Some people maintain there's no such thing as digital strategy … there's just strategy in a digital world.

It's an interesting observation that underscores the imperative of digital transformation ­– the catalyst for CMSWire's inaugural DX Summit this past November.

Digital transformation is broadly defined as the use of technology to dramatically improve the performance or reach of enterprises.

St. Louis, Mo.-based Perficient, a consulting firm specializing in digital transformation, more narrowly defines it as "a means of modernizing the systems that create, deliver and sustain meaningful customer experiences."

By any definition, digital transformation is triggering massive changes in corporate strategy and organization. In the context of customer experience, it's forcing organizations to rethink everything from their vision and mission to their technology, operations and the ways they engage with their customers.

And according to dozens of experts who attended our DX Summit, it's arguably the single most important driver of business success.

You Missed So Much at DXS15

Why are companies such as Google, Amazon, Uber and Netflix thriving?

Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords, suggests it is because they have adapted new models of organization that opened up as a result of digital.

"Too many organizations want digital transformation without having to do any real transforming. Digital is not the transformation. It is the agent of transformation," he explained in a recent CMSWire article.

How can your organization optimize the use of digital tools and technologies to take your customer experience to the next level? That was the focus of our first digital experience summit — DXS15.

Held Nov. 3 and 4 in Chicago, DXS15 was a forum for information, marketing and networking … a place where business professionals could discuss how to benefit, succeed, and yes, even profit by way of the possibilities digital transformation enables.

Lessons Learned

Forrester analyst Mark Grannan discussed the importance of aligning a company's technology strategy with its business goals. And he warned that companies that fail get their digital experience right, are putting their businesses at risk.

Tami Cannizzaro, senior director of marketing for eBay’s Enterprise unit, explained how legacy marketing efforts — in which brands fiercely maintain and protect their identities — are failing to keep up with the rapid shifts in human behavior that have reshaped our consumer interactions with traditional advertising, TV and even digital communications channels.

“There is no longer a captive audience for anything these days,” she cautioned.

Jahia CMO Kevin Cochrane told an audience of digital leaders to capitalize on technology to build fuller, more robust relationships with their customers. “I would argue that no one has a real brand experience today that is connected with the digital consumer. It’s time to take that next step and make sure that as we use [available consumer] data, we put people back into the heart of what we do each and every day,” he said.

The bottom line: If we’re being truly customer-centric, then technologists need to craft digital experiences that transcend any and all delivery platforms.

We'd define it as a paradigm shift if that phrase wasn't so overused and meaningless. Instead, we'll say simply that embracing digital is a broad, effective and necessary strategy for future proofing your business.

Cochrane called it the dawn of probably the most exciting digital wave we've ever seen. "This is going to fundamentally transform industries. It's going to fundamentally disrupt markets and those that do this right are those brands that are going to win," he continued.

"Seamless digital customer experience is not only a possibility: It's an imperative."

Whether you attended DXS15 — or just wish you had — this video should whet your appetite to join us for the second annual DX Summit. Plan to join us in Chicago later this year for an interesting, exciting and immersive digital experience.

We may be living in a digital age, but nothing amplifies the power of technology like having the chance to meet face-to-face.