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Four steps toward Digital Reinvention® to take now


Business leaders will face a stark choice–either digitally reinvent their enterprises, or watch as their businesses decompose around them.

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Digital technologies have altered how people and businesses interact. Digital forces have created unprecedented levels of industry dislocation and are fundamentally changing business economics. In 2013, the IBM Institute for Business Value introduced the concept of Digital Reinvention in a study of the same name.¹ The study highlighted a profound economic shift over recent decades.

Markets have evolved from organizational centricity, in which manufacturers and service providers largely define what to produce and market to customers; through individual centricity, in which empowered consumers demand insight-driven, customized experiences; and into a radically different economic environment today, which the study defined as the everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy.

The E2E economy has four distinct characteristics, which have only grown in importance since the original study was published:

• E2E is orchestrated, and based on business ecosystems that are at once collaborative and seamless. Orchestration reflects coordination, arrangement, and management of complex environments. In the context of an ecosystem, orchestration refers to formal or informal coordination of interactions or collaborations.²

• The E2E economy is contextual, meaning that customer and partner experiences are calibrated and relevant to their specific actions and needs. Mobile technologies combined with ubiquitous connectivity fuel contextual capabilities.

• E2E is symbiotic, where everyone and everything, including customers and businesses, are mutually interdependent. Customers and other partners engage in co-design, co-creation, co-production, co-marketing, co-distribution, and co-funding.

• And the E2E economy is cognitive, characterized by data-enabled self-supported learning and predictive capabilities.

This report explores the rapid technological change that has led to Digital Reinvention, and why Digital Reinvention goes much further than digitization. It delves into preparing for Digital Reinvention, including pursuing a new focus, building new expertise, and establishing new ways of work.

And, the report details four steps that propel organizations toward Digital Reinvention.

¹ Berman, Saul J, Nadia Leonelli, and Anthony Marshall. “Digital Reinvention: Preparing for a very different tomorrow.” IBM Institute for Business Value. December 2013. https://www.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/digitalreinvention/

² Davidson, Steven, Martin Harmer, and Anthony Marshall. “The new age of ecosystems: Redefining partnering in an ecosystem environment. IBM Institute for Business Value. 2014. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/ZQRNRRMY

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Meet the authors:

Saul J. Berman, Ph.D.

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, Partner and Vice President, Chief Strategist;
Peter J. Korsten

Connect with author:


, Partner and Vice President, Global Leader Thought Leadership and Eminence, IBM Global Business Services;
Anthony Marshall, Senior Research Director, IBM Institute for Business Value

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