Thrive Ultimatum Series Part I: The Digital You Must Do


What is the Thrive Ultimatum?  

2019 will present the 'C-Suite' with a Digital Transformation ultimatum.  Digital initiatives can no longer be ‘shelved’ or viewed as a future innovation that are delayed by a myriad of excuses. Organizations operating this way are often in survival mode, feeling encumbered by forces outside their control.  But survival is no longer enough as consumers, businesses, and shareholders demand that organizations move past survival mode, to thrive mode and cross the chasm of digital change and disruption now.  Organizations that recognize this imperative and act on it are succeeding in the digital age.  Those that decide to stay reactive and passive, are increasingly finding themselves looking up from the bottom of a deep chasm.

Part I

Digitalization is impacting nearly every aspect of your business, whether its paper and documentation, photographs and images, movies and video, music and sound, or customer interactions; enabling all of it to be rendered in a digital and portable “machine readable” format with which computers and networks can recognize and interact.

This is the third wave of digitalization:

  • Wave 1.0

This wave represented the physical architecture of networking that has connected every corner of the world.  Servers, network switches, routers and more which enabled the business world to build the highways the future needed to transport all it’s digital goods and services.

  • Wave 2.0

Wave 2.0 is represented by the “social web” and referred to as the age where websites were able to incorporate user generated content and interactions.  Many businesses arose from this wave – most notably social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Kayak, Expedia, Google, YouTube, Yelp, and thousands more.

  • Wave 3.0

The current wave represents the opportunity to power business enablement of everything digital. The opportunity to grow and improve your business through the applied use of established and emerging technology like: IoT, AI, and Virtual Reality, which basically means web everywhere, in almost everything, and always on.

Already operating in this third wave are the companies that are the disruptors and innovators, and more importantly, the organizations that are thriving in the digital world.  Where disruption has been a rarity or something to behold in the past, it will now become commonplace as companies must disrupt themselves repeatedly to stay with the ever-increasing demands of their customers and ahead of their competitors. Those that are embracing this concept and putting the pieces in place to encourage this innovation and change, are emerging as the winners of tomorrow.

According to The Hackett Group, the C-Suite now (mostly) grasps this imperative: 

  • 47% of CEOs are being challenged by the board of directors to make progress in digital business
  • 20% of CEOs report they are now taking a "digital-first" approach to business change and
  • 56% said that their digital improvements have already increased profits

While the number of CEOs that fully grasp the concept is getting higher, what we find amazing is what those same numbers look like when you flip the perspective.  Using those same percentages, we could also say that:

  • 53% of CEOs are NOT being challenged by the board of directors
  • 80% of CEOs are NOT taking a "digital first" approach
  • 44% have NOT said their digital improvements have increased profits

 So again, what is the Thrive Ultimatum? 

That it’s no longer good enough to ‘go through the motions’ of transformation.  It means that if your goals have really been to just survive so far, you have no chance to thrive in the future.  Our view is that there is an ultimatum facing almost every organization today, and the choices are simple:

  • Win or lose.
  • Succeed or fail.
  • Thrive or die.

We’ve helped our clients transform their technology supply chains to meet these challenges, and we can help you too.  Contact us to learn more about how NET(net) can help ensure your company is meeting the Thrive Ultimatum and avoid falling into the chasm of those who failed to transform.

This is the first in an 8-part series on Digital Transformation. In the coming months, we will cover the entire spectrum of digital transformation including examples of successes and failures in the marketplace, and how those respective companies either took steps to succeed or stood by and watched themselves fail.  Stay tuned. 

We welcome your comments and feedback.

About NET(net)

Celebrating 16 years, NET(net) is the world’s leading IT Investment Optimization firm, helping clients find, get and keep more economic and strategic value. With over 2,500 clients around the world in nearly all industries and geographies, and with the experience of over 25,000 field engagements with over 250 technology suppliers in XaaS, Cloud, Hardware, Software, Services, Healthcare, Outsourcing, Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and other areas of IT spend, resulting in incremental client captured value in excess of $250 billion since 2002. NET(net) has the expertise you need, the experience you want, and the performance you demand. Contact us today at, visit us online at, or call us at +1-866-2-NET-net to see if we can help you capture more value in your IT investments, agreements, and relationships.

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