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The Three Drivers of Digital Disruption

The Three Drivers of Digital Disruption

Insights Learned from Mighael Botha, CTO of Software AG

In his presentation “The Vision of the Digital Enterprise.”
Presented at the Technology Executives Club Technology Innovation & Leadership Summit August 2015.

By Alex Jarett



At a recent Technology Innovation & Leadership Summit (August, 2015), Mighael Botha, CTO of Software AG kicked off the event with a presentation called “The Vision of the Digital Enterprise.”  This was a terrific presentation that reviewed a critical issue – that of matching your architecture and technology with your challenges.  Mighael called the challenge, “Using 21 Century Technology to solve 21 Century Problems.”   I’ve seen many presentations recently talking about the need to respond to the customer and create a better customer experience.  Mighael’s presentation is unique, in that he has the ability as a world class CIO and CTO to tie the understanding of the new customer experience to the back-end architecture required to make the experience a reality.

In this first of 3 posts about his presentation I’ll summarize the introduction for you, which I’m calling the Three Drivers of Digital Disruption.  Next week I’ll share the use cases Mighael presented and follow that with Mighael’s summary of key architectures to solve 21 Century Problems.

Mighael started off with a theme we’ve been hearing consistently: – companies must adapt to survive.  It was Charles Darwin, Mighael pointed out, that the species that are most adaptable to change are the ones who will survive.  Mighael believes that philosophy can be applied to business as well.

As an example, Blackberry and Nokia in only 2009 had 65% of the market.  At the time of the Summit, it was 2 %.  As another example, the global 500, 52% of the companies that were on the list in 2000 are out of business as of the time of the presentation.

Responding to the Call from the Business

When the CIO/Technology group gets the call from marketing or the CEO to create a better customer experience or to adapt in some fashion, the architecture must match up to the solution.  For different companies, the “Digital Experience” can mean different things.  For example, for Greyhound, it means a better customer experience.  For, it meant handling the volume of requests at reasonable speeds.

I think the contribution Mighael presented in this part of the presentation was his summary of the three key drivers of Disruption in Enterprise Technology.

First – let’s get grounded on the stats.  According to Mighael (as of the time of the presentation) we have over 2 billion internet users.  We will have 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and data usage is growing at a 40% rate.  It’s predicted we’ll have 40 trillion GB in data usage by 2020.

Three Drivers of Digital Disruption

Mighael looks at the disruption, which is everywhere, and its impact on the architecture and the technology requirements to make the newer customer experience a reality.

In that context, then, here are the three drivers of Digital Disruption according to Mighael.

  1. Connected Customers driving companies to created different experiences. As an example, Macys knows a customer is in the mall, and sends a text to them to try on an outfit they had looked at on their site.
  2. The Internet of Things creating volumes of connected devices and driving new architectures and systems to add value to the customers and create new revenue streams. As an example, Lexmark started putting sensors in their devices and can now predict when the printers, etc. will need repair and as a result, offer a new service with SLAs.
  3. Fast Access to data.  We’ve heard about big data and that can be solved with multiple technologies.  The value is not in the data, the value is in what you can get out of the data.  Can I ship things faster?  Can I get more boxes in each truck?  As an example, UPS considers space on a truck perishable inventory.

Each of these problems or drivers, has created new technology requirements, which Mighael calls “21 Century Problems.”  He believes we must solve 21 Century Problems with 21 Century Technology.

In the next post, I’ll share the multiple USE Cases that Mighael presented and their impact on the back end architecture, then I’ll share the key technologies that Mighael presented a potential solution to these challenges.

What do you think?  Make your comments to this post here:

Want to see Mighael’s entire presentation?  Go here:


Updated: May 31, 2016 — 3:55 pm

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