Welcome to A Digital Business Primer (2nd edition). This is a thrilling new text on the fourth industrial revolution and digital technology, aimed at practitioners, managers, and other non-technical professionals whose lives are increasingly affected by digital technologies.
It has become practically axiomatic that technology is a pervasive and accelerating influence on organizations, with wide-reaching impacts on every level of management and business function, from product design and customer experience to HRM, finance and all other areas of organizational functioning.
However, there are so many unknowns and underdeveloped areas of knowledge within the arenas of digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution. What do these things refer to in the first place? What really are the implications for organizational strategy – does strategy change fundamentally, or rather adapt traditional thinking and models to new realities? How do organizations effectively and correctly transform themselves to these forces, in order to thrive in our new realities?
It is these questions that are addressed in this book. We note that A Digital Business Primer (2nd edition) is a collation of chapters from our bigger Digital Business books series, namely Digital Business Vol I: Introduction to Digital Business & Technology, Digital Business Vol II: Business Strategy for the Digital Era and Digital Business Vol III: Digital Transformation and Maturity (see https://www.silkroutepress.com).
This book contains four parts comprising 18 chapters:
Part I gives a broad-ranging introduction to digitalization and digital business.
- Chapter 1 discusses core concepts in digitalization, essentially asking the question “what is digitalization?”
- Chapter 2 contemplates why one might consider entering into a digitalization project as individuals, organizations.
- Chapter 3 discusses when technological disruptions occur, which contemplates core factors which contribute to technological disruptions.
- Chapter 4 gives three brief case studies, each involving potentially disruptive 3D printing technology in three different industries. These cases challenge the reader to apply the concepts of convergence, the crucial triad, and technological adoption which were covered in the prior chapter.
- Chapter 5 covers various topics regarding how technological and digital disruptions occur and have occurred, ranging from trends on technology and society to organizational and individual trends which help us to predict future technological disruptions.
- Chapter 6 discusses various topics around where digital disruption has, is, and to some extent is not occurring (with the latter topic reflecting the digital divide).
- Chapter 7 provides an integrative case study on Google Maps that not only helps to illustrate the concepts of prior chapters, but also to provide thought challenges for the reader.
Part II expands on the core 4IR technologies in organizational context:
- Chapter 8 gives more detail on the major 4IR technologies.
- Chapter 9 provides an array of case studies in organizational applications or experiences of digital technologies.
Part III discusses business strategy in the digital era:
- Chapter 10 gives an overview of traditional strategy, and discusses how digital disruption affects traditional strategy.
- Chapter 11 explores business models, including some specific topics germane to digital business such as free and freemium business models.
- Chapter 12 covers platform businesses.
- Chapter 13 provides a set of strategy in the digital era case studies.
Part IV gives some selected topics in digital transformation and maturity, namely:
- Chapter 14 unpacks digital transformation and change.
- Chapter 15 discusses digital maturity and presents a comprehensive model for understanding and measuring it.
- Chapter 16 is on lean innovation.
- Chapter 17 covers gamification.
- Chapter 18 provides two case studies in the area of digital transformation & maturity.
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