A year ago, IDC reported that two-thirds of CEOs expected to execute digital transformation strategies in 2016. But it feels like the impact of digital far exceeded even these high expectations. There was a steady stream of digital transformation news this year.
Some of these stories amounted to noise; they told us little about where digital technologies are taking us. Other stories were overlooked or took unexpected turns. In this issue, we look back on 2016 to identify the stories—hyped or not—that will really matter over the long term. For example, many people missed the importance to business of the emergence of cyborg technologies. On the other hand, Pokémon Go got lots of attention for augmented and virtual reality, but the coverage did not fully explore the technology’s impact on business strategy. Our cover story “More Than Noise” cuts through the clutter to give you the stories that matter most for the future of your business.
Digital transformation, in many ways, rode the Big Data trend to new heights in 2016. First, enterprises were able to use their investments in Big Data technologies to find new opportunities to serve customers within existing business models. Now, however, it has become clear that data within enterprises and across enterprise networks drives new digital business models and transformation. “The Hidden Treasure Inside Your Business,” our feature on using data to create new business strategies or to monetize the data that you already have, is especially relevant.
Although digital transformation gained significant momentum in 2016, enterprises still have tremendous work to do. Many companies have yet to build a cadre of true digital leaders. “Everything You Know About Leadership Is Wrong” delves into the implications of new SAP research that finds that only 16% of business executives have fully embraced the digital mindset.
The mission of this magazine is to help business leaders understand the nature of digital leadership—and to become Digitalists. With this issue we continue our advance.