Love it or hate it, digital transformation is not just a buzzword. The need for companies to continually rethink how they use technology, people, and processes to fundamentally change business performance is critical for success in the modern world.

There are plenty of articles discussing what a digital transformation is, however for long-term success it is important to not only understand what a digital transformation is, but also what it isn’t.

Outlined below are three common misconceptions about digital transformation that will help prevent you from making mistakes on this business-critical journey.

Misconception #1: Digital transformation = the digitalization of your company

Digital transformation is about strategy much more than it is about technology. Yes, technology is important but it’s about how you use the technology to fundamentally shift and improve how work is getting done, often from a cultural and process perspective. This is what can not only make the concept of digital transformation so confusing, but lead to an unsuccessful transformation for many organizations.

Bringing in new technology to simplify and speed up work, or just moving to the cloud, is not a digital transformation. Ask yourself, what are you transforming? You might be optimizing your current practice but your methodologies have not changed. Instead, it’s about generating new ideas and concepts on how to use business technology in new ways.


Discover a part of Domino’s transformation story and how they are delivering technology – and pizza – faster. Learn how Domino’s IT team relies on DevOps best practices (via recommendation from the security team) to get pizza delivery innovations into the hands of consumers around the world.

Read the story

Misconception #2: Digital transformation is a destination

Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. There is no way to “hack-it” or cut corners, this will only be detrimental to your efforts. Why? Because it’s impossible to know all of the challenges and changes an organization will encounter during a transformative journey. It’s imperative that you aren’t too committed to one direction and you keep an agile mindset.

As there is consistently new technology, and therefore new opportunities, it could be argued that a smart organization starts a digital transformation and never really ends. Think of your company as a ship and the digital transformation as the ocean. To stay upright, balanced, and moving forward you need three main things: your people and culture, your strategy, and your technology.

While it is true that you should always be working on all these things, you won’t need to focus on all three at once. You might start with a strong culture and strategy, but need to advance your tooling. Later on, you might have found the appropriate technology but your strategy shifts.

To be successful in a digital transformation you must embrace agility and become comfortable in a perpetual state of evolution.


After over a century in business, NCR’s leadership team made the bold decision to pursue a digital transformation starting in 2015 to ensure that their established company could continue to innovate, compete, and keep clients happy. This transition included modernizing not only their technology, but also their processes. 

Read the story

Misconception #3: Digital transformation will mean a complete disruption of your business

Just because an organization is going through a digital transformation does not mean that it needs to be a massive burden or obstacle. Far too often people think the bigger the shift the better, or if we don’t feel disrupted entirely we aren’t doing it correctly.

Yes, disruption is par for the course but it is key to be pragmatic. In doing so you will be better off in the long run. The purpose of an impactful digital transformation is to improve business processes and practices – holistically creating a stronger company. By trying to move too fast or creating too many changes you can negatively impact the business. Being pragmatic in your approach offers key benefits including:

  • The ability to be more flexible and agile.
  • The ability to capitalize on emerging technologies.
  • The ability to test, implement and optimize.
Want more pointers?

Firms that successfully organize, structure, and operationalize innovation across the enterprise are handling disruption more effectively, and their investments in support of effective collaboration are rewarded with large increases in revenue and other business benefits.
Download the whitepaper and infographic

A digital transformation is more than just keeping up with trendy tech, it’s a business-critical evolution that organizations must undergo to remain successful. While it might seem that every company is in some state of a digital transformation, no two transformations will look the same. Trying to compare your transformation to peer companies, or past companies you have worked at can end in disaster. This is because every organization is unique, has different needs, and can be at different stages in its respective journey.

See how Atlassian has balanced technology and culture through major shifts. Read the blog post from our Chief Technology Officer, Sri Viswanath.

Unblurring the lines of a digital transformation