Research Report
Ref: Digital Vortex 2019


Digital Vortex 2019

Continuous and Connected Change

Michael R. Wade

By Tomoko Yokoi, Jialu Shan, Professor Michael R. WadeMichael R. Wade and James Macaulay

Disruption in full swing

Our 2019 study provides insights into the realities faced by leaders and teams dealing with digital disruption.

The Digital Vortex 2019 study confirms that all 14 industries have moved closer to the center of the vortex, where the velocity and magnitude of change are highest. The positions of many industries have shifted between 2017 and 2019.

The study reveals a mismatch between what C-suite and executives understand and feel about digital disruption.

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Digital Vortex
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The Research

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative, surveyed 1,200 business leaders in 58 countries across 14 industries to understand attitudes and behaviors towards digital disruption. 63% of respondents are company directors and above. Half of all respondents work in the B2B sector. This data was supplemented by third-party data sources from CB Insights and Bloomberg.

The ranking is based on a composite of four measures, by industry:

1. Investment: Where venture capitalists and others are putting their money
2. Timing: When, and at what rate, digital disruption is likely to occur
3. Means: The strength of barriers to entry for digital disruptors
4. Impact: The potential magnitude of disruption

Selected Insights (Download report for full list)

  1. Over 88% of respondents reporting that digital disruption will have a major or transformative impact on their industries.
  2. The majority of respondents claim to have a digital strategy, but acknowledge that it is fragmented. only 22% of survey respondents claim to have a coordinated digital strategy.
  3. Just over one-third of respondents feel that their organization’s leadership is actively responding to digital disruption
  4. stark perception gap exists between senior leadership and lower-level managers regarding their digital transformation efforts.

The Road Ahead

As the level of digitization increases in the Digital Vortex, industry boundaries are blurring and companies are being forced to reinvent themselves. Few remain on the sidelines today, and digital transformation is being mirrored by organizational transformation.

Companies are under tremendous pressure to pursue organizational change. The study uncovers a stark perception gap between senior leaders and managers regarding their company’s current digital transformation efforts. This perception gap could signify a lack of trust, discrepancy in engagement and/or differing perceptions of organizational readiness for change.

Few companies have succeeded in transforming themselves to lead their industries in the digital age. But those that have done so understand that a successful digital transformation is a continuous journey focused on a connected approach to change.

Stay tuned for new industry-specific insights from the Digital Vortex in the coming months.


Digital Vortex


In this book, you will learn how to use the business models and strategies of startups to your own advantage. Instead of waiting to be disrupted, you can maximize the value of your existing businesses and move into profitable new ones. Most importantly, you will learn how to build the agility to anticipate threats, sense opportunities, and seize them before your rivals do.

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