Do You Have An Opinion On How Digital Is Changing Business?

Nigel Fenwick

Do you have an opinion on how technology is changing your business?

As you likely know, each year we conduct in-depth business leader research to help identify trends across industries. This year we are once again partnering with executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, reaching out to senior business executives around the world for their perspectives on how digital is changing their business.

We're also reaching out to a wider audience through social media to broaden the perspectives gathered in this study. No matter what your perspective, no matter what your role – CEO, CMO, CIO, Business leader – if you're in senior management in a medium or large enterprise, we'd like to hear from you.

To make your opinion count, simply click the link below to begin the confidential online survey.
Please note: while the survey has been designed to complete on any device, including mobile phones, you must finish the survey using the same device from which you begin by clicking this link: http://forr.com/digitalsurvey2017. All responses are confidential.

Here's a selection of blog posts from this stream of research:

Read more

Platforms Are The Foundation For New Value Creation

Dan Bieler

While a lot has been written about consumer-facing platforms like Facebook and Uber, the platform impact on business-to-business relationships has not been as extensively investigated. However, these “business platform models” are transforming the way how traditional businesses create value. Business platforms will reorganize a wide variety of markets, work arrangements, and ultimately value creation and capture.

Business platforms push productivity improvements beyond automation activities. The real value creation now comes from analyzing data. These platform dynamics force every business to rethink its approach to innovation, marketing, sales, product development, delivery, and customer engagement. Business and technology leaders need to prepare to platform dynamics for several reasons:

  • Platforms change customer behavior and how businesses interact with customers. Business platforms will trigger radical changes to how we work, engage with customers, create value, and compete for the resulting profits. These business platforms offer companies fast access to scalable expertise at transparent cost and drive the much needed agility to quickly adjust customer experiences to changing requirements.
  • Business platform value creation centers on information gathering, sharing, and analyzing. Platforms focus on information exchange and provide an easier, more transparent way to access, analyze, and share this information. Business platform owners are developing power that may be more influential than that of the actual factory owners. But business platform owners do not have to own all factors of production; they tap into the expertise of platform participants.
Read more

The Top Emerging Technologies For Digital Predators

Nigel Fenwick

If you’ve been following my research, you know I like to divide the business world into three categories of company:

  • Digital Predators successfully use emerging digital technologies to gain market share and/or displace traditional incumbent companies (e.g., Amazon, Lyft, Priceline, Airbnb, Netflix).
  • Digital Transformers evolve a traditional business to take advantage of emerging technologies, creating new sources of value for customers and opening up new competitive strategies (e.g., Burberry, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Unilever, USAA, Ford, Delta).
  • Digital Dinosaurs struggle to leave behind their old business model. These companies are typically slow to change because they must defend large P&Ls, or they have a near monopoly position, or they simply don’t see the opportunity/threat (e.g., many retailers, taxi companies, manufacturing firms, legal firms, recruiters, construction firms).
Read more

DevOps has reached critical mass, CIOs need to get on board

Elinor Klavens

DevOps is one of the most powerful weapons that CIOs have in their arsenal. DevOps unites the entire enterprise in delivering business transformation with superior customer experience. Companies like Target, Capital One, Walmart, ING, Nordstrom, Netflix and JetBlue are already reaping the benefits. In order to unlock the promise of DevOps, CIOs must lead the call for cultural change.

As any leader knows, changing institutionalized behavior is the toughest of all management challenges and CIOs are understandably skeptical of new trends.  Despite this, CIOs must recognize when a trend becomes an imperative for survival. DevOps has become this imperative, and CIOs must act now. CIOs who embrace the DevOps challenge must first fostera culture of collaboration and learning, then enable their people with the right tools to drive holistic life-cycle automation. Those who meet this challenge won't just beat their competitors — they will decimate them. 

CIOs must replace traditional linear thinking with Agile thinking.

 
Read more

Mobile World Congress 2017: As Mobile Is Morphing Into Digital, Use Cases Matter More

Dan Bieler

Mobile World Congress (MWC) which took place in Barcelona once again broke new records in terms of attendees, reaching 108,000. Yet, discussions with end-user businesses indicate that mobility is often no longer treated as a standalone focus area by CIOs and CTOs. Mobility has become part of the broader digital transformation initiative. This has implications for mobile strategies. It also affects the decision where a business leader turns to in order to find inspirations for her digital transformation initiative.

Of course, mobility remains a critically important building block for all digital transformation initiatives. But mobility is part of a wider technology-driven business transformation. In my view, the biggest themes at MWC in 2017 that are relevant for digital transformation relate to IoT, AI, platforms, collaboration, and connectivity. I discuss what these themes mean for the CIO in a separate blog.

Importantly, all of these themes are interwoven. Hence, the CIO needs to build her digital transformation strategy on a comprehensive approach - with mobility is right at the heart. Still, there remains a risk that the CIO gets sucked into pursuing a compartmentalized technology strategy that lacks a comprehensive view of the real business objectives. It is essential that the CIO avoids a ‘bolt-on approach’ to these technology investments because of the technology interdependencies.

