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Capsule Review

Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction

In This Review

Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction
Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction
By Thomas M. Siebel
RosettaBooks, 2019, 256 pp. Purchase

The “mass extinction” of the subtitle refers to business firms that fail to digitize their operations. Successful digitization, according to Siebel, involves mastering four key technologies: flexible cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. In the public sector, digitization will allow governments to reduce costs and improve services. Siebel details useful case studies of U.S. and European firms that have benefited from digitization, such as John Deere, 3M, and Italy’s Enel. He also examines the U.S. Air Force’s use of artificial intelligence to anticipate maintenance requirements for airplanes. The book sounds a note of warning in tracing the ambitious pace of digitization in China, which is virtually at war with the United States and other Western countries in developing and exploiting new technologies. 

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