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Joining the Disrupting Digital Business Movement

Two months ago, R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder and Chairman of Constellation Research, published “Disrupting Digital Business” (DDB). At the end of this blog post, we will be offering you the opportunity to win a signed copy of Ray’s book, so please read-on.

It immediately received universal praise from technology and business leaders alike. 

Ray Wang assembles the strands of digital DNA that are key to building the successful companies and leaders of tomorrow

— Mark Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com

Indeed, this book has it all. Written in an engaging style, with examples and anecdotes that make it easy to relate to and remember.

Being fortunate enough to have received an advanced digital copy two months prior to launch, I literally devoured it from start of PDF page 1 to closing acknowledgements in under two hours.

So why wait four months to write this review? At first I was shocked that I was able to consume the information in the book in less than the time it takes to complete a baseball game. Rather than re-read it again, I decided that the true test of the book would be how much I was able to apply the concepts, and write this review once time had past, without picking the book up again a second time.

So here goes:

  • Ray starts off by emphasizing “brand promise” as core to a disruptive digital business
  • Cites Disney and Marriott as examples of companies that do that extremely well
  • Points out that organizational DNA, not just technology is critical
  • Mentions Sony’s double walkman (actually sat on their own MP3 technology because they were worried about cannibalizing their own music sales) as an example of incremental innovation vs. Apple iPod as transformational innovation. (Consumers paying 99 times more than free, because of the great iTunes customer experience)
  • Explores contextual relationships and the digital exhaust (vast amounts of data that allow businesses to understand their customers). Especially relevant to us at Reltio since we have delivered data-driven applications (DDA) that help companies better manage their key accounts, containing complex network of people and organizations
  • Covers what he calls the “intention driven mindset”, aka predictive analytics, relevant insights and recommended actions through machine learning. Again relevant to us as core capabilities of Reltio Cloud
  • Brings to life the notion of a Peer-to-peer economy and markets, something we believe in, and have enabled in the context of data sharing through data-as-a-service
  • Summarizes what it takes to be a disrupting business, including using new technology that plays well with existing legacy systems and processes
  • And finally the move to data-driven decisions from gut decisions. He references the failures of data warehouses and marts, and even the attempts to use master data management in an effort to solve the problem. Emphasizing that billions have been spent in a repeating technology cycle, with no real success

No doubt I missed quite a few key things in the book through this attempt at four month recap. The fact that I was able to list out some nuggets is a testament to how well the book was written, and how much we at Reltio believe in Ray’s perspectives. 

Our vision at Reltio aligns with Ray’s and we believe data-driven applications (DDA), with a modern data management foundation, are needed to join the “Disrupting Digital Business” (DDB) movement. At Reltio, we have begun practicing many of Ray’s concepts, and we use the Reltio Cloud to run our own business. You might say we’re going from DDA to DDB.

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