Skip to main content

About this book

If you are curious about the basics of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and quantum computing as key enablers for digital transformation and innovation, Digital Fluency is your handy guide. The real-world applications of these cutting-edge technologies are expanding rapidly, and your daily life will continue to be affected by each of them. There is no better time than now to get started and become digitally fluent.

You need not have previous knowledge of these versatile technologies, as author Volker Lang will expertly guide you through this digital age. He illustrates key concepts and applications in numerous practical examples and more than 48 catchy figures throughout Digital Fluency. The end of each chapter presents you with a helpful implementation checklist of central lessons before proceeding to the next. This book gets to the heart of digital buzzwords and concepts, and tells you what they truly mean.

Breaking down topics such as automated driving and intelligent robotics powered by artificial intelligence, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, drug development and optimization of financial investment portfolios by quantum computing, and more is imperative to being ready for what the future of industry holds. Whether your own digital transformation journey takes place within your private or public organization, your studies, or your individual household, Digital Fluency maps out a concrete digital action plan for all of your technology and innovation strategy needs.

What You Will Learn Gain guidance in the digital age without requiring any previous knowledge about digital technologies and digital transformationGet acquainted with the most popular current and prospective applications of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and quantum computing across a wide range of industries including healthcare, financial services, and the automobile industryBecome familiar with the digital innovation models of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and other world-leading organizations Implement your own digital transformation successfully along the eight core dimensions of a concrete digital action plan

Who This Book Is For

Thought-leaders, business executives and industry strategists, management and strategy consultants, politicians and policy makers, entrepreneurs, financial analysts, investors and venture capitalists, students and research scientists, as well as general readers, who want to become digitally fluent.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Digitalization and Digital Transformation

Digitalization is a technological trend that is reshaping all sectors of our industry and society today. It is considered a major and inexorable driving force of innovation and disruption that challenges private and public organizations equally. With all economic and societal sectors being affected, digital economy is very dynamic and increasingly competitive. It empowers new startup ventures – backed by many billion dollars of venture capital – to create novel value propositions by leveraging digital technologies. Their highly scalable, data-driven, and software-centric operating models increasingly collide with incumbent companies and poise an existential threat to their business. Just think about Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android smartphones, for example. Built on a consistent digital platform, both companies attracted ever-expanding ecosystems of third-party app developers that ultimately caused Nokia to tumble from a position of phone industry dominance into irrelevance. This story is threatening to repeat everywhere across the economy: The cloud computing services of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are challenging traditional software and hardware providers, the online marketplaces of Amazon and Alibaba are replacing traditional retailers and challenge companies like on-demand Walmart, and the video delivery services of Netflix and Hulu are about to disrupt traditional pay TV providers. Another very popular example is the online booking platforms Airbnb and that leverage digital technologies to simplify booking and offer personalized and individually tailored travel experiences while disrupting the business of traditional hotel chains including Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. In order to capture the benefits of digital technologies, established organizations – independently of whether they operate in the public or private sector – are forced to incorporate them into their own ecosystem to advance their product and service portfolios through an organizational change process that is commonly referred to as digital transformation. This process of technology adaptation is particularly challenging for companies that were – in contrast to Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others – not “born digital” since those companies need to undergo far-reaching business transitions that may well overturn established job designs and internal business processes and require novel ways of thinking and collaboration.
Volker Lang

Chapter 2. Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is the first digital support technology we explore in this book in more detail. It is sometimes portrayed as brilliant scientists exploring the most obscure natural phenomena in exotic laboratories and aiming to build very powerful science fiction supercomputers that are practically capable of doing anything. But this public perception has been changing lately since various tech companies around the world have invested in this technology to apply it to real-life business problems and explore potential use cases. Among them are Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Honeywell, for instance, just to mention a few pioneers in this ongoing field of industrial research. They frequently report on their latest achievements, highlight current business applications, and emphasize the great prospects of this digital technology. Even The New York Times picked up this trend lately and described quantum computing as one of the most “jazziest and most mysterious concepts of modern science” [1].
Volker Lang

Chapter 3. Blockchain Technology

Contracts and transactions are at the heart of our modern society. Their paper-based and digital records define the most important structures of our administrative economic, legal, political, and social systems by setting associated regulatory boundaries. They govern interactions among nations, public and private organizations, communities, and individuals worldwide [1]. This is why they are frequently subject to digital abuse and fraud, which is why cybersecurity is more important than ever in the digital age. Blockchain technology promises to play a crucial role in this context since it might be as disruptive for data integrity and recording as the Internet has been for data access and exchange.
Volker Lang

Chapter 4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most versatile digital technology introduced in this book and among the most frequently used buzzwords in media today. It is often used in conjunction with the related terms machine learning, neural networks, big data, and deep learning, which we will discuss in this chapter, too. We will see that artificial intelligence offers a wide range of applications across all sectors of modern business and society.
Volker Lang

Chapter 5. Your Digital Action Plan

The previous chapters provided you with a profound understanding of the three most important digital technologies that foster the digital transformation of private and public organizations: quantum computing, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence. The different applications and use cases described exemplarily at the end of each chapter revealed that each technology not only allows for optimizing existing products and services but also for exploring new growth opportunities in mature and entirely new markets or environments.
Volker Lang


Additional information

Premium Partner

    Image Credits