesh ChowdharyNital Patel | November 27, 2020

Book Description

Digital transformation requires the ability to identify opportunities across industries and apply the right technologies and tools to achieve results. This book is divided into two parts with the first covering what digital transformation is and why it is important. The second part focuses on how digital transformation works.

After an introduction to digital transformation, you will explore the transformation journey in logical steps and understand how to build business cases and create productivity benefit statements. Next, you’ll delve into advanced topics relating to overcoming various challenges. Later, the book will take you through case studies in both private and public sector organizations. You’ll explore private sector organizations such as industrial and hi-tech manufacturing in detail and get to grips with public sector organizations by learning how transformation can be achieved on a global scale and how the resident experience can be improved. In addition to this, you will understand the role of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning in digital transformation. Finally, you’ll discover how to create a playbook that can ensure success in digital transformation.

By the end of this book, you’ll be well-versed with industrial digital transformation and be able to apply your skills in the real world.

What you will learn

  • Get up to speed with digital transformation and its important aspects
  • Explore the skills that are needed to execute the transformation
  • Focus on the concepts of Digital Thread and Digital Twin
  • Understand how to leverage the ecosystem for successful transformation
  • Get to grips with various case studies spanning industries in both private and public sectors
  • Discover how to execute transformation at a global scale
  • Find out how AI delivers value in the transformation journey

Who this book is for

This book is for IT leaders, digital strategy leaders, line-of-business leaders, solution architects, and IT business partners looking for digital transformation opportunities within their organizations. Professionals from service and management consulting firms will also find this book useful. Basic knowledge of enterprise IT and some intermediate knowledge of identifying digital revenue streams or internal transformation opportunities are required to get started with this book.

18. The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses, and Ecosystems

by Michael LewrickPatrick LinkLarry Leifer | May 22, 2018

A radical shift in perspective to transform your organization to become more innovative

The Design Thinking Playbook is an actionable guide to the future of business. By stepping back and questioning the current mindset, the faults of the status quo stand out in stark relief―and this guide gives you the tools and frameworks you need to kick off a digital transformation.

Design Thinking is about approaching things differently with strong user orientation and fast iterations with multidisciplinary teams to solve wicked problems. It is equally applicable to (re-)design products, services, processes, business models, and ecosystems.

It inspires radical innovation as a matter of course and ignites capabilities beyond mere potential. Unmatched as a source of competitive advantage, Design Thinking is the driving force behind those who will lead industries through transformations and evolutions.

This book describes how Design Thinking is applied across a variety of industries, enriched with other proven approaches as well as the necessary tools, and the knowledge to use them effectively. Packed with solutions for common challenges including digital transformation, this practical, highly visual discussion shows you how Design Thinking fits into agile methods within management, innovation, and startups.

  • Explore the digitized future using new design criteria to create real value for the user
  • Foster radical innovation through an inspiring framework for action
  • Gather the right people to build highly-motivated teams
  • Apply Design Thinking, Systems Thinking, Big Data Analytics, and Lean Start-up using new tools and a fresh new perspective
  • Create Minimum Viable Ecosystems (MVEs) for digital processes and services which becomes for example essential in building Blockchain applications

Practical frameworks, real-world solutions, and radical innovation wrapped in a whole new outlook give you the power to mindfully lead to new heights. From systems and operations to people, projects, culture, digitalization, and beyond, this invaluable mind shift paves the way for organizations―and individuals―to do great things. When you’re ready to give your organization a big step forward, The Design Thinking Playbook is your practical guide to a more innovative future.

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