Digital Transformation in Mail Order

4th Annual IoT in Oil Gas Conference, September18-19, 2018

This information was originally created and presented at the 4th Annual IoT in Oil Gas Conference in Houston on August 18-19, 2018.

The topic was

Improving IT/ OT Collaboration
The New Paradigm in Digital Transformation

The topic focused on Digital Transformation and how the IT and OT communities must function together moving forward. [The recent upsurge in industrial hacking and ransomware further demonstrate this need, 7/9/21]

Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. For this blog, Digital Transformation is the planned application of technology and technologies to achieve improved business models.

Digital transformation marks a rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people, and processes in pursuit of new business models and new revenue streams, driven by changes in customer expectations around products and services.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Kuhn Cycle defines a typical Scientific Revolution cycle. The revolution occurs when the status-quo is no longer sufficient; when the existing framework no longer defines reality.

Examples of Scientific Revolution include the transition to spherical earth models and the transition to horizontal drilling.

The Kuhn Cycle consists of four portions:

  • Normal Science
    • Equilibrium, harmony
  • Model Drift
    • Outliers cease to be outliers
    • Ripples turn to discontinuity
  • Model Crisis
    • Alternate methods permitted
    • Out-of-the-box reconsidered
  • Model Revolution
    • New model becomes the new-normal
  • Paradigm Change
    • (Textbooks play catch-up)

Digital Transformation: Crisis and Recovery

100 years ago, Sears and Roebuck were the undisputed leaders in mail order commerce. An order for anything could be placed with reasonable expectation for delivery.

The age of the internet, B2B and B2C commerce completely changed the model. Today, Sears is virtually non-existent.

The precipitations event is the advent of the internet and e-commerce. The e-commerce model was in crisis and becoming a new construct.

The new paradigm found three new retail archetypes:

  1. Sears, unable to cope, unable to survive
  2. Amazon, the new undisputed leader in mail order commerce.
  3. Walmart, initially suffering diminished capacity to cope [but they are recovering and have become relevant]


What is digital transformation? A necessary disruption
Clint Boulton, Senior Writer, CIO | JUN 24, 2021 2:00 AM PDT


About Mark Reynolds 45 Articles
Master of Engineering professional experienced as engineer, architect, manager, mentor and evangelist. Accomplished Architect demonstrating proactive application of digital technologies and agile methodologies balanced between engineering, development, automation, adaptive processing, and distributed systems. Solution Evangelist with recognized command of processes, distributed systems, analytics, machine learning, and multiple digital technologies. Mentor, Professor and Lifelong Learner teaching internal educational projects, university computer science, industry conferences.