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Cynthia Beath
Author of Forbes Top 10 Tech Book for 2019 at UT Austin and Co-Author of Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success


KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success 

Data center professionals are always on the forefront of technology advancement. Knowing how technology can transform a company and its customers is their strength. However, there’s a universal frustration among this group that stems from an inability to fully exploit digital capabilities to achieve business strategy. The problem is that most business leaders expect their existing organizational structure to implement strategy, unaware that structure inhibits, rather than enables, agility.

In this keynote based on the book “Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success” – a Forbes Top 10 Tech Book for 2019 – co-author Cynthia Beath notes that many established companies have deployed such digital technologies as the cloud, mobile apps, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence. But few established companies are truly designed for digital. That is, they cannot repeatedly and successfully offer new digital value propositions to their customers. Beath provides an essential guide for retooling organizations for digital success, and explains how effective business design enables a company to quickly pivot in response to new competitive threats and opportunities. Digital design, not strategy, is what separates winners from losers in the digital economy.

About Cynthia

Cynthia Beath is a Professor Emerita of Information Systems at the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin.  She received her MBA and PhD degrees from UCLA. Before embarking on her academic career, Cynthia worked in private industry in several information systems development and consulting positions.  After 20+ years in academia, Cynthia retired from teaching (or, grading). Since 2005 she has continued to do applied research, mostly in partnership with the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at MIT's Sloan School.  Currently she is studying how established companies are redesigning themselves to better exploit new digital technologies for continued success.

The results of Cynthia's research can be found in two books, in articles in Sloan Management Review and Harvard Business Review, as well as (for the masochist) in the top information systems research journals. An active and passionate advocate for women in her academic community, she initiated the field’s first junior faculty consortium, served as chair of a division of the Academy of Management, and on the Council of the AIS.  With an abiding interest in the information systems profession, she helped found MISQ Executive and the Austin Area Chapter of SIM. When not at work, Cynthia reads mystery novels, travels the world with her husband, an artist, and plays with her dog.