Authors: Matthew Le Merle, Roman Friedrich, Michael Peterson, Alex Koster
For more than a decade, powerful new digital approaches to business, and life in general, have come on the scene, yet we are now entering an even more rapid and dramatic period of change. The phenomenon of digitization is reaching an inflection point. Three powerful forces are driving the shift: consumer demand, the push for new technologies, and the prospect of even greater economic benefits.
Every company in every industry will be dramatically affected, and it will be the responsibility of CEOs to lead the charge by building the right capabilities for their companies to remain relevant in the digitized environment, achieve growth, and fend off competitive threats. New technology deployments and related investments will add up to more than even the largest and most resource-endowed enterprises can afford. Trade-offs will be required, and the risks of making the wrong choices will be high. Unlike the technology revolutions of the 1990s and 2000s, this time around the basis of competition will be set by the companies that embrace and deploy digitization in the right places at the right time.
This Perspective provides guidance to CEOs and their management teams about the relevance of digitization in their respective industries, and the factors most likely to accelerate or decelerate the digitization phenomenon. The judgments that companies make now will largely determine their relative competitive position for the foreseeable future.