Best Practices

15 Digital Transformation Quotes to Lead Change & Inspire Action

Jonathan Friedman
April 16, 2021
15 Digital Transformation Quotes to Lead Change & Inspire Action

Are you looking for digital transformation quotes to inspire change?

In 2020, the world saw the most significant change in society for decades. But what has it taught us about embracing digital transformation? Everyone in the global community had to adapt their way of living and working at speed.


So how can we turn this global setback into a digital transformation opportunity? And how can we change the world for the greater good?

Well, we've uncovered 15 inspirational digital transformation quotes that'll get you there. Soon enough, you'll become the next leader of change and inspire action.


Below is everything we will cover. Feel free to skip ahead.


What is digital transformation?

Digital Transformation is a process that allows a company to adapt and grow online. Digital transformation has been around since the internet. It has recently become popularized by the rapid growth of technology affecting everyday life.

The benefits of digital transformation include:

15 Digital transformation quotes to lead change and inspire action

Now you have a basic understanding of what digital transformation means. Let's take a closer look at 15 quotes that will inspire you to lead your organization's change.

1) "Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster." - Elon Musk, Tesla Founder

Elon's quote refers to the global crisis we face today, but it applies to all digital transformation areas. Microsoft's shift to cloud computing epitomized the spirit of using transformation in digital survival.

2) "In today's era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility. That's it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate." - Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder

When the world's richest man (at the time of writing) speaks, we listen!

3) "90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will impact their industry, but less than 15% are executing on a digital strategy." — Mit Sloan and Cap Gemini

What good is the impact if you're not going to make the most of it?

4) "The reality is, many digital transformations fail because companies aren't integrating their business and technology strategies from the start. CIOs must know how to quantify their progress with AI and digitization technologies and understand how to communicate this value to key stakeholders effectively." - Chris Bedi, ServiceNow CIO

In this quote, Chris Bedi talks about the importance of planting the seed early. Integrating businesses with technology strategy is vital. It's a challenge all digital transformation leaders face.

5) "It's no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow." - Eric Pearson, International Hotel Group CIO

Technology is evolving so rapidly that even money and size don't matter as much anymore. The only way to stay ahead of the pack is to be fast.

6) "With fast ideas comes faster innovation: 60% of Apple's revenue comes from products that didn't exist 4 years ago. That's a blistering pace of innovation. Expect that to become the norm in most industries as the future accelerates, product lifecycles collapse, and disruption disrupts." - Jim Carroll, Futurist

Everyone knows Apple is a pioneer when it comes to digital transformation. They are the brand that pioneered smartphones, mp3 players, and tablets. Jim Carroll's quote is a reminder of how quickly digital transformation is evolving.

7) "Less than 1% of data in businesses is analyzed and turned into benefits." - SAP

This alarming statistic shows demand for more business leaders to become data-driven. The business world is undergoing a data boom, and digital transformation is at the fore. What would you do with 99% of the data?

8) "You can't delegate digital transformation for your company… You and your executives have to own it! Executives need to engage, embrace and adopt new ways of working with the latest and emerging technologies." - Barry Ross, Ross, and Ross International Co-Founder

Digital transformation is mainly a leadership, strategic and organizational challenge. Sometimes it feels like we are trying to fight with technology. It doesn't have to be this way if you find the right recipe.

9) "IT leaders, CIOs specifically, need to stop being so passive. I view the role of IT, the role of the CIO, as is frankly one of the most important, if not the most important, role at the leadership table today. Because company CIOs that can't understand how to use technology to change their business models are going to find themselves somewhat out of jobs." - Jeff Immelt, GE CIO

This quote is a reminder that the future is for those who understand technology's worth, even if they don't understand the tech themselves.

10) "At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… If they don't figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies." - John Chambers, CISCO System Executive Chairman

John Chambers uses pure facts here to echo the sentiments of many others on this list. Would you rather be one of the 40% or 60%?

11) "Don't be fooled by some of the digital transformation buzz out there, digital transformation is a business discipline or company philosophy, not a project." - Katherine Kostereva, BPM Online CEO

Here, Katherine Kostereva talks about how digital transformation is more than a one-off concept. She shows it's embodied in the ethics of any business that's serious about change.

