Ray Wang: Inside 2015 Boardroom Priorities

ATN-300InsightaaS: R. “Ray” Wang is one of the IT industry’s most widely-respected analysts. Currently the CEO of Constellation Research, Wang is recognized as a leader in identifying digital business practice options and adoption pathways.

The post featured today provides a good example of Wang’s approach, and why his opinion is so highly valued in the industry. The ostensible motive for the post is a survey of 200 CXOs, but Wang has never been the kind of analyst who leans heavily on data, explaining where and why the blue bar is longer than the red one. Instead, he uses data to illustrate the constructs he develops to explain the digital transformation landscape he and his firm survey.

Wang beings the post by introducing “the Constellation corporate hierarchy of needs,” a pyramid topped by brand and including (in descending importance) strategic differentiation, revenue and growth, cost and operational efficiency and regulatory compliance. It’s certainly possible to argue the items and their relevant ranking, but for the purposes of understanding the analysis and approach, that’s beside the point: Wang has a framework that clearly delineates relative value, and he positions executive trends against the framework. Wang notes that in contrast to previous surveys, management emphasis has edged upwards in the hierarchy, indicating, he believes, “a desire to shift strategy or embark in business transformation.” Wang reports that two of the top ten boardroom priorities, “investment in digital presence” and “consistent delivery of customer experience” (a direction also noted in the Techaisle/InsightaaS top 10 list of key trends for 2015) focus on brand. Three other trends – digital transformation of the business, rapid response to non-traditional competitors (a nod to the Uber-fear that is seen with increasing frequency in IT analyses) and creation of insights driven business models – speak to the second level of Wang’s pyramid, and address topics that are of substantial concern to many business leaders. The remaining five trends address the lower three levels of the hierarchy. Of particular note is Wang’s reference to “mass automation of work and thought” – an ongoing trend that is prompting commentary from many quarters, including posts by experts like Nicholas Carr, Andrew McAfee and David Moschella that have been covered here in ATN. Wang is clear on where he believes that these trends are headed: “the corporate digital chasm is massive among market leaders, fast followers, and everyone else,” he says, and “astute board members realize they must invest in transformational change or face a vicious Digital Darwinism.” 

Constellation Research surveyed over 200 CXO’s and identified 10 board room priorities for 2015. As anticipated, digital transformation has emerged as a significant board room topic and market leaders and fast followers seek guidance on what elements are required in the design to support digital business.

Digital Transformation is defined as methodology in which organizations transform and create new business models and culture with digital technologies. The driver for digital transformation stems from the fact that since 2000, 52 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist.

These market leaders and fast followers surfaced a theme of ten priorities heavily skewed towards the higher end of the Constellation Corporate Hierarchy of Needs.

After categorizing boardroom priorities according to the Constellation Corporate Hierarchy of Needs, 10 trends emerged across all five categories.  Of note, a greater number of priorities for 2015 emerged in the higher level of needs.   This changed from previous surveys indicate a desire to shift strategy or embark in business transformation.

Brand Priorities Support the Delivery of Authenticity in Both Analog and Digital Worlds

1.      Investment in digital presence.  Digital personas must not only reflect the brand, but also expand upon the analog experience…

Read the entire post on the Software Insider blogsite: Link


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