In 2013 I wanted to help executives understand some of the fundamental changes that are happening in business because of the digital revolution. Big names capture the attention of the media – who in the USA could have failed to hear about the collapse of Blockbuster or Borders? Who in the UK could have failed to hear of the demise of HMV? When writing about these failures, most analysts highlight the disruptive companies that put them out of business; companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple. But I wanted to know if there was something more fundamental going on that impacts the ability of an incumbent to defend against digital disruptors. So in 2013 I set out to research digital business successes and failures in an effort to uncover the secrets of digital mastery.

I captured insights from my research in reports published in 2014. Here’s my pick of the top four you should read to gain a deeper understanding of digital business (these reports are available to existing Forrester clients, non-clients can purchase them individually or download a summary from this page):

#1 The Future Of Business Is Digital  – The results of 18 months of research into what lies behind successful digital businesses were first published in March in this report. Originally published for CMOs and CEOs, the report was subsequently republished for CIOs as “Unleash your Digital Business”. This report highlights how digital business differs from traditional business; provides an overview of the customer’s dynamic ecosystems of value; and offers six strategies to help transform any business into a digital business.

#2 The State Of Digital Business 2014 – As a follow-up to The Future Of Business Is Digital, The State Of Digital Business 2014 examines key data points from our online survey of senior executives on digital business. (If you like this report, four similar reports are available covering telcos, tech industry, retail, and government & non-profit sectors).

#3 Emerging Business Technology Priorities – Though not immediately obvious from the title, this report gets to the heart of the digital challenge facing many CIOs, as well as how to balance all the competing priorities being put on technology management. Pay particular attention to helping your firm get into the zone of disruption.

#4 Wanted: Disruptive CIOs To Drive Digital Business – Not every digital business success story is a household name. In this case study I examine the journey taken by New England Biolabs former CIO, Ken Grady, as he partnered with Salesforce to move his company from digital dinosaur to a digital operator.

If you’ve read these please let me know which is your favorite and why.

And keep an eye out for four new digital business reports coming soon in 2015.

Digital business infographic

Next post: Four Lessons In Digital Business

Previous post: Free Enterprise Software On The Horizon