Cross-language Keyword Analysis of Digital Transformation for Business

  • Ziboud Van VeldhovenEmail author
  • Rongjia Song
  • Jan Vanthienen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Data Engineering and Communications Technologies book series (LNDECT, volume 41)


Digital transformation enjoys a growing interest from both practitioners and researchers. It is an encompassing term to describe the wide scope of the changes that are happening due to the increased use of digital technologies and comprises terms such as e-business and industry 4.0. Although the change is prominent worldwide, it is still not well defined and one might wonder if the concept is researched in the same way across the globe. For this reason, we conduct a thorough network analysis of the keyword co-occurrences in both the English and Chinese literature. We construct, compare, and analyze two conceptual networks to advance our understanding of digital transformation further and to investigate if there exists a difference between the English and Chinese literature. Furthermore, we utilize the obtained keyword networks to validate a recently proposed digital transformation framework. The results indicate that the digital transformation has a broad scope, is ill-defined, and is closely related to digitalization and industry 4.0. In English, digital transformation discusses many technologies, industries, and topics whereas the Chinese core journals mostly discuss the publishing and media industries. Finally, we present a research agenda that calls for more research in the role of society, more research in the interactions between society and business, and the usage of the right terminology.


Digital transformation Keyword analysis Bibliometric study Network analysis Scientometrics 


  1. 1.
    Stolterman, E., Fors, A.C.: Information Technology and the Good Life. Springer, Boston (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brynjolfsson, E., Hitt, L.M.: Beyond computation: information. J. Econ. Perspect. 14(4), 23–48 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Parviainen, P., Tihinen, M., Kääriäinen, J., Teppola, S.: Tackling the digitalization challenge: how to benefit from digitalization in practice. Int. J. Inf. Syst. Proj. Manage. 5(1), 63–77 (2017)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ebert, C., Duarte, C.H.C.: Digital transformation. IEEE Softw. 35(4), 16–21 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hinings, B., Gegenhuber, T., Greenwood, R.: Digital innovation and transformation: An institutional perspective. Inf. Organ. 28(1), 52–61 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Porter, M.E., Heppelmann, J.E.: How smart, connected products are transforming competition. Harv. Bus. Rev. 92, 1–23 (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chase, R.: We need to expand the definition of disruptive innovation. Harv. Bus. Rev. 7, 1–4 (2016)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fitzgerald, M., Kruschwitz, N., Bonnet, D., Welch, M.: Embracing digital technology: a new strategic imperative. MIT Sloan Manage. Rev. 55, 1–12 (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O.A., Pavlou, P.A., Venkatraman, N.: Digital business strategy: toward a next generation of insights. MIS Q. 37(2), 471–482 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vial, G.: Understanding digital transformation: a review and a research agenda. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 28, 1–27 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Haffke, I., Kalgovas, B., Benlian, A.: The role of the CIO and the CDO in an organization’s digital transformation. In: ICIS 2016 Proceedings, vol. 1, January 2017, pp. 1–20 (2016)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Henriette, E., Feki, M., Boughzala, I.: The shape of digital transformation: a systematic literature review. In: MCIS 2015, pp. 431–443 (2015)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schallmo, D.R.A., Williams, C.A.: Digital Transformation Now! Guiding the Successful Digitalization of Your Business Model, vol. 35, no. 4 (2018)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kane, G.C.: Digital maturity, not digital transformation. MIT Sloan Manage. Rev. (2017).
  15. 15.
    Matt, C., Hess, T., Benlian, A.: Digital transformation strategies. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 57(5), 339–343 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lozano, S., Calzada-Infante, L., Adenso-Díaz, B., García, S.: Complex network analysis of keywords co-occurrence in the recent efficiency analysis literature. Scientometrics 120(2), 1–21 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Van Veldhoven, Z., Vanthienen, J.: Designing a comprehensive understanding of digital transformation and its impact. In: 32nd Bled eConference: Humanizing Technology for a Sustainable Society, pp. 745–763 (2019)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Janik, A., Ryszko, A.: Mapping the field of Industry 4.0 based on bibliometric analysis. In: IBIMA Conference, pp. 1–15 (2018)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Deloitte: Industry 4.0. Challenges and solutions for the digital transformation and use of exponential technologies (2015)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Reis, J., Amorim, M., Melão, N., Matos, P.: Digital transformation: a literature review and guidelines for future digital transformation. In: World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies, pp. 411–421, March 2018Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Westerman, G., Calméjane, C., Bonnet, D., Ferraris, P., McAfee, A.: Digital Transformation: A Road-Map for Billion-Dollar Organizations (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chanias, S., Myers, M.D., Hess, T.: Digital transformation strategy making in pre-digital organizations: the case of a financial services provider. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 28(1), 17–33 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Liu, P., He, X.: The digital transformation of traditional industries. People’s Trib. 26, 87–89 (2018)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wang, J.: Digital transformation of commercial banks. China Financ. 22, 48–50 (2018)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Morakanyane, R., Grace, A.A., O’Reilly, P.: Conceptualizing digital transformation in business organizations: a systematic review of literature. In: Bled eConference: Digital Transformation - from Connecting Things to Transforming Our Lives, pp. 427–443 (2017)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ulez’ko, A., Demidov, P., Tolstykh, A.: The effects of the digital transformation. In: International Scientific and Practical Conference “Digitization of Agriculture - Development Strategy (ISPC 2019), vol. 167, pp. 125–129 (2019)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    van Eck, N.J., Waltman, L.: Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics 84(2), 523–538 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Legner, C., et al.: Digitalization: opportunity and challenge for the business and information systems engineering community. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 59(4), 301–308 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    von Leipzig, T., et al.: Initialising customer-orientated digital transformation in enterprises. Procedia Manuf. 8, 517–524 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Bejing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations