What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is how good companies become great. They invest in becoming software-driven to reduce time-to-value windows. They choose a meaningful project, combine modern methodologies and technologies to build high-quality smart applications that regularly deliver real-time insights, then continually iterate to ensure exceptional customer experiences. Transform the way your business operates with software and reshape your industry, or better yet, the world.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation involves making fast and profound change in business activities, processes, competencies, and models to strategically leverage digital technologies and their wide-reaching impacts. Where before enterprises were unsure if IT or technology mattered (hence the outsourcing trend of a decade ago), today’s companies are focused on how to solve complex technical problems in software.

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Interdependence and interconnectedness are essential aspects of digital transformation. Transitioning a traditional enterprise into a modern software company requires adopting a startup state of mind. It means not taking infrastructure for granted, but rather moving to modern infrastructure that promotes and enhances an organization’s core expertise and values. Digital transformation also has to include wide-reaching organizational change to foster true disruption, including the adoption of Agile and Lean methodologies as replacements for traditional approaches to how software and services are built and delivered. Although it’s impossible to predict if and when any business will succeed, those undertaking digital transformation have the best chance of success because they are building in competitive advantage by rethinking existing processes and transitioning to new, Agile development methods using modern infrastructure.

“CIOs need to ensure they make the changes required to drive better customer experience, such as moving toward agile development and delivery models, cloud architectures, and rapidly evolving technologies such as social, mobile, and advanced analytics.”

Forrester Research

Why digital transformation matters


Competitive advantage

The continuous delivery mindset and adoption of collaborative development processes enables faster, higher-quality decision making and delivery at scale. Every organization will have to embrace digital transformation at some level to remain competitive.


Financial advantage

Software-driven companies are higher performing organizations that use data to remove ego and politics from business decisions.


Strategic advantage

Alignment everywhere in the organization instills confidence that team members are doing the right work, for the right customers, for the right reasons—at all times.


Cultural advantage

Teams in constant communication feel a sense of camaraderie and that can help reduce attrition.


Operational efficiency

Modern processes and technologies help reduce operational overhead, enabling businesses to invest less in maintenance and more in innovation that supports rapid change and greenfield development.


Increased developer productivity

Productive developers are happy developers. Enterprises leveraging Agile and Lean development models can decrease administrative tasks and increase delivery velocity, fundamentally improving time-to-value equations.


Faster time to market

Monolithic development methods and tools restrict innovation by constraining releases to one or two a year. Teams using modern development approaches and tools release continually, gaining first-mover market advantages.

Digital Transformation Versus Traditional Approaches

With Digital Transformation

Without Digital Transformation

Agile and flexible. Modern development approaches, including Agile and Lean methods, increase delivery velocity and enable teams to take risks.
Complex and inflexible. Traditional development approaches, like waterfall, are schedule-based and require teams to always follow the process.

Open. Use of open source software and open communities supports collaborative innovation.
Proprietary. Use of systems that lock businesses into specific technologies and approaches are costly to decommission.

Predictive analysis. Teams operationalize insights in real time through smart applications.
Historical reporting. Teams search business intelligence data to understand past behavior and then report on those trends.

Exceptional, personalized experiences. Through agile data science, organizations continually iterate using data to refine processes and results, then improve applications.
Single experience. Traditionally, organizations created and modified applications based on what they thought customers wanted.

Continuous, iterative delivery. Teams ensure software is ready for release at all times during development.
Sequential delivery. Waterfall methodology promotes a sequential design process, requiring staged completion—conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production, and maintenance—before any modification can be made. Software is only released at the end of the complete process.

Application-centric and API-driven. Teams focus on competing more effectively in markets based on continually improving experiences with products and services through plug-and-play software components.
Hard-wired and brittle. Teams update siloed systems using old technology that requires heavyweight hardwiring.

Digital transformation and VMware

Digital transformation ensures businesses can quickly respond to disruption. VMware’s integrated cloud technologies, together with collaborative application development and data and analytics solutions, let organizations build and run next-generation applications that deliver exceptional experiences. With our customers, we address the needs of modern business innovation by:


Building high-quality products at startup speed with Agile methodologies


Delivering enterprise resiliency with a next-generation cloud native platform


Delivering market insights with data science