Last year, my predictions for digital transformation were focused on the core DNA that organizations needed to put into place to achieve world-leading performance and results in digital transformation.\nIn addition to perennial themes such as leadership, people and cultural competencies, these new strategic themes for digital transformation included disruptive technologies, platform business models, digital services mastery and leading practices in corporate innovation.\nRather than focusing on discrete technologies, the themes were designed to help organizations focus on the bigger picture to advance their digital strategies, their overall digital transformation maturity, and their corresponding industry competitiveness and agility.\nAs an evolution of last year\u2019s themes, the new strategic themes for 2018 are related to further institutionalizing digital transformation capabilities within the enterprise. They pertain to digital insight, digital frameworks, implementing intrinsic agility and achieving balance as follows:\n1. Digital insight \u2013 from platitudes to actionable perspectives\nDespite being over five years into digital transformation, in 2017 we saw the topic reach the top of the hype cycle with platitudes and pablum from vendors that in many instances was largely superficial in its content. Mantras and tech visions such as \u201cpeople first\u201d and the citing of emerging technology alphabet soup, together with \u201cdesign thinking\u201d thrown in for good measure, did little to advance the discipline or give organizations a clear path forward.\nIn 2018, the C-suite will look for organizations that can go well beyond the platitudes and offer a more structured, logical approach to digital transformation with more refined perspectives and approaches that strategically organize all the requisite steps and elements. These approaches will clearly delineate between business objectives and the platforms, technologies and techniques to get there.\u00a0\nA great way to get started with more mature approaches is to look towards digital transformation maturity models such as those of the British Computer Society and many others. These models, by their very nature, need to be holistic across people, process and technology and incorporate all the requisite elements for success in digital transformation. If you still get \u201cpeople first\u201d mantras from your vendors and strategic partners, ask questions, and then ask again \u2013 using the Socratic method for example \u2013 to see how deep their thinking really goes.\n2. Digital frameworks \u2013 from DIY to off-the-shelf platforms and accelerators\nIn prior years, there was little in the way of digital transformation frameworks or proven approaches to guide organizations along their transformation journeys and they typically had to figure this out for themselves. The role of the Chief Digital Officer has significantly evolved as part of this journey as well.\nIn 2018, we can expect to see a greater array of pre-assembled digital transformation platforms and frameworks from vendors that can help accelerate your digital journey. Platforms such as SAP\u2019s Leonardo and GE\u2019s Predix are some outstanding examples which I believe are incorporating all the right elements and doing so in an ecosystem-oriented approach.\nWhen selecting a platform or framework, it\u2019s important to determine what you want to accomplish and review the full functionality on offer. Ideally, the solution should provide a core platform as well as the requisite technologies, techniques and innovation approaches to help you take advantage of the core DNA elements highlighted earlier.\nIt will be important to look beyond one-size-fits-all approaches and look for highly-flexible, industry-oriented platforms with extensions and accelerators that give you the ability to pick and choose exactly the components you need, and to evolve and add services and capabilities over time. Integration with your current applications and infrastructure will also be critical to support evolution over revolution.\n3. Digital intrinsic agility \u2013 from destination focus to continuous journey focus\nDigital transformation is clearly a journey, not a destination, so even once you achieve success with major initiatives, there will be a need for continuous innovation and rapid response to change, and to challenges and opportunities as they arise.\nIn 2018, CIOs should focus on incorporating next-generation skills and capabilities so that agility \u2013 and continuous digital transformation \u2013 become an intrinsic part of the organization\u2019s operating model.\nAs an example, platform business models are intrinsically agile because they enable rapid growth and changes to the ecosystem by relying on external producers and consumers to provide the actual \u2013 physical or digital \u2013 products, services and social currency.\nLikewise, innovation programs can be designed to be intrinsically agile by ensuring tools and processes can handle a wide array of goals and objectives. In essence, you want the innovation pipeline process to be standardized, but the types of innovation flowing through the pipeline to be infinitely variable.\u00a0\n4. Digital balance \u2013 from gregarious disruption to ethical disruption\nWith digital disruption in full swing, less scrupulous organizations are \u201cdisrupting\u201d, but throwing rules, regulations and ethics to the wind, believing they can apologize later and pay token fines where needed.\u00a0\u00a0\nAs an example, rather than just bringing in AI and hoping universal basic income will address the significant challenges posed for the workplace, think about how you might optimize human-machine work processes and so each can work seamlessly together.\nIn 2018, CIOs should focus on more than introducing a disruptive business model, but doing it in a way that\u2019s more in compliance with existing rules and regulations and sustainable approaches such as the UN\u2019s sustainable development goals for 2030.\nIn other words, don\u2019t just let software eat the world, try to be cognizant of what your software might eat and the ramifications for both near- and longer-term society. Tie your disruption to your company mission statement and disrupt to make a positive difference.\nIn summary, with so much focus on specific trends and technologies in the world of digital transformation, it\u2019s often valuable to step back and make sure you can see the forest for the trees. In 2018, ask what key insights will help guide your journey, what leading platforms and frameworks will accelerate your journey, how you can build in intrinsic agility into your digital operating model, and how you can strike that right digital balance and disrupt to make a difference.