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What Is Digital Transformation (DX)?

Digital transformation (DX) is a strategy of enabling business innovation predicated on the incorporation of digital technologies into your operational process, products, solutions, and customer interactions. The strategy is focused on leveraging the opportunities of new technologies and their impact to the business by focusing on the creation and monetization of digital assets.

Digital transformation involves the building of a digital ecosystem in which there are coherence and seamless integration between customers, partners, employees, suppliers, and external entities, providing greater overall value to the whole.

Keys to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation can be either linear or exponential. Companies embarking on linear digital transformation examine how to modernize and improve current operations. In many instances, this is the point where many organizations examine the opportunities to digitally transform. Fundamentally changing how an organization operates, though, is a component of exponential digital transformation. This requires a fundamental shift in thinking of the entire organization and holistically embracing change using digital technology for all processes and interactions, both internally and externally. As an example, a retailer that modernizes its distribution system though digital technology is undergoing linear transformation. A retailer that builds an e-commerce site to dramatically change how it reaches and sells to customers is exhibiting exponential digital transformation.

Benefits and Challenges of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is dependent on managing the exponential growth, intrinsic value, and movement of data. It requires incorporating and managing data in a complex, hybrid world where data resides in your data center, in the cloud, at the edge, and through externally linked applications and platforms. The growth and manageability of that data need to be effectively governed to make sure of data sovereignty, security, and cost containment.

To address these data challenges, gain competitive edge, and thrive in the digital transformation era, NetApp® Data Fabric solutions enable your digital transformation journey in this complex, hybrid cloud world. From award-winning cloud backup solutions to synchronizing and securing data seamlessly between clouds and on-premises solutions, NetApp has focused on enabling your digital transformation journey.

Examples of Digital Transformation

You can see examples everywhere of DX adoption. GE built a whole new division through the creation of Predix, a tool to help GE customers build the software that powers Internet-connected industrial machinery such as jet turbines, trains, and factory robots. LEGO has generated a 20% CAGR since 2009 based on the success of its digital business. Audi has increased YoY sales through the creation of Audi City, allowing customers to seamlessly configure their Audi virtually in full size, on “powerwalls” throughout select showrooms. Union Pacific’s PS Technology is a for-profit technology subsidiary that takes technology Union Pacific builds internally, modifies it for external use, and sells it in the marketplace.

Probably the greatest example of an existing organization undertaking digital transformation can be found in the evolution of Netflix from DVD rentals to online subscription-based entertainment streaming, including original content creation. Digital transformation has become a corporate imperative.

NetApp’s Own Digital Transformation

NetApp has undergone DX through the decoupling of its industry-leading storage software, ONTAP®, into both the Azure and AWS cloud environment. ONTAP Cloud is a software-only storage service, offering superior data management on both the Azure and AWS cloud:


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