Digital reinvention

Preparing for a very different tomorrow

The individual-centred economy is already here. The newest digital technologies – among them social media, mobility, analytics and cloud – keep changing how people, businesses and governments interact. These digital forces enable unprecedented levels of connectedness and so the world is already investing in consumer-centricity. However, these new technologies are truly still in their infancies. The transformation that was already underway will soon intensify, resulting in a paradigm shift from customer-centricity toward an everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy. The implication for value creation and allocation will be profound. New IBM research shows that many organisations are still not ready to navigate the E2E environment. To prepare for the radical disruption ahead, companies need to act now to create experiences and business models that are orchestrated, symbiotic, contextual and cognitive.

Today’s uber-connected, empowered individuals seek 24/7 access and organisational transparency. They want to exert greater personal influence over organisations and participate in more digital activities as they conduct their daily lives. In the IBM Global C-suite Study, 55 percent of 4,183 C-suite executives report that consumers have the most influence on business strategy, second only to the C-suite itself.1 Looking ahead, 63 percent of the leaders we surveyed in this 2013 IBM Digital Disruption Study expect consumers to gain even more power and influence over their businesses.

The culmination of accelerating digital and other technological forces is spawning disruption on an unprecedented scale. And yet, most organisations have not fathomed the full implications of a radically different, digitally-charged future. When asked what kind of digital strategy their enterprise has, more than sixty percent of CEOs told IBM they still lack an integrated physical and digital strategy.2

Digital technologies will ultimately drive drastic changes in the economy: value chains will fragment, industries will converge and new ecosystems will emerge. As a result, the mechanics of value creation and value allocation will also change. Looking five years out, 58 percent of 1,100 executives we surveyed expect new technologies to reduce barriers to entry and 69 percent expect more cross-industry competition.

So, what will this future of continual digital disruption entail? How will new convergent technologies impact organisations and industries? What can organisations start doing today to begin preparing for a vastly different business environment? In particular, which investments, priorities and actions can set the stage for success during turbulent and ongoing change?

1The Customer-activated Enterprise: Insights from the Global C-suite Study.” IBM Corporation. October 2013.

2 Ibid.

Download the IBM Institute for Business Value executive report

About the authors

Related links


  • IBM

    Download the IBV App

    Access our latest thought leadership, including C-suite studies and industry insights. Maintain a library, receive regular updates. Explore enhanced content.


  • IdeaWatch

    IdeaWatch Newsletter

    Sign up to receive monthly e-mail updates on recent papers from the IBM Institute for Business Value.