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Hundred-Year-Old Companies in the Digital Economy

Mar 06, 2014

The digital economy is often viewed as the habitat of young, digital native companies.  How can established companies compete? One hundred years ago, factory electrification and mass production advanced—and challenged—existing businesses. The survivors of that era now find new challenges and opportunities in today’s digital economy.

The journey to become the cornerstone of their industry required finding opportunity in each business-transforming era.  Fast forward to the modern era and consider the digital revolution that began in 1980 with the development of the personal computer, and particularly by the microprocessor with its steadily increasing performance, which enabled computer technology to be embedded into a huge range of objects changing the very nature of products.

At Apigee, we see companies old and new achieve digital success, and the transformational nature of that success fulfills the promise of technology-enabled innovation. The greatest obstacles to success are often the organizational and social challenges. One might think that young companies with less history find it easier to manage this, given the brevity of their existence and their experience with modern technology. Yet the ability to adapt and change to drive business is uniquely demonstrated by companies that have been doing it for a long time.

Apigee has a natural interest in how new and established companies overcome the challenges in their path to paradigm-changing success.  We're discussing this with our customers about this, and want to share their insights with you, so we're launching a new webcast series, “Digital Acceleration for Hundred-Plus-Year-Old Companies,” where we'll share the strategies that enabled these companies to achieve success in the latest era of change. These stories go well-beyond boosting relevance in the digital economy; many of these companies have transformed their entire business models.

Click here to register for the upcoming first installment of this free webcast series, which will feature Allen Rodgers, director of Pearson eCollege’s developer network and API program

For more discussion about 170-year-old Pearson, the largest education and book publishing company, and other centenarian enterprises that are winning in the digital economy, check out Apigee's free eBook, "Digital Transformation: Getting in Shape for the Digital World."

In the meantime, sit back for a moment and consider what it must have been like when the latest change that technology introduced to business was electricity.

image: Victor Solaroy/Flickr

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