Digital transformation today is increasingly enriched with new meanings, coming to qualify as transformative innovation. There is a before and there is an after digitization, nothing is the same as before: transformative innovation produces a radical change that transforms the market framework in which the enterprise is placed. It is innovation that creates new processes, products, services and business models. In the corporate sphere, it is a deep and systemic change at the level of meaning and mode, through which an organization operates. According to many scholars, it is even an epochal change. Digital transformation is the prerequisite for transformative innovation, enabling more agile organizations where changes are exponential through a data-driven way of working. Moreover, digital transformation is unthinkable without a profound renewal of the business model and in the absence of proper strategic repositioning.

Researchers at the University of Pavia highlighted the relevance of some aspects that characterize transformative innovation in the current competitive scenario through a study based on 10 interviews with top managers, 15 case studies analyzed and 558 structured questionnaires.

Transformative innovation creates new processes, products, services and market models. In the business environment, it is a deep and systemic change with digital transformation as a prerequisite

• in business transformation, strategic business repositioning goes hand in hand with a transition to new technological paradigms; 

• digital transformation is not solely a technological issue, but goes to impact business model renewal;

• digital transformation is linked to two other equally important directions of change: revolution in business models and sustainable transition (ecological and social). To separate these streams by considering them different and parallel paths is erroneous and misleading; 

• among the fundamental components of contemporary business change we find purpose transformation, which profoundly affect business goals and values;

• new business goals are intertwined with new values and meanings. We move from "profiting from problems" to "generating prosperity by eliminating problems”;

• the more innovative enterprises are, the less they transform as a reaction to major shocks, and vice versa. The less innovative enterprises are, the more haphazardly they transform as a reaction to uncertainty.

In the era of transformative innovation, business model rethinkings, digital transformation and transition to sustainable models represent a single trajectory of momentous change, not three different directions. 

In fact, digital transformation is not conceivable without in-depth rethinking of core-business and a rigorous plan for continuing education and reskilling.