The CIO Reading List: The Digital Transformation Playbook

The CIO Reading List
The CIO Reading List

At the recent CIO100 Symposium in Colorado Springs, I was thrilled that we received such enthusiastic feedback and interest in the CIO Reading List!  I’m so glad that CIOs—and IT folks in general—understand the value of sharing and discussing books that aren’t explicitly about IT issues. With the industry moving so quickly, now more than ever we need fresh, new perspectives.

Having said that, the next book on the CIO Reading List hits right at the center of our CIO challenges. It’s The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business For The Digital Age, by David L. Rogers.

This book takes the fuzzy concept of “digital transformation” and breaks it down into five domains:


How moving from a mass market paradigm to one of customer networks changes everything we know about customers.


How digital disintermediation disrupts markets and how platform business models can capture enormous value.


How the new data deluge holds massive opportunities for the companies that learn how to turn it into value.


How an agile approach to continuous learning is replacing the high-risk obsession with the finished product.


How the very core of every business—the way it delivers value to customers—has to constantly evolve.

Rogers takes each domain in turn. He challenges us to re-think our assumptions and then moves to a new IT model—one that supports the new realities of the disruption driven by data and the corresponding digital transformation initiatives.

Each domain presents a strategic theme and a few key concepts to guide transformation. So, the customer domain’s main theme is to “harness customer networks,” and the ideas are about reinventing the marketing funnel and understanding the new path to purchase.

All very specific, practical, and actionable.

The book ends with a Digital Transformation Self-Assessment, based on a few dozen statements that you rate yourself against (happy to compare scores!).

If you’re leading your company through a digital transformation, I am certain your challenges will be covered in at least one of the chapters in this book.

Give it a read, and let me know what you think—or what books you recommend—in the comments below and on Twitter.

For an insider’s view on the book, here’s a talk on the Playbook that David gave at the BRITE conference (which he founded).