Some business leaders fear the word “disruption” – but other business leaders meet the word and its impact head-on. GE’s Chief Digital Officer, Ganesh Bell, is one of the latter.
Over the last couple of years, Ganesh has led the digital transformation of what he calls a “124 year old startup” – and a large part of his role is “connecting the dots”. GE is a massive, global company and has undertaken the challenge to lead the “industrial internet” – bringing together industrial engineering with sensors, software and big data analytics to create brilliant machines. They do so with the scale of a global enterprise with the agility of a Silicon Valley startup. In fact, one of the success stories of GE’s digital transformation is the growth of its startup, GE Software, which now boasts over 1300 developers, and has an ambition to become a top 10 global software company by 2020.
In what is becoming “must-watch viewing” for innovators and disruptors, Salesforce’s chief digital evangelist, Vala Afshar, and Constellation Research’s visionary founder and technology industry thought leader, R “Ray” Wang interview Ganesh on their weekly DisrupTV show. Live streamed via Blab.im, it provides a fascinating insight into transformation and innovation at scale in organisations like GE. You can watch the entire episode below.
Joining Ray and Vala, about 25 minutes in, I shared some insight into the world of enterprise innovation in Australia:
- How enterprises are learning from startups – from the Qantas Hackathon to accelerators like Telstra’s Muru-D
- Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Office and the recent launch of their Alpha Guide for digital government
- Stone and Chalk’s Fintech hub in Sydney and the amazing Open Orbit business process improvement platform
- Our Disruptor’s Handbook Accelerator in a Box program.
Following on, Vala and Ray were joined by Constellation Research’s resident retail guru, Guy Courtin. He covered a vast terrain of disruption and opportunity for retailers in a very short time, suggesting that bricks and mortar stores still have plenty of advantages over their digital only counterparts. To be truly transformative, Guy explained that retailers need to stop thinking about “e” commerce and connect the dots around the customer’s commercial experience. Especially with the internet of things truly taking hold, the opportunity is reach, engage and transform the customer’s retail experience – but very few are doing so.
You can watch the full replay of this week’s show below. But don’t stop there. Constellation Research are hosting all of the past episodes on their Vimeo channel.