Back in May, Forrester Research published a report titled ” The 2016 Guide To Digital Predators, Transformers, and Dinosaurs” which evaluated the digital competitiveness of businesses.

Predators are the firms that compete on the digital plane. Their go-to-market strategy is tied directly to the Cloud and emerging Internet of Things (IoT). They employ analytics to monitor their operations, customers, and markets; digital communications for coordinating activities with customers and partners; the Internet for e-commerce and subscription delivery; and the cloud for converting capital expenditures to scalable operational expenses that deliver cutting edge technology.

Transformers are companies that have more traditional business structures but which are quickly looking to adopt cutting-edge digital technology. They understand that business survival is based upon strategically realigning their processes via digital workflows.

The dinosaurs are the laggards. Digital dinosaurs are those firms too slow to adapt to the new competitive terrain. While they may adopt some digital practices, they do so too slowly to survive in the rapidly changing digital economy.

Traditional businesses and transformers are both starting from the same point, but the transformers are quickly adopting digital tools and processes. Forrester asked 435 executives to estimate the percent of total sales generated through digital products and services or associated with direct online sales. Digital mediation includes e-commerce, digital advertising, digital media, digital subscriptions, digital services, app sales, data sales, etc. Predators are currently generating eighty percent of their revenue digitally and aiming for ninety percent by 2020. Transformers and dinosaurs have limited digital sales processes (around fifteen percent of overall sales in 2015), but the dinosaurs are growing the percentage of digitally mediated revenue by only five percent per annum while the transformers are doubling this rate. Thus, in 2020, transformers will be earning close to two of every three pounds through digitally mediated transactions or digital delivery while dinosaurs will be generating only one in every three pounds through digital platforms.


Michael Levy
About the Author
Michael R. Levy, former Manager of Strategy and Competitive Intelligence of Infogroup, is the principal of GZ Consulting, a US market research and competitive intelligence consulting firm. He focuses on information services including sales intelligence, CRM, data hygiene, and marketing automation. Michael is also the author of "2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors".

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