Introduction

Andrew Birmingham is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Which-50.

Which-50 first turned the lens on digital transformation in Australia three years ago. At the time the level of genuine investment in most large incumbent organisations was parsimonious at best.

If digital captured much attention at all it tended to be in areas such as cyber security or brand risk across social media channels.

The idea that local banks could see a third of their profits contested by insurgent fintechs or alternative lenders, or that large incumbent retailers might face an existential threat from Chinese ecommerce providers was viewed as fanciful by company leaders and owners.

Too many assumed they would be protected by regulators or that they could simply use their scale to buy or overwhelm insurgents.

Now that has changed, but progress remains slow and grudging. Directors among the ASX 200 have little insight into how poorly they are regarded on the digital front and, often how ill served they are by their advisors. A visit to the Facebook campus followed by three days of laughter and forgetting in the Napa Valley is no substitute for real leadership.

Companies like Uber and Airbnb are now watchwords for the digital insurgency. Technologies like blockchain are being applied in ways never imagined and all parts of the economy are now considered contestable.

Three years on, digital disruption and transformation are mainstream topics.

In Which-50's first digital magazine edition we interview Dr Didier Bonnet, Capgemini's global digital lead about disruption and digital transformation progress around the world, we examine McKinsey & Company's notion of transformation with a capital T, and focus our lens on the impact and success of Amazon in the US. And of course we look at the insights from the latest research.

As you read these stories and reflect on the huge changes we have already seen consider this. We are only just getting started.