Digital Transformation
May 18, 2017

Takeaways from Forrester Research Digital Transformation 2017 Forum - Part 1

In May 2017, I was lucky enough to attend the Forrester Research Digital Transformation conference with my colleague Dan Glessner. Having shared notes and highlights from our conversations with analysts, sponsors and attendees we would like to share here our thoughts and key takeaways in a two-part blog post. Here is part one.

Focus on delivering experiences, not products

One of the sessions we attended was Julie Ask’s “Achieving Digital Operational Excellence”, where she emphasized and elaborated on the seven attributes of “born mobile” companies:

  1. Value customer-obsession
  2. Build flexible organizations with cross-functional teams
  3. Test and learn with velocity to drive innovation
  4. Embrace a learning culture
  5. Don’t skimp on high-powered talent
  6. Own and build core services in-house (but license when you need speed)
  7. Utilize unified, customer-centric metrics (that matter to customers)

A very well researched and delivered session, closing with the following piece of advice:

  • Communicate early and often
  • Build momentum fast with what matters to the business
  • Transform how you work with technology and business teams

She was later joined by David Fleischman of Expedia who shared some very interesting thoughts and facts from their Digital Transformation journey. Noteworthy statements included:

“Culture eats strategy for lunch”& “Change comes slowly, then all at once”

and my personal favourites

“We did 1,400 tests last year and want to do more in 2017” & “Start small, learn and get better everyday”

John Rymer of Forrester Research was next and referenced the visionary 1995 book Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte.

Two noteworthy comments from his session:

“It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow”


“Low-code platforms are under-appreciated by clients”

Speaking of which, for a low-code case study check out Frontica’s story here.

Digital transformation is much more than DCX

Nigel Fenwick of Forrester Research continued with a great personal example:

“Opening your hotel room with your smartphone changes expectations and adds perceived value to the customer experience”

Digital Transformation is the fundamental shift in how a company creates and delivers value. It needs to be 100% end-to-end and the challenge is to think about your business differently.

Nigel concluded with session with two key questions strategists need to ask:

  1. What outcomes do your customers value?
  2. If you were a start-up, how would you deliver this value/these outcomes using digital technologies?

Finally Stephen Powers of Forrester highlighted four important aspects of New Tools in a New World:

  1. Digital Transformation is not just a tweak; it’s an overhaul
  2. Embrace MVP (minimum viable products)/fail fast
  3. Re-evaluate technology partners
  4. AI is now achieving real business value

Couldn’t agree more Stephen, couldn’t agree more.

Stay tuned for part two featuring notes and highlights from sessions featuring NBA, GAP, KPMG, Visa and leading Forrester Research analysts.

This blog was first published in PNMSoft, a Genpact company, a global provider of intelligent BPM software (iBPMS) solutions.