Around Shawn Fitzgerald in 10 Questions

Today we ask our probing questions of Shawn Fitzgerald, (LinkedIn@IDC)Research Director, World Wide Digital Transformation Strategies at IDC. Shawn recently joined IDC 


  1. What are your coverage areas?

I’m responsible for leading and coordinating IDC’s World Wide Digital Transformation (DX) Strategies Practice and continuing to ensure IDC’s thought leadership in the digital economy. As you may already know, IDC estimates the economic value of DX to be $20T or more than 20% of global GDP.

  1. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?

The role and value we, as analysts, provide is tremendous and is ever more important to smart technology strategies. Today, technology is so core to businesses delivering on their brand promises, both products and services. Making a bad technology decision has such an impact on strategic and operational performance in a way that wasn’t the case 20 or 30 years ago. Conversely, making the right choices can enable break-through business performance and really create world-class customer differentiation capabilities. I’ve yet to meet successful business leaders who don’t want access to those insights.

  1. What’s your typical day like?

Most days are a blend of engaging your clients, research needs, learning, writing, and travel. Obviously the ability to prioritize these and execute successfully is the key to maximizing value to the firm, the clients, and keeping yourself balanced. Eating right and making time for exercise also enter the mix.

  1. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

I don’t have an AR horror story where it would be something of legend. What I do sometimes see, to my horror, are firms not messaging effectively about their products, services, or capabilities. Seeing so much investment getting the word out that misses the mark – that’s real tragedy to me. Thankfully, those experiences are very far and few between.

  1. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?

The nice thing about IDC is that it has such a great reputation and is a leading firm. One of my main goals is to ensure I live up to the brand promise and ideals of the firm. Thankfully you are surrounded by great people and an engaging culture. We are a thought leader in Digital Transformation today with some really compelling research coming down the pipe to continue to enhance our position in this space.

  1. What is your research methodology?

Because Digital Transformation (DX) is really a technology enabled business strategy or set of strategies, you need to have both quantitative analysis and the qualitative understanding of technology in the context of business. One of our 2017 goals include developing a set of cross-industry DX use (investment) case studies.

  1. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.

The better events are ones that provide the strategic roadmap for the analyst and also demonstrate, through client examples, how they improved the business. The more laborious events are feature/function-fests that talk about product without showcasing benefits, business impact, and the investment return for customers.

  1. Any hobbies or favorite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?

I was a competitive mountain biker B.C. (before children). Now we focus on cycling as a family and competing in any outdoor adventures.

  1. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 minutes?

Ensuring we maintain and execute on IDC’s Digital Transformation (DX) model in the most meaningful and compelling way for our clients. Digital is a term that is being thrown at everything today and my responsibility is to ensure IDC continues to be the reference standard in this space and that we are servicing our clients.

  1. Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?

I think analysts that are both subject matter experts (SME’s) and able to help clients create value for customers. As part of the IDC Insights team, I look to folks like Bob Parker, Scott Lundstrom, Kimberly Knickle, and Kevin Prouty as professionals we can all model our work after successfully.


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