The basic idea now known as the Z-transform was known to Laplace, and it was re-introduced in 1947 by W. Hurewicz and others as a way to treat sampled-data control systems used with radar. It gives a tractable way to solve linear, constant-coefficient difference equations. It was later dubbed “the z-transform” by Ragazzini and Zadeh in the sampled-data control group at Columbia University in 1952.
The modified or advanced Z-transform was later developed and popularized by E. I. Jury.