The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), is a venue where innovation and learning come together to create disruptive business models for the digital age. Its purpose is to accelerate digital business transformation in public and private sector organizations around the world.

A joint initiative of IMD and Cisco, the DBT Center is a global hub for applied research where executives engage to solve the real-world challenges created by massive market transitions.

What is digital business transformation?

Digital disruption is the impact of digital technologies and business models on a company's value proposition and market position. Digital business transformation is an organizational change journey to adopt digital technologies and business models to improve performance. It involves challenging the assumptions that have underpinned prior success, and stress-testing the ways in which companies deliver value to customers. It means changing the organization itself, including its operations, culture, revenue model, and more.

Our Expertise

The DBT Center combines Cisco's leadership in the Internet of Everything with IMD's expertise in developing global leaders, focusing on the organizational change required for digital transformation. IMD is a top-ranked business school with a flexible, effective approach to real-world executive education and applied research. Cisco has the technical expertise and open innovation approach that can help executives generate practical insights to succeed in today's fast-moving competitive marketplace.

Organizations are struggling to transform in the digital era. Our mission is to inform and engage organizations along the transformation journey.

By 2020, four of today’s top 10 incumbents in each industry will be displaced by digital disruption (Read the full study report here).  Many executives are rightly asking how digital tools can be leveraged to evolve their businesses, but just as many are wary of technology’s disruptive threat. 

The DBT Center prepares executives to lead their organizations into the digital era by reimagining their businesses from top to bottom. It offers participants a unique opportunity to shape the business models of tomorrow by exploring the what, why, and how of digital transformation. These new business models will drive how digital tools and technologies are successfully adopted and deployed in private and public sector organizations around the world.

Full-time researchers from both IMD and Cisco draw from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise to bring an applied understanding of business issues, such as digital strategy, digital talent management, disruptive innovation, high-impact collaboration across virtual teams, organizational realignment, and value from analytics.

Read our conceptual  Framework for Digital Business Transformation, which drives our research agenda.

Want to check out more of our ideas? Find all of our publications here



Our Ideas

What does digital disruption look like? In our premier research on the topic of digital disruption, we found that business models, offerings, and value chains are inevitably being digitized to the maximum extent, and that the actions of the market are unpredictable and accelerating.  We called this  phenomenon the “Digital Vortex”.

Learn more:

Digital Vortex key findings [mobile-friendly]

Digital Vortex full white paper [PDF]

Digital Vortex terminology [PDF]

We continue to explore the business implications of digital disruption and competition in the digital vortex. Find all of our digital vortex publications here .

Join us: building business models for the digital age

How do I build a strategy that successfully takes my organization through the journey of business transformation? How do I leverage digital technologies to create a sustainable, competitive advantage?

The DBT Center brings together viewpoints from many different types of organizations--incumbents, startups, and disruptors--to learn, scale best practices, orchestrate dialogues among leaders, and co-innovate. It also leverages the IMD and Cisco global ecosystem of customers, partners, startups, and experts who contribute their ideas and share learnings.

Executives and their teams from all sectors and geographies are welcome to join us. Visit the DBT Center, attend a workshop or discovery event, or co-conduct research. Contact us to learn about all of the ways we work for and with organizations along the digital business transformation journey

The digitization of the luxury goods industry worldwide is presenting significant change management challenges and opportunities. The new Global Center for Digital Business Transformation at IMD will provide a very timely contribution to the development of organizational competences and leadership skills to both local and global Maisons, thus benefiting the industry's competitiveness and growth.

– Frank Vivier, Richemont Group Director of eBusiness at Richemont Group, owner of luxury goods businesses such as Cartier; Jaeger-LeCoultre; and Montblanc.

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  • Exclusive invitations to our Discovery Days. Located in various countries accross the globe, our discovery days offer an unparalled opportunity to learn from our world class faculty and network with other executives.

Click below to join the Digital Business Transformation Network today. 

IMD is a top-ranked business school, recognized as the expert in developing global leaders through high-impact executive education.

Learn more about the Leading Digital Business Transformation Programs at IMD Lausanne and Singapore.

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate, and collaborate.

Read our thought leadership for industry-specific market insights to inform your innovation strategy.


Global Center for Digital Business Transformation
Chemin de Bellerive 23,
P.O. 915, CH-1001 Lausanne

Tel: + 41 21 618 01 11