Situation Normal Everything Must Change

Simon Wardley (Leading Edge Forum (CSC))
Business Leadership Day
Location: F 151
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 8 ratings)

For many in business, the words open source conjures up concepts of hippy idealism where geeks in a spirit of free love give away their work to others for nothing. For many, it’s about as anti-capitalist as you can get. Those many are as gullible as the citizens of Ancient Troy and they should be wary of “Geeks bearing Gifts”.

Open source is one of the deadliest weapons in the arsenal of any experienced strategist. It can be used to remove barriers to entry into an opponent’s business, to encourage standardization around your practice creating a cost of transition for opponents, and it can be used to develop ecosystems to strengthen your position as part of a land grab for new sources of value or even as a source of recruitment of talent.

This session explores these concepts by first laying out the fundamentals of change and how all industry evolves through a commonly re-occuring pattern. Using this we will examine why one size never fits all in management, the explosion of change from big data and cloud computing to why new forms of organisation are emerging that differ from traditional companies. These new organisations compete with ecosystems and use open technologies (open source, open data, open hardware) as a competitive weapon against others. However, you can’t fight then if you don’t understand the changing battleground.

Photo of Simon Wardley

Simon Wardley

Leading Edge Forum (CSC)

Simon Wardley is a Researcher for CSC’s Leading Edge Forum, a global research and thought leadership
community dedicated to helping large organizations become more successful by identifying and
adopting Next Practices at the growing intersection between business and information technology.

Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and his most recently published research
report is entitled, The Future is More Predictable Than You Think: A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping. Simon
has also covered topics including Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy,
Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing.

Simon has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries.
From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005, to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the No 1
Cloud operating system.

As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing
with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing
novel computer systems or managing companies. He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of
open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics.

Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and was voted as one of the UK’s top 50 most influential
people in IT in ComputerWeekly’s 2012 and 2011 polls.

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Comments

Picture of Simon Wardley
Simon Wardley
07/20/2012 10:52am PDT

I’ve uploaded a very much shorter selection of the slides with some bubble text annotation to slideshare.

www.slideshare.net/swardley...

Thank you for the comments, that’s much appreciated.

Michael, my apologies if the presentation was a bit too fast paced for you. I did try and warn people at the beginning that it was going to be fast (which is my normal style) – and yes, if you’ve never seen the concepts before or you’re not used to the style, then in some cases it can be difficult. I do hope it wasn’t a complete waste of time for you.

Picture of Alex Martelli
Alex Martelli
07/19/2012 9:10am PDT

I find the speed of the presentation “just right” (it may help that I’ve seen Simon talk before!). Maybe, more about the way in which timing of the various developments is variable, and the factors playing into that, would be worth incorporating.

ken haynie
07/18/2012 5:55pm PDT

Simon has a lot of interesting and profound things to say about strategy, especially as it related to open source software. He was very well prepared, and gave a very professional presentation. No fluff – a tremendous amount of material condensed into robust models backed up by lots of real-world examples that led to many ‘aha’ moments. I think he would make a great keynote. He also handled random questions easily, responding with such depth that it was clear we were only getting a small fraction of what he knows. I wish he would write a book! I caught up with him later and he patiently answered a number of questions. Being very involved in strategy, i really appreciated the density and depth of his material. His perspective on OSS business models and strategy – especially using OSS as a weapon – was very eye-opening! Anyone going up against large entrenched competition should really study his slides and consider how devastating a good open source strategy can be.

Picture of Michael Downey
Michael Downey
07/17/2012 3:14pm PDT

This was a great talk, I think … unfortunately it went by way too fast to comprehend it all (at least for me) or take notes. Felt rushed and the flashing complex graphs for only a few moments made it difficult to absorb everything, even with repetition. Looking forward to reviewing the materials later.

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