Digital Transformation in 2017: What Would Bond Do?

Digital Transformation in 2017: What Would Bond Do?
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Forrester’s conference highlighted customer obsession, continuous innovation, and team empowerment

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Mission Data recently attended and sponsored the 2017 Forrester Digital Transformation conference in Chicago, which gathered thought leaders in business and tech to discuss the myriad ways that digital is changing the enterprise and its customers. Keynote speakers drove home the theme—companies should be digitally transforming now, if they haven’t already, or they risk becoming the next Blockbuster.

While much of the conference’s discussions validated what Mission Data has witnessed in guiding clients through digital transformation, keynotes by Forrester analysts motivated attendees to shake up the status quo. Martin Gill, Forrester’s vice president and research director, shared that 55% of CEO-led digital transformations lead to double-digit growth, compared to 41% of CIO-led change. He explained that this is because CEOs prioritize the business model, and he encouraged attendees to be more James Bond-like in taking risks and leading their organizations.

Speakers from companies such as GE, IBM, Visa, The Gap, AIG, Bloomingdale’s, Expedia, and the NBA all shared insights into new processes and tools shaping their product management, customer engagement, and employee experiences. Dave Wolf of KPMG shared how they used data science to optimize the way the NBA manages its game schedule to avoid player exhaustion and provide a better customer experience. Visa’s Paul Walsh explained how they are working with Honda to implement connected car payment systems within the car’s console to allow for seamless parking and fuel payments.

Some other notable takeaways:

“Anyone doing digital will feel like others are going faster. Listen to your customers first.” —Cyril Lamblard, Global Head of eCommerce, Nespresso

“It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow.” —Eric Pearson, CIO, InterContinental Hotel Group

“The elephant in the room for digital transformation: you need to build a lot of custom software.” —John Rymer, analyst at Forrester Research


At Mission Data’s booth, we demonstrated our latest Labs project, an Internet of Things prototype featuring a variety of sensors to show how a “frictionless coffee shop” could operate. Led by our vice president of research and development, Carson MacDonald, the demo included 3D-printed materials, wifi- and Bluetooth-connected sensors, as well as a mobile app. As customers approached the coffee shop, a proximity beacon allowed them to place orders using the app, and a variety of sensors registered data in real-time. The dashboard illustrated how many customers were in the shop and where they were seated, how many orders were in queue, as well as the weight of coffee remaining in vessels and the temperature of refrigerated areas—all essential information for the store’s frictionless operation.

We had a great time meeting so many leaders who are helping their companies transform. Stay tuned for deeper dives into the making of our IoT demo, as well as our thoughts on the role that speech technology is playing in digital strategy.