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Digital Transformation: Top 100 Influencers and Brands

by | Jul 6, 2016 | Influencer Lists,

Digital transformation is the term given to the transformation of business activities, processes and models to fully leverage the opportunities of new digital technologies. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, companies that have implemented digital technologies across their business are more successful in enhancing revenue sources, competing against digital natives and outperforming peers.

The internet, robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics are dramatically altering today’s industries. These new technologies can effect an organisations operating model to the extent that it is no longer fit to serve its customers. This is why it is essential for businesses to adapt and evolve to enable new types of innovation and creativity and meet new demands. Microsoft for example have recently adopted a more scalable subscription based model, with an increased focus on mobile devices. By 2018, 67% of the CEOs of Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy.


We reached out to some of the top influencers on our list to ask them for their views on digital transformation. We spoke to Brian Solis (#1), Dion Hinchcliffe (#2), R “Ray” Wang (#6), Ronald van Loon (#7), Craig Brown PhD (#8), Mike Flache (#10), Bill Bunting (#11), Daniel Newman (#12), Tim Hughes (#15) and Ian Gertler (#18). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on digital transformation!

BOnalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Brian Solisrian Solis – Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group, a Prophet Company and Author of X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

“Digital transformation is a movement progressing without a universal map to guide businesses through proven and productive passages. This leaves organizations pursuing change from a known, safe approach that correlates with “business as usual” practices. Operating within the confines of traditional paradigms without purpose or vision eventually challenges the direction, capacity, and agility for thriving in a digital economy.”

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Dion HinchcliffeDion Hinchcliffe – Chief Strategy Officer at 7Summits

“While many are focusing primarily on the technology changes required for digital transformation, it’s also vital that we don’t neglect the people dimension of what is one of the greatest shifts in business in recent history. Those who are prepared to continuously transform their business through the lens of what emerging technology makes possible while simultaneously educating, inspiring, empowering, and upskilling their workforce to lead change across the enterprise will create the best outcomes for themselves and their stakeholders. Today, making digital transformation successful and sustainable requires commitment to steady, ongoing yet adaptive change of nearly the entire organization.”

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - R "Ray" Wang

R “Ray” Wang – Principal Analyst & Founder at Constellation Research

“We’ve seen 52% of the Fortune 500 get merged, acquired, and gone bankrupt since 2000.  In 2015, 55% of the Fortune 500 failed to make a profit.  The reality – digital darwinism is unkind to those who wait.  The winners built digital business models.  In fact, this is not a digital divide but a winner takes all market.   In this post-sale, on-demand, attention economy, digital transformation is more than a technology, shift, it’s about transforming business models and how we engage.  Success requires building trust and authenticity of the brand, designing business models to support the brand, and then building products, services, experiences, and outcomes that support the business models.  Successful organizations drive digital transformation from the board level on down.”

Onalytica - IoT, Big Data, Digital Transformation - Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Ronald van LoonRonald van Loon, Director Adversitement

“Digital technology – in particular the internet, mobile tech and Internet of Things – has changed and will change our lives drastically. Think about a few things in your daily life right now you interact with daily. They could be your phone, your desktop, your watch, your car, your refrigerator, your garage door opener…you get the idea. All these things will be connected and generate data in the coming years. The impact that data has and will have on customer experience, business models and industries is tremendous. As a result, many companies are searching for the best way to create a sustainable competitive advantage from data. This all starts with customer-centricity and relevance. Therefore, a Customer Centric Digital Transformation is essential for organizations to be successful in this era.”

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Craig Brown PhD

Craig Brown PhD – Big Data SME & Technical Architect

“Digital Transformations involve so much more than the digital (Technology) Component.  I see the biggest mistakes made by organizations, undergoing the digital transformation when more emphasis is placed on the technology side and not enough on the planning and strategy. Scope is the key to developing a successful digital transformation strategy, wrapped around some well thought out organization objectives.  Requiring the business involvement on the development of these objectives helps with determining the right strategy.  This also helps identify needed/missing skills.  Digital transformation is not an overnight process so it is important that the organization commit, not only to the element of change but also to seizing the learning opportunities, that will present themselves. Digital transformations come with risks that can truly impact its success within the organization.  The digital transformation process will need to be led by the technological experts and business leaders. It’s important that the digital transformation stakeholders properly set and maintain expectations throughout this journey.”

