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Introduction to digital transformation

Gain essential knowledge to better prepare your organisation for digital transformation with the OU and industry experts, Target Internet. Whether you’re new to digital transformation or have some experience, this course will introduce you to what digital transformation is, how to succeed, and why it’s essential for every organisation in today’s modern and rapidly evolving environment. You’ll explore the most important factors when scoping an organisation’s digital transformation journey, how to benchmark an organisation against the top ten capability factors, and gain best practice insights.

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Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code



This is a non-credit bearing course.

Study method

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

Throughout this course, you’ll benefit from expert insight into the essential factors needed for successful digital transformation. Practical exercises will help you to apply your new knowledge, and the social learning approach will empower you to further enhance and reflect on your understanding by sharing your thoughts and opinions with co-learners.

Delivered over four, easy-to-digest sections, you will cover:

1: Digital transformation in perspective

  • Defining digital transformation
  • What is the technology catalyst for transformation?
  • What does a digital transformation look like in practice?
  • Why digital transformations fail
  • What defines a successful digital transformation?
  • Digital transformation leadership and strategy

2: Planning your digital transformation journey

  • Scope of digital transformation
  • Aligning understanding of what digital means
  • Stakeholder mapping and management
  • Types of transformation
  • Digital transformation strategy

3: The Digital Capability Benchmark

  • Digital transformation success and failure factors
  • The digital transformation capability benchmark
  • Organisational benchmarking
  • Capability factors for information gathering and stakeholder management

4: Transformation insights and case studies

  • Practical transformation success and failure factors
  • The digital transformation capability factors
  • Digital transformation interviews
  • Digital transformation case studies

Please note: the content in this course also features in courses created by The Open University and Target Internet, which are available on FutureLearn.

You will learn

By the end of the course, you’ll have the skills to:

  • define digital transformation and its objectives
  • understand the core aspects of digital transformation and its impact on organisations
  • assess the digital capability of an organisation to support decision-making
  • analyse different digital transformation challenges
  • explore different approaches to achieving a successful digital transformation.

Vocational relevance

Digital transformation is a must-have skill in the current job market. Businesses across industries are using digital technologies to improve operations, customer experiences, and stay competitive. Professionals who can lead digital transformation are in high demand, as it's now a key differentiator for businesses and a valuable asset for career growth.

This course has been created by the OU in collaboration with industry experts, Target Internet, who deliver digital training to some of the world’s leading organisations, as well as building online learning that is used in over 100 countries worldwide.

Learner support

There is no tuition on this course and all study is self-directed. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to enhance and reflect on your understanding by sharing your thoughts and opinions with co-learners.

Teaching and assessment


This online course is delivered via social learning and includes video, audio, and written tutorials. You can learn at your own pace with complete flexibility. Throughout the course, you will be asked to respond to questions, reflect on your experiences and learning, and carry out short exercises to help you develop your understanding.

At the end of each section, you will be asked to answer a set of multiple-choice questions to test your knowledge. You can attempt these as often as you need to. It is important to complete them because they count towards your final score.

To receive a Certificate of Completion, you will need to complete every section and achieve at least 70% in all tests.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

You don’t need any prior digital transformation knowledge to join this course, although any work experience will enhance and contextualise your learning.

It’s suitable for those who are new to digital transformation who want to build their knowledge and skillset, those who want to develop a digital transformation plan for an organisation or client, and more experienced practitioners who want to cement their knowledge of the latest trends.

The content in this course is suitable for a global audience and the skills you learn can be applied in a wide range of roles and types of organisations, from small businesses to global multinationals, whether in the public or third sector, large corporates, or SMEs.

If you'd like to discuss the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Please note: This is the first in a series of six courses that are designed to build on one another. If you’re new to digital transformation and plan to study further courses in the subject, it’s recommended you take them in the following order:

  1. Introduction to digital transformation
  2. Digital transformation foundations
  3. Digital transformation readiness
  4. Digital transformation performance
  5. Digital transformation design thinking
  6. Data in digital transformation.

Course length

This course will take around 32 hours to complete and you can learn at your own pace. As a guide, if you set aside four hours per week, it would take eight weeks to complete.

You can begin learning at any time. You will have a minimum of six months and up to 18 months to complete the course, depending on your registration date.


Start End England fee Register
At anytime before registration end date Jan 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £250.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024


Ways to pay

Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

All learning materials, exercises and activities are delivered entirely online.

Computing requirements

You can learn from your desktop computer or laptop or take your learning with you on a phone or tablet. You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop/laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher. Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all currently supported Android and iOS versions.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet, you can contact us about the support which can be given to meet your needs.