Must-read books to understand the digital transformation

Are we aware of the epochal leap we are experiencing and its consequences on the economy and society? What’s the real impact of the digital transformation?

Pubblicato il 07 Feb 2018

Are we aware of the epochal leap we are experiencing and its consequences on the economy and society?

Reading is always a good idea and the main road to activate an inner brainstorming that helps to understand the changes around us, that today are always ‘digital’, ‘disruptive’, ‘exponential’.

The pace and the magnitude of the epochal leap that we are living is perhaps beyond the human capacity to take the hit naturally, it is necessary to commit ourselves and study, to better understand the digital transformation in all its aspects, to understand what happens today and what awaits us in the near future, at macro-economic and macro-social level, as well as in our daily life and in the business of companies.

One of the most effective ways to better understand things is to read books: reflections, opinions, different visions that shed light on many aspects that we often don’t catch and connect dots making everything clearer.

Below a list of 13 books that can help, in random order.

No ordinary disruption – The four global forces breaking all the trends

Written by three McKinsey analysts, it was reviewed by the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt: “It is not just any book on management, everyone who is in business and in the technology industry has been dealing with the term disruption for some years now. , but the way in which Dobbs, Manyika and Woetzel analyze the phenomenon and give it meaning is really new and exciting. They not only provide a preventive diagnosis of what will come, but also offer incisive thoughts on how each of us can succeed in an even faster world. The impressive changes they describe may seem overwhelming, but they do a remarkable job by inviting us to compare them with our intellect, humanity and deep optimism about the future.

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future

MIT professors Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson try to explain how we can tackle the digital transformation and its effects, rethinking the integration of the minds and machines, products and platforms, of the individual and the crowd. In all three cases, the balance now favors the second element of the couple, with maximum implications on how to manage our companies and live our lives.

The industry of the future

Written by Alec Ross, advisor to the Obama administration for Innovation and a professor at Columbia University, he has worked for years on the frontier of change, traveling all over the world, from start-up Kenya to South Korea of science-fiction research labs , to capture technological developments in real time. A true “futurist”, Ross wrote this book with a specific purpose: to tell everyone about the future that awaits us.

Insurance and Behavioral Economics: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry

That of ‘behavioral economics’ is a science that is growing rapidly in the business world, even among the insurtech startups, for example the New Yorker Lemonade has even hired in its team of top executives one of the main exponents of this theory that structures in particular the link between business and human psychology. The book written by Howard C. Kunreuther, Mark Pauly and Stacey McMorrow examines and analyzes situations that arise in the insurance industry.

Exponential organizations. Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)

By integrating the contribution of participants and members of the Singularity University community, Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest and Michael Malone studied this phenomenon and identified ten characteristics of exponential organizations. In the past it took twenty years to create a billion-dollar business. Groupon did it in eighteen months. What we are facing with is a new type of company: “exponential organizations”, which pulverize growth times through technologies, reducing costs exponentially.

Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide

Almost a novel, a financial thriller, that of AIG, a company at the center of the financial crisis of 2008 (but much less talked about than Lehman Brothers) that has almost collapsed the global economic system.

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World

Written by Don Tapscott, (best seller, famous thanks to Wikinomics), the book is really able to show clearly and easily blockchain technology and its impact worldwide in the coming years.

Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage

Written by Douglas B. Laney, consultant specializing in data and business analytics at Gartner, deals with the topic of information, knowledge deriving from data must be transformed into value and be treated in organizations as a real asset.

What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Best seller written by Rachel Botsman, world expert in sharing economy and theorizing of the concept of “collaborative consumption”. She was among the first to systematize issues such as digital sharing enabled economy and a new type of distributed trust. We talked about it in this article.

Driverless Car Revolution: Buy Mobility, Not Metal

The book presents the driverless car revolution not so much from a technological point of view, but in its impact on society and transport, explaining the benefits for people of all ages, from children to the elderly, persons with disabilities, workers, tourists and other particular categories; but also the disruption that will be led in the main industries and potentially within the entire society.

The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality​

The Italian philosopher transplanted in the UK Luciano Floridi supports in his essay that developments in the field of information and communication technologies are changing the answers to more fundamental questions for human being, starting from “who we are” and “how we want to relate to the others”. The boundaries between online and offline life tend to disappear and we are now connected to each other without interruption, becoming progressively an integral part of a global “infosphere”. We talked about Luciano Floridi in this article.

The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age

Any activity started before the Internet era, now faces the same challenge: how to turn to compete in a digital economy? Digital expert David L. Rogers, professor at Columbia Business School, argues that digital transformation is not about updating technology, but updating strategic thinking. The Digital Transformation Playbook shows how companies in the pre-digital era can adapt their strategies and capture new opportunities in the digital age.

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

A New York Times bestseller, this fascinating book shows the era of big data, where we can deal with an exaggerated amount of information, which can provide us with valuable insights. We are starting to reap the benefits: predict deadly infections, anticipate fires in a building, seize the best time to buy a flight ticket, observe real-time inflation and monitor social media to spot trends. But, of course, there is the dark side in big data.

-originally published on InsuranceUp

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