Research Library

Anticipating the Future through Value Chain Mapping

We often hear that we are in a time of disruptive change. Cloud Computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things are all examples of this – or so we are told. While resistance to change is natural, disruption implies that the change is unseen, unexpected, even unpredictable. Yet it turns out that many industries are being disrupted by broadly predictable forces. How can this be?

The explanation isn’t just inertia; it’s also blindness. In this session, Simon presented our overall model of industry evolution and discussed what can and cannot be predicted. He then showed how companies can use our Value Chain Mapping process to better see the changing environment around them and steer markets in their favour by anticipating both the nature of change and the strategies, skills and behaviours most likely to be required.


01 David Reid – Introduction

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Simon Wardley
Simon Wardley, based in the UK, is a Researcher for Leading Edge Forum and the lead practitioner for Wardley Maps advisory service helping clients anticipate market and ecosystem developments. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he is the author of multiple reports including Clash of the Titans – Will China Dethrone Silicon Valley?  where he assesses the hi-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including Of Wonders and Disruption,  The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing. Simon is a seasoned executive who 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 #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 has been voted as one of the UK's top 50 most influential people in IT in recent Computer Weekly polls.