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Book Review: Digital Transformation by Alessandro Braga

Book Cover of Digital Transformation by Alessandro Braga

I tend to avoid Italian business books, as too often, their approach is very narrow in terms of thinking, or not useful in terms of business impact. But I do respect a lot the work of Talent Garden, and Italian start-up that focuses on creating co-working spaces, but also nurturing a healthy start-up environment and fostering Digital Education. So I was very interested in reading this short book, as one of the few focusing on Digital Transformation currently available in Italy. Alessandro Braga is presently the Chief Digital Officer of Talent Garden.

I must say that I was a bit disappointed. The problem I see in this book, (and many more written by people working in start-up environments) is that they have a simplistic view of the world. And unfortunately this comes up from the structure of the book, well thought in terms of construction of the chapters, but weak of recipes replicable in a traditional organisation.

The introduction, by Alessandro Rimassa, one of the cofounders of Talent Garden, is genuinely fully aligned with my thought process (on which I have already posted recently). 

Digital Transformation is business and human transformation, implemented through technology and process digitisation

Alessandro Rimassa, Introduction to Digital Transformation by Alessandro Braga

If the start was very positive, the rest of the book did not meet the promise, as it struggled through several concepts, sometimes mentioned as a slogan, sometimes instead appropriately allocated, but without the necessary space to be fully understood. For example, the book says several times the concepts of user-centricity, user experience, human centricity, without really going in-depth into explaining what these means for an organisation.

On the positive note, there are quite some examples of successful companies (most of them start-ups) that have succeeded in one or the other aspects mentioned in the book. But again, this builds, even more, a cleavage with the rest of the world, that of more traditional organisations.

Despite the good ideas, I see this as a failed attempt to illustrate the amplitude of what Digital Transformation means in the framework of an organisation. The point of view is exciting and very much aligned to mine (especially in the “human” component). Still, it fails to deliver workable solutions, which brings back one of the implicit dangers of a lot of the discussions on the topic of digital transformation, i.e. the inherent opposition between a “start-up” model where everything is applicable, and a “traditional” organisation model where instead this transformation cannot be achieved. A very dangerous dichotomy, especially because digital transformation is happening in any case.

What’s your point of view on this?

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I am an experienced and innovative HR professional dedicated in improving the way organizations achieve results through their people. Over the years I have worked on many projects in different HR domains, gaining a deep understanding of all key HR processes, from Talent Management to Recruiting, from Organizational Design to Leadership Development, from HR Transformation to HR & Payroll Systems implementation at International level. Working with Fashion Brands, leading retailer as well as, through consulting, international brands in industries like Banking, Manufacturing, Professional Services at both Headquarter and local level. Last but not least I consider myself an eclectic and creative personality, with many interests ranging from technology to arts and poetry.

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