Marco Iansiti

How can organizations successfully compete against the digital giants? Adopt an AI-first operating model to unlock unlimited growth says Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor and digital transformation pioneer Marco Iansiti.

Co-author of the critically-acclaimed book “Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World” (Harvard Business Review Press, January 2020), Iansiti helps leaders in every sector transition to an AI-centric model so they can shatter traditional operating constraints and exponentially scale business.

As the digital divide widens, transitioning is even more urgent now, says Iansiti. It also presents vast opportunities for growth.

“For traditional firms, becoming a software-based, AI-driven company is about becoming a different kind of organization – one accustomed to continuous transformation,” says Iansiti. “It is about fundamentally changing the core of the company by building a data-centric operating architecture supported by an agile organization that enables ongoing change. In an increasingly competitive digital era, it’s the best long-term investment an organization can make.”

For more than 30 years, Iansiti has focused on the digital transformation of companies and industries, innovation management, and the impact of network effects on strategy and business. He has worked closely with Fortune 500 companies, such as Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Facebook and Amazon, since the dawn of the digital era, helping them leverage emerging technologies and algorithmic processes in order to become the dominating forces they are today.

“In an AI-driven world, user numbers, engagement and revenues can skyrocket,” says Iansiti. “And while the value of scale eventually begins to level off in traditional models, in AI-based ones, it never stops climbing.”

During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Iansiti and co-author Karim Lakhani studied the fast-track development of Moderna’s vaccine. With the help of an AI-first model, the company was able to produce a vaccine candidate in only 41 days — a record 90% reduction compared to the time it took to develop vaccines for SARS and MERS.

As a trusted advisor to business leaders in every industry, from startups to established firms, Iansiti is transforming the way organizations operate so they can successfully compete well into the future.