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Anticipating the Future - An Introduction to Value Chain Mapping

Simon Wardley (Leading Edge Forum (CSC))

Portland Ballroom
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Apparently we are living through a time of disruptive innovation, with the creation of new value and the destruction of old norms. Cloud computing, Big Data, the rise of open source and the internet of things are all examples of this – or so we are told. But whilst we all have inertia to change, disruption implies that the change is unexpected, even unpredictable. However, if you have 20 years to plan for something, can you really call it surprising, random or unexpected?

Alas, it turns out that companies are being disrupted by broadly predictable changes. But how can this be? The problem is poor situational awareness to the point of blindness. In this keynote, I will present the general principles of industry change and describe what can and cannot be predicted. I will then examine how companies can better understand the environment around them and by anticipating the nature of change then manipulate the market in their favor through open techniques.

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.