Free eBook from Wharton on ‘Becoming Digital’

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Leading IT services and solutions provider Mphasis and Knowledge@Wharton, the online business analysis journal of The Wharton School, have released a free eBook, Becoming Digital: Strategies for Business and Personal Transformation.

Experts from Wharton and top executives from Fortune 500 companies show readers the way to personal and business digital transformation. In this eBook, you’ll learn how to create a “mind map” so you can steer your company from analog to digital while staying anchored amid the fast-changing pace of digital technologies.

C-level executives from a variety of industries also discuss how they tackled digital transformation within their firms and what lessons they learned through the process. In addition, readers will glean insights on how to harness both data analytics and their gut feeling to spot emerging technologies before everyone else.

Mphasis CEO and Executive Director Ganesh Ayyar pens the eBook’s foreword, providing an unusually candid insight into his own transformation as he led a $1 billion technology services firm into the new digital era.

Ayyar explains, “I started my digital journey – knowing that I might fall and fail at times – with a bit of candor about my shortcomings. In acknowledging my flaws to my team, I could truly start afresh with my digital transformation. I began looking forward to discussions with my reverse mentors, and started espousing and embracing new ideas. I even played what I prefer to call the angel’s advocate for every team experiment.”

But it’s precisely this willingness to experiment – even risking failure – that is necessary to succeeding in digital. Business leaders who adopt a philosophy of experimentation send a signal throughout the company that people should not fear failure because it is part of the transformative process, according to Jerry “Yoram” Wind, director of Wharton’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management and a marketing professor at the business school.

Breakthroughs come in experimentation when people get over their natural inclination to be risk-averse. “That is why it is important to celebrate lessons learned from failures, as well as successes,” Wind says.

Wharton professors provide these and other original insights, as well as research, on digital transformation, with discussions revolving around the eBook’s three main themes: Transformation of the leader’s mindset, balancing the analog and digital parts of business and gaining the ability to spot future technological trends.

Here are some excerpts from the eBook’s one-on-one profiles:

  • “We have to constantly keep ahead and think about what the next big thing is,” Chieh Huang, Chief Executive Officer at tech start-up Boxed
  • “Thirty years ago, in the mainframe era, we were masters of the universe. We set the pace of how fast technology moved and we were owners of the tech world. Then the Internet and the PC era came around,” Dana Deasy, Chief Information Officer, JPMorgan Chase
  • “It’s our responsibility to help the business reinvent itself. It’s very important that we [in IT] should not believe that it is only our responsibility, because if we do, we will fail. It is the entire business’s responsibility to think about how to continue to reinvent itself,” Dale Danilewitz, Chief Information Officer, AmerisourceBergen
  • “Publishing is in a tumultuous period of rapid change. What we’ve done in the past couple of years – and this is a huge part of our digital transformation – is become much smarter about the end consumer, not at all to disintermediate the bookseller but rather to be able to market to readers more effectively on the bookseller’s behalf,” Angela Tribelli, Chief Marketing Officer, HarperCollins
  • “We’re really focused on providing an excellent digital experience, whether that’s online, mobile or some combination, in order to support what our clients are trying to do,” Hugh Westermeyer, Deputy CIO at First Republic Bank

The eBook is available for free download in more than 200 countries through Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Ganxy, Google Play, and Kobo. The eBook can be read on any of the retailers’ e-readers or by downloading a retailer’s eBook app to your computer desktop, tablet, or phone.

For more information, visit Becoming Digital: Strategies for Business and Personal Transformation here and at http://www.knowledgeatwharton.com/books/library/becoming-digital.

Image credit: ebayink (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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