Four of today’s top ten incumbents—in different industries—will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years. Four! This stat has kept me up at night.

Which organizations will thrive? Which will cease to exist? How can organizations successfully navigate the digital age?

I believe it begins with the right strategy to stay ahead of change. The right reactions to new innovations in the market. The ability to recognize actual business challenges versus new ventures just making noise.

But to create a solid strategy and navigate these ambiguities, business leaders need a clear picture of what our world could look like in the future.

That’s why our team worked closely with the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative, to provide executives with an up-close view of potential business world scenarios in 2025.

Our partnership with the DBT Center reaffirmed for me that there’s never been a better time to leverage technology to transform your business and grab your chance to lead in the coming digital age. And I’m sleeping a bit better, too.

To share our research, we created an amazing report—The Business World in 2025. It zeroes in on the trends that create the pressure cooker executives face today. It also provides compelling scenarios that will help executives prepare their organizations for the future.


Along the way, we engaged with the best minds in the business, including experts and thought leaders from different backgrounds and industries. This included strategy, leadership, and sustainability across multiple lenses such as economics, technology, geopolitics, and consumer behavior. Experts included:

  • Business Writers
  • Corporate Executives
  • Economists
  • Innovation Professors
  • Lawyers
  • Leadership Coaches
  • Management Researchers

The report presents four business scenarios for 2025. Each scenario is a plausible, challenging, and rigorously constructed story. We’ve built the scenarios on external driving forces—forces that individual organizations have little or no control over.

Among the multiple pressures impacting the business landscape, we’ve identified the three most important that will create the greatest uncertainty and change.

These include:

  • Shifting geographies

How will the global economy’s operating system look by 2025?

  • Blurring industry boundaries

How will companies organize around new ecosystems of value in 2025?

  • Evolving digital behavior

How will the consumer react to Internet ubiquity in 2025?

We’ve analyzed each of these pressures to help outline considerations for the future. These are the four scenarios:

  • Global Bazaar—a scenario of fundamental business transformation and continuous change, where new revenue streams are unlocked due to technology, new consumer preferences, business-friendly regulation, and an open geopolitical environment.
  • Cautious Capitalism—a global and open business landscape challenged by a distinct shift in consumers’ digital behavior.
  • Territorial Dominance—an increasingly difficult international environment, where many countries step back to protectionism.
  • Regional Marketplace—a world divided into regional clusters, each following its own rules in trade, business policy, and Internet governance.

In the next several weeks, I’ll dig into each scenario, sharing the meaningful insight you need to stress-test your strategy. If you want to read ahead, you can access The Business World in 2025 report here.

Meanwhile, you might sleep a bit better, too, knowing you’re not alone on your digital journey—and that your organization can thrive as the digital era continues to unfold before our eyes.







Stephan Monterde

Director, Corporate Strategic Innovation

Chief Strategy Office