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"It is no longer hard to imagine how every industry will be digitally remastered," Gartner said. PHOTO: Ed Gregory

Half of CEOs expect their industries to be substantially or unrecognizably transformed by digital by 2020, according to a Gartner survey of chief executives. 

It's a startling statistic that underscores a reality that's too important, too obvious and too imminent to ignore: namely, that digital transformation is a business imperative that will set the stage for growth, profit and future success.

(Learn more about the strategies and technologies that lead to exceptional digital experiences at CMSWire's DX Summit in Chicago next week. Find out more here.)

Investing in Digital Transformation

The Gartner survey of 400 CEOs and senior business executives, released earlier this year, found CEOs are continuing to sanction strategic investments in spite of challenging business conditions, particularly when it comes to digital business transformation. 

It also found more and more CEOs are heading up digital change in the business themselves. They understand "digital business is substantial enough to warrant them leading it personally," Gartner noted.

How substantial? Specifically, 41 percent expect their industry to be substantially transformed by 2020 and 9 percent expect their businesses to be almost unrecognizable compared to today.

About 43 percent expect moderate industry transformation.

Transformation Is Underway

“It is no longer hard to imagine how every industry will be digitally remastered,” Gartner analyst Mark Raskino wrote in the report.

“There are more and more examples — such as self­-driving cars, the rise of blockchain in banking, the e-­cigarette revolution in tobacco and the potential impact of IoT fueled data science in insurance. CEOs in other industries that have not yet seen the crest of their own digital tsunami are scanning the horizon for it.”

Three-quarters of the survey respondents expect digitization to generate higher profits.

Some of that optimism may be the result of semantics. Raskino noted that many CEOs fail to differentiate between electronic sales channels and marketing and digital business, which blurs the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds and transforms products and services.

But for now, “We can only say that CEOs are very optimistic about the balance of the expected outcome between these two opposing digital effects of transparency and value addition.”

Deep DX Learnings

Next Monday to Wednesday — Nov. 14 to 16— at the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel in Chicago, CMSWire will sponsor three solid days of discussion and introspection on the topics related to digital transformation and the delivery of exceptional digital customer experience. DX Summit 2016 will bring together a wide thought leaders, decision makers, practitioners and analysts who are designing and delivering the most innovative global digital and customer experiences.

The agenda covers four main tracks:

  • Leadership, Vision and Culture
  • DX Platforms Acquisition and Maturity
  • MarTech Strategies and Architectures
  • Data, Insights and Action

Our line-up of speakers ranges from industry professionals and practitioners to seasoned analysts and thought-leaders.

We hope to see you there.