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Learn More About 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.


Marco Iansiti is the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the co-director of the Laboratory for Information Science. He has authored or co-authored several books, including “Technology Integration,” “The Keystone Advantage,” “One Strategy” and “Competing in the Age of AI,” which was named Best Business Book of 2020 for strategy by Strategy+Business and received the Gold Medal for Best Artificial Intelligence / Robotics / Algorithms Book in the 2021 Axiom Business Book Awards. Several of his articles have been featured in Harvard Business Review’s top 10 articles of the year.

Iansiti has co-founded several companies, including Model N (NASDAQ:MODN) and Keystone Strategy. In association with the Keystone Strategy team, he has advised most of the world’s largest technology companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Intel, and other Global 1000 firms. Iansiti currently serves on the boards of several companies, including PDF Solutions (NASDAQ: PDFS), ModuleQ, and Keystone Strategy, where he is chairman. Iansiti was awarded a PhD and an AB in physics from Harvard University.

Marco Iansiti is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Marco Iansiti was last modified: February 5th, 2024 by Justin Louis

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The Drivers of Digital Transformation: Re-architecting for Long-Term Growth

While digitally transforming a business’s operating model may not seem like a priority, the pandemic disruption showed us that companies best able to pivot and profit were those that already had a digital model in place. In this presentation, Harvard Business School Professor Marco Iansiti explains how market leaders such as Microsoft, Intel, IBM and Facebook have increased their agility and efficiency by leveraging an AI-first operating model and why other companies should follow suit if they want to survive long term. Using examples and case studies, he explains the competitive advantages of adopting an AI-first operating model, what it takes to make the transition and why your company will reap returns on the investment for years to come.

Don’t Get Left Behind: How to Bridge the Digital Divide

As more organizations shift to digital operating models, the divide between traditional and digital companies is widening. Traditional businesses that have not yet transitioned to a digital model are facing tougher competition and, in some cases, the real risk of having to shut down altogether. Harvard Business School Professor Marco Iansiti explains how adopting an Al-centric operating model allows organizations to break down silos between departments, update fragmented legacy systems, retool company culture, and scale business. Drawing on case studies and real-world examples, he shows how leveraging algorithms and networks through an AI-first model offers organizations a powerful opportunity to compete in an increasingly fast-paced digital economy and not get left behind.

Digital Stewards: Protecting the Data You Collect

Part of doing business online involves collecting data from customers or prospective customers. Such information becomes a precious commodity that must be protected, not only to prevent hacking and liability, but because companies have an obligation to serve as digital stewards for their customers. In this presentation, Harvard Business School Professor Marco Iansiti discusses the ethical use of digital information and the critical need for companies to protect customer privacy. He then shares innovative strategies for governing data within digital systems using tools like blockchain and differential privacy. For a more in-depth understanding of this topic, inquire about a workshop or advisory meeting.

Implementing and Leveraging AI and Machine Learning

To survive in the 21st century, companies have no choice but to digitize operations. Those that don’t incorporate AI and machine-learning into their systems will be rapidly eclipsed by their technologically agile competitors. In this customized, interactive workshop, Harvard Business School Professor Marco Iansiti helps leaders assess their company’s current digital systems and explains the benefits of adopting an AI-centric operating model. Drawing on his vast experience advising digital leaders such as Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Facebook and Amazon, he shows how any company can make the transition to an AI-first model and outlines why doing so will firmly position their organization for unconstrained long-term growth.

Gold Medal Winner for Best Artificial Intelligence / Robotics / Algorithms Book in the 2021 Axiom Business Book Awards

Named one of the “Top Ten Technology Books Of 2020” – Forbes

Named a “Best Leadership Book of 2020” by Leadership Now

Named one of the “Best Business Books 2020: Strategy” by strategy + business

Named one of Bloomberg’s “20 Best Books on Business and Leadership”

Named one of 16 New Business Books You Need to Read in 2020 by Inc. magazine

Named one of 16 New Business Books You Need to Read in 2020 by Inc. magazine

“Iansiti and Lakhani have written an important book that explains what’s required to rethink the firm and become an AI-first company. Anyone interested in the impact of AI should read this book.”

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

“With the rise of our digital economy and artificial intelligence, the landscape of disruption is shifting in remarkable ways. ‘Competing in the Age of AI’ is a compelling and mandatory read for leaders hoping to survive in the new world of business.”

The Late Clayton Christensen, Former Harvard Business School Professor; Author, Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek Bestseller “The Innovation’s Dilemma"

“Competing in the Age of AI’ captures the essence of trends we’re seeing across the business landscape: If you’re not leveraging AI and machine learning to guide real-time decision making, you’re on the precipice of disruption from competitors who are.”

Dave Munichiello, General Partner, GV (formerly Google Ventures)

“The ethical and business implications of AI are gradually revealing themselves as more and more AIs are plucked from research labs and deployed in the wild. Iansiti and Lakhani’s book is a great foundation for any business professional who hopes to succeed in this evolving environment.”

Tim Brady, Partner, Y Combinator

“This book provides insight into working more effectively with AI experts and better equips executives to make important decisions in their AI journeys.”

Abidali Neemuchwala, CEO and Managing Director, Wipro Limited

“Competing in the Age of AI’ provides a road map to some of today’s most important business changes driven by technological advances.”

Heidi Keefe, Partner, Cooley LLP

“Competing in the Age of AI’ is important reading for entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders of all companies who hope to maintain and accelerate technological leadership.”

Jim Breyer, Founder and CEO, Breyer Capital; former Member of the Board, Facebook and Walmart

“Iansiti and Lakhani do a terrific job of avoiding buzzword pitfalls and focusing on practical advice on what AI can, and cannot, do to augment any business’s competitive strategy.”

Matthew Prince, Co-Founder and CEO, Cloudflare