Two weeks ago today I was in Chicago preparing for Forrester's Forum For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals.


Our theme was movies – about the shift from the monolithic studio system of the golden age of Hollywood to the dynamic ecosystems combine then disburse to make movies these days, and also of the shift from epic, multi-year productions to iterative content development demonstrated by the likes of Netflix and Amazon Studios.


Chicago isn’t the world’s most renowned movie town, but it has provided the backdrop for some memorable on-screen moments. I went on my own little movie location tour while I was there to retrace the footsteps of Ferris Bueller, Eliot Ness, Jake and Elwood and most recently Batman and the Joker’s epic confrontation on South LaSalle in The Dark Knight.


Actually seeing and being in some of the locations used gives a sense of perspective and scale to the enormity of effort that goes into making a movie like The Dark Knight. Blocking off traffic, disrupting the normal flow of a busy city and impacting thousands of people. This all costs money, and with an estimated budget of $185 million, its understandable why studios stick to known formulae (like the perennial Batman) when they brew up blockbusters.


In our keynote presentations, myself and Bill Doyle spoke about the shift that’s occurring in the movie and television industry towards a more ecosystem-driven model, and also a more iterative way of developing content – of testing and learning what audiences want to watch, rather than sinking millions into long-term, risky bets.


This is an exact parallel to our recent research on building a digital strategy and developing a digital transformation roadmap. Here’s what’s in our two most recent reports:


  • In Write A Digital Business Strategic Plan That People Actually Read, we highlight how the digital business landscape is in constant flux, and in today's fast-moving business environment, it's vital that your strategic plan be just as dynamic as your customers and your competitors. It must draw a link from your business strategy to on-the-ground digital activity, like website replatforming or employee-facing app development, but it can't be proscriptive. It must be concise, tailored to each key stakeholder group to best drive engagement, and, above all, it must be adaptable to the changing environment. This is an art, not an exact science, and we provide a framework for building the assets that will help you best define your strategy.

  • In Develop A Digital Business Road Map That Drives Innovation we show that digital business transformation is a multiyear, multi-dimensional challenge. Traditional wisdom encourages you to approach such a wholesale change as a big-bang transformation program, but the reality is that too many of these large-scale change programs fail. You must champion a new tactic — one that delivers an adaptable, iterative approach to transformational change that can flex to accommodate the ever-moving customer and competitive landscape. In this new reality techniques like prototyping, Minimal Viable Product development and Design Thinking rule.


In this fast-paced reality, a fixed 3-year roadmap is no longer a valid strategy. You must learn to be flexible, adaptable and agile, and the way in which you document your strategy must be equally flexible. The two reports provide frameworks and examples of firms that are doing exactly that, and we will continue to build out our research in this space over the coming months.


We’d love to hear your examples and success stories.


How Forrester Can Help

Let Forrester put these frameworks into action for you. Our research based consulting model allows myself and a team of experienced consultants to cater these frameworks to your specific needs. Whether you are starting out on a digital transformation or evolving your current strategy, Forrester will work with you to make sure your digital strategy hits the mark for your customers and your business.