Powerful technology trends including, social, mobile, cloud, and Big Data are converging, creating unprecedented “digital disruption.” We are in a unique period of time where business and technology leaders have the opportunity to create new value and win market share by leveraging the advantages of a hyper-connected world.

Agile competitors with better business models seemingly emerge overnight. Ingrained ways of thinking and working make changing to an innovative culture painfully slow. Needed talent and resources lie outside the four walls of the organization in a wider ecosystem of capabilities. And while technology challenges abound as we confront the future, people and process changes are even more vexing for most organizations.

So how do executives keep their companies from being added to the growing heap of once venerable brands that didn’t transform fast enough?

It’s not easy.

According to Gartner research, by 2020, 75 percent of companies will be a digital business or will be preparing to become one, yet only 30 percent of these efforts will be successful. The number one reason companies fail to transform is because they don’t re-imagine and reinvent the business from top to bottom before they begin.

It’s clear that business and technology leaders need in-depth and actionable knowledge to guide informed decisions at a time when making the wrong decisions can have catastrophic consequences. And because there’s little time for theory, the knowledge must come from timely and insightful thought leadership based on real-world primary research and rapid co-innovation with leading organizations.

To address this urgent need, I’m proud to share that Cisco is contributing $10 million over five years to create The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation in partnership with IMD, a top-ranked business school focused on executive education. Our goal is to create the world’s top destination for research, innovation, and leadership to drive digital transformation across industries.

I’m also proud that the partnership will combine Cisco Consulting Services’ open innovation approach with original research to generate just what executives need today: practical insights about the application of digital business transformation to—not just survive, but also thrive—in today’s digital world. Indeed, while these insights will inform how we help customers harness disruptive forces, they will also serve as cornerstones to our own digital transformation at Cisco.

We will officially open the Cisco-IMD Global Center for Digital Business Transformation in Lausanne, Switzerland in June, kicking off a new era of co-creation and executive learning for the digital era. I look forward to working with you as we embark on this exciting journey.


Edzard Overbeek

Senior Vice President

Cisco Services