Peter Sondergaard at TNT Symposium: Part 1

Michaël Renotte I 6:35 pm, 6th December

A sought-after keynote speaker and industry thought-leader, Peter Sondergaard* gave a notable presentation at the TNT Symposium' first edition before an audience of 400 tech decision-makers. Throughout this week, we propose you to relive - or discover - the best moments of Peter Sondergaard's inspirational speech.

Post-Pandemic Digitalization: An Explosion in Change

Part 1: Disruptions Everywhere

"Every minute, organizations waste 3 million euros on failed strategies. Said in another way, about three quarters of strategies in the world fail at some stage", said Peter Sondergaard to the audience. "Yet, the numerous changes that your organizations are about to undergo require a strategy on how to handle their execution in order for these changes to be successful".

He then invited the participants to have a closer look at what will be happening as a result of these changes. "But keep in mind that software and data are what defines all of us going forward, irrespective of what we do, regardless of who we are as human beings", he warned the audience. 

"There's a number of disruptions that surround us. To begin with, it is very clear that we have a disruption in our supply chains. And the logical first answer is that this is caused by the fact that we have seen a disruption in terms of stoppage of production around the world. But that is not necessarily the only truth: way before the pandemic, we started looking at things like tariffs to regulate the world, we started to look at moving production because we could as a result of 3D technology", he explained. 

"It is obvious that that we are facing disruption as a result of changes in business models", Peter Sondergaard continued. "We have for years talked about how the digital giants around the world are disrupting the way we behave. We all play catch up with them. But it is also very clear that new business models are emerging within your organizations, which as a result are disruptions in themselves."

"We clearly - right now - have a disruption of energy and in particular of energy prices, but not necessarily again caused by the pandemic. The disruption started many years ago as we began to use alternative energy sources that rapidly, in some areas, have become cheaper than our established energy sources. That again stresses our networks in terms of transmission of energy", he underlined. "In addition to that, many manufacturing companies are moving from fuel-based to electric-based environments, which not only changes their price model, but in fact also alters their business models and how they operate."

"Later this afternoon, we will hear about the disruption induced by climate change. This is not new for many of us", he noted. "If you operate in the banking or the insurance industry, you know that climate changes have already infiltrated into some of your plans, into some of your policies."

"We have had political disruption", he added. "Political disruption, in some instances, caused by technology. We should not forget the 2010 Spring revolutions that we had in the Middle East, which were caused by technology and the availability of social media. We equally have a complete reversal of what is the tradition in politics. We have witnessed right wing parties furthering the interests of workers and left wing organizations taking the side of large companies."

"And last but not least, we know for sure that we are in the midst of a disruption caused by a change in the workforce. In the United States, in September, 4 million people changed jobs. 4 million people changed jobs. What does that do to companies' culture? What does that do to how we operate, to how we source? What does that do to our usage of technology as a potential replacement for skills that have disappeared?", he asked the conference attendees.

"Disruptions are everywhere. And that forces us all to start to think about what is actually our strategy going forward. What do we do? I can't answer every question to that and give you answers to all of those questions. But we can focus on what we could do with regards to technology. In order to do that, we will need to make a small experiment of thought", he said. "What is the disruption going to look like over the long term if we take some of the fundamental aspects of technology that we have talked about?", asked Peter Sondergaard. 

(to be continued)

Michael Renotte

*Peter Sondergaard was executive vice president and member of Gartner’s operating committee for 15 years. He founded The Sondergaard Group and now runs his own Executive Advisory business. Additionally he is chairman of the board for, an artificial intelligence platform company, DI2X, a digital leadership development and research institute, and DecideAct, a cloud-based strategy execution management and governance platform.

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