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Mike FlacheMike Flache – Business Angel & Investor

“No doubt, the transition from Analog to Digital could be a long march, because it’s more than just a technology issue. It’s also about a clear strategy aligned closely to market needs, streamlined processes, and above all open-minded and competent people. Companies who are willing to understand that these key factors need to be in line for a successful business transformation, will enjoy fundamental advantages over competitors that do not – from creating new business models and profit streams to building a decision-oriented agile organization.”

Onalytica - Digital Health, Digital Transformation 2016 Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Bill BuntingBill Bunting – Director, Healthcare Solutions at EMC

“Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword – it’s reality. Consumers have increasingly become more mobile, more connected, and more centered around the concept of ‘me.’ They thrive off of innovation and crave ‘what’s next,’ and the pace of change is accelerating as a result. At the same time, traditional businesses are turning a blind eye toward the future. They are being disrupted as digital and data-driven companies capitalize on consumer demand and niche growth markets. Uber and Airbnb are no longer the anomaly; they are the standard example of what happens when you don’t stop to see what is happening around you and correct course to remain relevant.”

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman – CEO at Broadsuite Media Group, Author of Evolve: Marketing (^as we know it) is Doomed

“For too long businesses have tried to solve the digital transformation challenge by throwing technology at people problems. I believe we need to look at Digital Transformation a little bit differently if we want to successfully inspire our businesses to transform, innovate and disrupt in our respective industries. In its simplest form, Digital is technology and transformation is people. Therefore, the companies that will see the greatest results in the age of rapid technological change will be those that can create the most adaptable culture. This adaptability will allow organizations to fail faster and succeed sooner. In the end, digital transformation is about figuring out how to create a culture that can utilize the power of technology to create happier customers and more engaged employees.”

Onalytica - Social Selling, Digital Transformation 2016 Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Tim Hughes Tim Hughes – Co-Founder – Digital Leadership Associates

“The term Digital Transformation seems to have become the all encompassing term for transformation within organisation.  Digital is really about the IT systems, where as, real transformation is people and behaviour change to make the transition to social based processes.  This is where the real value and competitive advantage can be obtained for companies.  So where in the past we looked at people, process and technology, we now review people, processes, technology and social.

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Ian Gertler

Ian Gertler – Marketing Evangelist, Digital Transformation at Progress

“Digital transformation is about connecting the dots between people, processes and technology to enable and enhance the experiences of customers, team members, partners, citizens, communities and other constituents. Digital will touch every organization in some way, although best practices, adoption and integration remain fairly fragmented. Regardless of your digital transformation strategy and actions, it’s important to acknowledge: 1) digital as a strategic and tactical differentiator; 2) more empowered consumers with rising expectations, and 3) the need for efficiency, productivity and engaged teams.


We were very interested in seeing which digital transformation influencers and brands were leading the online discussion, so we analysed 338K+ tweets over the last 3 months mentioning the keywords: “digital transformation” OR digitaltransformation. We then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter. What we discovered was a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation with the number 1 brand Cisco at the centre. This map was created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Network Map Cisco

Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the number 1 influencer Brain Solis at the center and all the conversations to and from the influencers in his field. If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!

Onalytica - Digital Transformation Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Network Map - Brian Solis



We were interested in seeing which topics were most popular among the top digital transformation influencers, so we analysed their tweets and blogs from 1st January – 5th July 2016 and counted mentions of various topics associated with digital transformation, which we then used to create a topic share of voice chart.

Onalytica - Digital Transformation - Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Topic Share of Voice


It’s interesting to note that the most popular topic among the virtual reality influencers was IoT with a 28% share of voice, proving that the internet of things and connectivity is leading the discussion and driving the most conversations among the top influencers. Big Data was the 2nd most popular debate driver with 23%, followed by mentions of Cloud with 14%. Innovation and Devops bothe received a similar share of voice.  M2M was the 6th most popular topic among the digital transformation influencers with a 4% share of voice, followed by Strategy, CIOAgile and Connected.


We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top influencers in digital transformation. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below.

