News/ Strategic Planning

Altimeter Report Refines ‘Digital Transformation’ Definition

by Giselle Abramovich
Senior & Strategic Editor

See More by this author >

Investing in digital technologies--such as social media, mobile, big data, and the cloud--is all well and good. But doing so does not mean a company is in the midst of a “digital transformation,” according to a new Altimeter Group report. 

The State Of Digital Transformation” is aimed at executives and digital strategists to help gauge where they are relative to other companies. The key finding: While 88 percent of marketers surveyed said their organizations are currently undergoing a digital transformation, just 25 percent of them have actually mapped out a key componenet of the change: their targets’ digital customer journey.

Altimeter defines digital transformation as the alignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touch point in the customer experience life cycle. According to Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter, companies need to undergo a digital transformation to make it in today’s world.

“Employees are getting younger, and the way they want to work and learn is different,” Solis told in an exclusive interview. “Customers have changed, too. The way they go through the discovery process and the way they make decisions are different. The technology is different. A lot of what businesses have done to date has been based on legacy: legacy technology, methodologies and processes. And all the while businesses got further away from people. What’s happening is all this technology and advancements--social mobile, wearables, what have you--are making people matter again.”

According to the study, while the majority of strategists (42 percent) said they have not yet researched the customer journey, they are investing in new digital channels to support their digital transformation.

The Altimeter report is a sequel to another study published earlier this year, “Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital Customer Experiences (DCX).” It was through this report that Altimeter learned that digital transformation was as much about technology as it was about people, Solis said. The new report aimed to reveal where companies are in their digital transformation efforts.

“What we are seeing is that digital transformation has initial enterprisewide effects,” Solis said. “Digital transformation is enabling businesses to increase efficiencies in operations, optimize scale, increase margins, and profitability.”

Click here to view the full report.

About Giselle Abramovich

Giselle Abramovich is senior & strategic editor at Previously she wrote for outlets including Direct Marketing News, Mobile Marketer, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Daily, and Digiday. Reach her at, or follow her on Twitter @GAbramovich.