Read more

Mobile World Congress 2017: Observations Regarding The Main Enterprise Themes

Dan Bieler

Recently, the largest annual get together of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress (MWC) took place in Barcelona. In my opinion, the biggest themes at MWC in 2017 that are relevant for enterprise customers were the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), platforms, collaboration, and connectivity. These themes underline how mobility is becoming part of the broader digital transformation initiative. I discuss this shift in this separate blog and report. MWC provided several valuable insights for business and technology leaders to align their mobile to their digital strategies:

-> Not everything that claims to be AI is true AI. Many vendors that claimed during MWC to be AI-proficient are in fact able to deliver true machine-learning solutions to generate transformative customer and operational insights. Most solutions that were branded as AI at MWC rely on preprogrammed responses and statistics rather than machine learning.

Read more

Text And Geospatial Analytics Bring Growth And Innovation To Business Intelligence And Analytics Tools

Jennifer Adams

We recently published an updated version of our Forrester Data: Business Intelligence And Analytics Software Forecast, 2016 To 2021 (Global).What’s new? We added two new forecast categories: text analytics and geospatial analytics.

■        Text analytics makes sense of unstructured data.Unstructured data, such as tweets, call center logs, and social media comments, provide an increasingly important view into consumer sentiment and trends today. Text analytics software facilitates the analysis of this unstructured data, allowing companies to mine these new data sources for insights. We project that the text analytics software market will grow 16% annually over the next five years.

■        Geospatial analytics harnesses the power of maps.Traditionally, geospatial analytics has focused on mapping data from geographic information systems (GIS). Today, we see an ever-expanding array of sources of geospatial data connecting customers and locations.Forrester believes theinternet of things(IoT) presents a massive opportunity for companies to uncover insights from spatial relationships, as every connected device can be located by some means. We forecast a 10% compound annual growth rate in geospatial analytics over the next five years.

Read more

AI's Emerging Role In IoT Highlighted At IBM Genius Of Things Event

Dan Bieler

Photo: Bergman Group

IBM hosted an artificial intelligent (AI) event at its Munich Watson IoT HQ, where it underlined its claim as a leading global AI and internet-of-things (IoT) platform providers in the enterprise context. AI and the IoT are both very important topics for enterprise users. However, there remains some uncertainty among enterprises regarding the exact benefits that both AI and IoT can generate and how businesses should prepare for the deployment of AI and IoT in their organizations.

One year into the launch of its Munich-based Watson IoT headquarters, IBM invited about one thousand customers to share an update of its AI and IoT activities to date. The IBM “Genius of Things” Summit presented interesting insights for both AI and IoT deployments. It underlined that IBM is clearly one of the leading global AI and IoT platform providers in the enterprise context. Some of the most important insights for me were that:

  • AI solutions require a partner ecosystem. IBM is well aware of the fact that it cannot provide IoT services on its own. For this reason, IBM is tapping into its existing partner ecosystem. Those partners are not only other vendors. IBM’s ecosystem partnership approach embraces also customers such as Schäffler, Airbus, Vaillant, or Tesco. The event demonstrated how far IBM has matured in living and breathing customer partnerships in the IoT solutions space. For instance, IBM’s cooperation with Visa regarding secure payment experiences for any device connected to the IoT is an example of a new quality of ecosystem partnership.
Read more

Did Move 37 Signal The Impending Death Of The Financial Services Industry As We Know It?

Nigel Fenwick

A couple of years ago I wrote a post predicting a new business paradigm for financial services. You may have read this post and been skeptical. Maybe you thought it wasn't realistic. If so, you may be wishing you were paying more attention very soon. Read on.

This week I spoke on "The Experience Economy" at a client conference where attendees were primarily from the financial services industry. At the conference the opening keynote was by a renowned "futurist". Most futurists don't claim to predict the future, they extrapolate the trends they see around them today to help prepare you for what is likely to come. Interestingly, that's exactly what analysts at Forrester do every day. Perhaps that's why I feel "futurists" are over-hyped – I had expected more from the keynote.

In side conversations with attendees I shared my own "futurist" thoughts on the impending death of the financial services industry. Indeed after chatting for a while, one attendee even suggested I should rename my speech "The Death Of Financial Services" just to get people's attention. It seems many people in the industry haven't been paying enough attention to what's going on in technology.

Let's begin with Google's AlphaGo AI. In March of 2016 Google's AI beat world Go champion, Lee Sidol. To understand the enormity of this you need to understand a little about the game of Go as compared to Chess.

Read more

The Business Case For Digital Transformation

Dan Bieler

Photo: Rebecca Minkoff

Digital transformation investments are ultimately about business survival through disruption. Such investments have a direct impact on customer expectations and go beyond the traditional ROI. The business case for such disruptive investments is the focus of the report, Build Your Digital Transformation Business Case Around The Customer And Revenue Growth. The scope for disruption spans the entire customer life cycle, affecting everything from the supply chain to after-sales support. The key takeaways from this report:

  • Disruptive transformation must be viewed as a strategic investment. The real value of digital transformation investments relates to long-term revenue growth, not short-term technology ROI. Bolt-on digital projects do not change the fundamental value relationship that you have with your customer. To maximize the impact of digital investments, business and technology leaders must learn to value such investments through the eyes of the company’s customers.
  • A classic ROI calculation is neither always feasible nor desirable for digital investments. Digital transformation changes business processes and models. ROI works for single digital initiatives, but not for shifts in business models. Digital investments aimed at disruptive change across the enterprise challenge traditional ROI calculations. Attributing benefits like customer satisfaction, group productivity, and group revenues — let alone business survival — to a single digital investment is impossible because so much of the impact of digital transformation is cumulative.
Read more