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RankTwitter HandleNameCompanyInfluencer Score
1@briansolisBrian SolisAltimeter Group82.65
2@dhinchcliffeDion Hinchcliffe7Summits55.92
3@robertllewellynRob LlewellynCXO Transform51.28
4@rohit_ghaiRohit GhaiEMC50.04
5@Krista_IDCKrista CollinsIDC Canada40.63
6@rwang0R Ray Wang (王瑞光)Constellation Research39.48
7@Ronald_vanLoonRonald van LoonAdversitement33.96
8@craigbrownphdCraig Brown, Ph.D.craigbrownphd.com31.12
9@satyanadellaSatya NadellaMicrosoft26.29
10@mikeflacheMike FlacheM. Flache25.69
11@WTBuntingBill BuntingEMC24.04
12@danielnewmanUVDaniel NewmanBroadsuite Media Group23.81
13@ShellyKramerShelly KramerV3B22.89
14@cc_mclaughlinChris McLaughlinEMC22.01
15@Timothy_HughesTim HughesDigital Leadership Associates20.62
16@ValaAfsharVala AfsharSalesforce19.9
17@evankirstelEvan KirstelPenguin Strategies18.9
18@IanGertlerIan GertlerProgress18.67
19@geoff_deweaverGeoff De WeaverGeoff De Weaver Inc.17.9
20@evanderburgEric VanderburgJurInnov Ltd16.57
21@rautsanSandeep RautSyntel15.88
22@roomeezonImran Hafeez PanhwarGovernment of Pakistan14.95
23@thebrandbuilderOlivier BlanchardOABC14.89
24@maggiefoxMaggie FoxSAP14.4
25@gleonhardGerd LeonhardFuturistGerd.com13.68
26@KirkDBorneKirk BorneBooz Allen Hamilton13.6
27@RichSimmondsZARich Simmondsrichsimmondsza.com13.09
28@lisabriercliffeLisa BBriercliffe Associates12.94
29@iSocialFanzBrian FanzoiSocialFanz12.89
30@NormanBuffongNorman BuffongNorman Buffong12.89
31@RobertoVjllaRoberto VillaIBM12.46
32@mADtivityStan WeitzmanmADtivity12.41
33@holgermuHolger MuellerConstellation Research12.29
35@mkrigsmanMichael KrigsmanCxO Talk10.56
36@TamaraMcClearyTamara McClearyTamaraMcCleary.com10.5
38@fcc_cioDavid A. BrayFederal Communications Commission10.36
39@gezgintrkEngin DikmenEDS BİLİŞİM10.09
40@joancarbonellJoan Carbonelljoancarbonell.com9.78
41@London_LadyLisa PattendenSocial Helping Hand9.69
42@IrishSmileyFrederique MurphyMountain Moving Mindset9.66
43@GordonTredgoldGordon TredgoldLeadership Principles LLC9.62
44@tommytrcthomas cliffordJP Graphics9.39
45@SeverineLienardSeverine LienardIBM9.12
46@The_Digital_COORob PriceWorldline9.11
47@alevitAlexandra LevitAlexandraLevit.com8.77
48@debraruhDebra RuhRuh Global8.77
49@walsh_Paul J. WalshOmniscient Technology Group8.72
50@pauldaughPaul DaughertyAccenture8.68



In the top 100 brands we can find a great selection of big tech companies like Cisco, IBM and EMC, as well as industry resources such as CIO Insight and CMS Wire. Below is the top 50, be sure to download the report to get the full top 100 list, and see who are most the influential brands in digital transformation.

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RankTwitter HandleNameInfluencer Score
5@AccentureDigiAccenture Digital21.71
6@mitsmrMITSloan Mgmt Review20.78
7@AccentureTechAccenture Technology19.87
8@MicrosoftIndiaMicrosoft India18.5
9@CIOInsightCIO Insight18.2
10@IBMSAPAllianceIBM and SAP Alliance17.88
17@idccanadaIDC Canada14.11
18@itknowingnessIT Knowingness13.88
22@ModernBizINModern Business11.37
23@AppitySnacksAppity Snacks11.23
25@AvanadeIncAvanade Inc.11.19
26@IoTJournalIoT Journal11.05
33@HuaweiHuawei Technologies9.79
34@TVSNextMobile IOT Analytics9.74
36@BMCSoftwareBMC Software9.51
37@EMCdocumentumEMC Documentum9.45
38@TechXBTech XB9.14
40@DigiLeadersDigital Leaders9.05
42@TheIoTInternet of Things9
44@BeingExampleBeing Example8.86
47@CAincCA Technologies8.64
48@OnlineRetailOnline Retail8.62
49@SAPInMemorySAP HANA8.6


At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Virtual Reality, Digital HealthDigital Marketing) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!


Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion in digital transformation.

The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations also take into account a user’s relevance (number of tweets on topic) and reach (number of followers). If you want to learn more, please read our article that outlines influencer identification.

Vector illustration credit: Vecteezy





Download this free report which reveals the top 100 Digital Transformation influencers and brands