12) "Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." - JOHN F. KENNEDY, Ex-President of the USA.

This quote from JFK alludes to Darwin's theories of evolution and with good reason. It takes up valuable time looking backward.

13) "The last ten years of IT have been about changing the way people work. The next ten years of IT will be about transforming your business." - Aaron Levie, Box CEO.

The transformation of business isn't new. It's been happening for centuries. Arron Levie understands that you can't predict the future. But transforming your business is what gets you to the answers you didn't know existed.

14) "We're only at the very, very beginning of this next generation of computing, and I think that every industry leader will be the ones that transform first. I don't care what industry you're talking about." - Kim Stevenson, Intel CIO

Kim Stevenson, an innovator in the technological industry, alludes to the fact that all businesses will need to keep up with tech. They will have to adapt and invest in innovation management to create the bandwagon instead of jumping on it too late.

15) "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." - Charles Darwin, Scientist, and Philosopher.

Interestingly, this is a quote Darwin didn't say; somewhere along the line, the original section evolved. But it's embedded on the floor in the California Academy of Sciences and is a brilliant quote nonetheless. Evolution is a universal concept that applies to what makes us human, as well as life itself.

5 Actionable tips to lead change

Are you feeling inspired after reading our digital transformation quotes? Let's keep that flow and discover five actionable tips that will drive you to lead change in your organization:

1. Engage, don't demand

It's your business, be a leader! One of the most crucial parts of driving digital transformation is leading the change as a business leader. You have to get your team on board with the changes, but you need to show the business leaders how being more digital can benefit them. Business leaders make a common mistake because they tell (push) their employees what they need to do instead of engaging the team in the conversation.

As a leader, your goal shouldn't just be delivering an IT solution. It should also make sure your organization understands why it will help them in the first place.

Yet, changing the way people work is not an easy task and requires engagement at all levels. Engagement cannot take place by just telling employees what they should do and how to do it.

2. Define your strategy

It's a big deal! Change is likely to happen in your organization, but how is it going to happen? Business leaders often need to have a clear vision of what the organization should focus on before digital transformation.

Business leaders need to slow down and define clear strategies based on the business's needs that will drive change and create value to make this happen. Having a clear plan on what you are trying to transform and how you go about transforming is fundamental to leading change.

3. Craft your implementation approach

Impact of change. Your strategy will drive the change, and one of the critical things to do to drive change is to plan your implementation approach. Planning is necessary as it will allow you to guide people in the organization and have ideas about what to do, how to do it, and why.

One of the most common ways that business leaders drive change in an organization is by using pilots. Pilots are an agile change management approach that can provide an opportunity to test and prove your ideas, assumptions, and learnings. They also offer a vision of what digital transformation means for your organization.

Taking into account that implementing a drastic change in any area of the company will bring about a significant impact with various stakeholders having different expectations and goals. So, make sure you are ready for it.

4. Embrace technology as an enabler

We live in a world surrounded by technology. It's essential to embrace technology not only as a customer but also as an employer. Technology plays a vital role in driving transformation.

Technology can also create platforms that connect employees. This can help share best practices, ideas, and experiences across all organizational levels. In turn, this allows them to be more productive. Creating such an ecosystem is key to driving innovation, better collaboration, and support change.

5. Never stop learning

Leading a digital transformation is a continuous process. It is a process where people need to keep learning and updating their knowledge. There are many ways to achieve this.

One of the best ways to learn more about the digital world is surfing online for articles or videos. These videos should relate to methods, strategies, and best practices that companies are using.

Another way that they can learn is by finding workshops and conferences related to the digital world. The other way to learn is by keeping in touch with the fundamentals of digital transformation.

Be inspired to inspire your team

New skillsets and capabilities, new roles and responsibilities, new metrics of success. These are all things that become part of your organization when you transform it.

Deploying a new technology or implementing business process improvement will affect every part of your business, from the salespeople on the front line to your senior leadership team and including everyone in between.

Companies need to continue their digital transformation to survive more than ever before. Nowadays, this transformation is all about changing human behavior as well as embracing new technology. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's advantageous when it's done correctly.

So now you've read some digital transformation quotes that can help you lead the next digital transformation. Pair your new found inspiration with our business transformation management software to manage your entire digital transformation.