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ISG Imagine Your Future Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

The ISG Smartalks Podcast delivers technology and sourcing insights from the thought leaders at ISG. In this series we bring together external and internal experts to discuss the ways in which technology is transforming the world of business. Our aim is to simplify the themes and educate and inspire our listeners. ISG is a leading global technology research and advisory firm that is committed to helping organizations achieve operational excellence and faster growth.


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The ISG Smartalks Podcast delivers technology and sourcing insights from the thought leaders at ISG. In this series we bring together external and internal experts to discuss the ways in which technology is transforming the world of business. Our aim is to simplify the themes and educate and inspire our listeners. ISG is a leading global technology research and advisory firm that is committed to helping organizations achieve operational excellence and faster growth.








39: AI Ethics & Responsible AI Development

Artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI are swiftly permeating our daily lives. From customer service chatbots to healthcare diagnoses, from writing loan applications to job hiring, the disruption is here. Many believe AI is fundamentally changing the way we do things. But since this premise of large-impact change is widely accepted, the question becomes: will this change be for the better? It's critical to address the ethics of AI: how this technology disruption could reinforce or subvert current inequalities to improve or worsen them, or even create new inequities. To do so, we must understand how and where AI is most likely to exacerbate or cause inequities. With these vulnerabilities in mind, leaders must thoughtfully consider how to proactively prevent inequity in AI adoption globally. In this episode of Imagine Your Future, we examine ethical challenges posed by AI and discuss the need for responsible development to mitigate the potentially damaging effects. Hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer speak to Dr. Neelam Raina, Associate Professor International Development and Design at Middlesex University, for her perspective. Tune in to hear them share the potential impacts of disruptive technologies and key ethical considerations surrounding data usage.


38: Cyber Resiliency: Facing New Security Challenges

Cybercrime has become an ever-present threat that can wreak havoc on individuals, businesses and governments. From phishing scams and ransomware attacks to data breaches and infrastructure damage, the arsenal of cyber threats continues to expand. It is crucial, now more than ever, to be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the digital landscape securely. To discuss the ever-evolving threat of cyber-attacks, Doug Glair, a Director in ISG’s cybersecurity practice, joins Imagine Your Future hosts, Steve Hall and Karen Collyer. They delve into the growing sophistication of cybercrime, the importance of educating employees, and how AI can be a double-edged sword: both enhancing cyber capabilities and helping adversaries to improve their tactics. New challenges have been posed by remote work, and more will be posed by quantum computing. Organizations need to have a comprehensive resiliency plan in place to mitigate the impact of ransomware attacks. Resiliency requires proactive planning, board-level involvement and a holistic approach to cybersecurity. Tune in for our tips on how to safeguard your organization and personal data!


37: Breaking Boundaries: How Generative AI is Shaping the Future

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has made astounding progress in its capacity to recognize patterns, make predictions and even engage in meaningful conversation with humans. But what about its ability to create new and original content? This is where generative AI comes into play, representing perhaps the most widely discussed technological advancement of our era, particularly in the wake of the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. In this episode, Imagine Your Future host Steve Hall is joined by Prashant Kelker, Chief Strategy Officer and Partner at ISG, to explore some of the opportunities, challenges and questions that are associated with this rapidly advancing technology. Listen in to their conversation to hear them separate hype from executable vision for trending topics in the AI space. How should enterprises and industries be thinking about AGI (artificial general intelligence)? Which new skill sets might be in-demand in the future to better collaborate with AI? And how will regulations shape the future of generative AI? Also, for the readers out there: don’t miss Steve and Prashant’s book recommendations to deepen your knowledge on all things AI.


36: Future Workplace vs Future of Work: What’s the Difference?

After chairing two successive Future Workplace Summits in New York and London, ISG’s Iain Fisher joins Imagine Your Future podcast hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer to discuss the ever-changing landscape of work. With technology advancing at an unprecedented pace and the COVID-19 pandemic (among other geopolitical factors) reshaping our work and home lives, the future of work and the workplace of the future promise to be vastly different than what we have previously known. You may be asking yourself: what’s the difference between the future of work and workplace of the future? The short answer has to do with the relevance of your physical location to your ability to do your job. When is work a “place” versus something we do anywhere, anytime with enabling technologies? For the more nuanced answer, listen in to this episode. Whether you’re a business leader, a curious employee or simply interested in how work is changing, we invite you to tune in to find out how companies and individuals can best adapt to and plan for new ways of working.


35: Turmoil in Banking: What Happened? And What Next?

Following another turbulent week for the banking industry, Imagine Your Future podcast host Karen Collyer speaks to Owen Wheatley, Lead Partner for Banking & Financial Services at ISG. Together they unpack some of the factors that contributed to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the ripple effects in the market. Will there be others like it? And might we be on the verge of another global financial crisis on the same scale as the 2008 crash? Or are there any encouraging signs following the latest failures in the industry? Listen in as they answer these questions and look to the future.


34: Pursuing the Seamless Digital Experience

This episode of the ISG Imagine Your Future podcast was recorded at this year’s ISG Digital Business Summit in London. Host Steve Hall speaks to Samantha Fanning, Head of Digital at UCL (University College London) about how she and her team are creating seamless digital experiences for both the students and staff of the university. Listen in to hear some of her top tips and lessons learned from the journey so far.


33: Dissecting Disruptors in the CPG/Retail Space

Disruptions are shaping and shaking up the CPG and Retail industries. Global supply chain challenges, rising inflation and competition for talent (caused in part by the Great Resignation) are the most well-known factors – but not the only ones. Still, no matter what, customers must remain the number one priority for these organizations. How can CPG and Retail companies thrive despite these pressures – and retain loyal customers – in a highly disrupted and competitive market? Which technologies are transforming the industry? To discuss this ongoing disruption, our ISG Imagine Your Future podcast hosts, Steve Hall and Karen Collyer, are joined by Sunder Pillai, ISG Director and Retail, CPG and Enterprise Practice Leader. Listen in to learn how to create a memorable and flawless customer experience – and why this is now more important than ever. Plus, find out how CPG companies are tackling spiraling costs and the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues impacting their supply chain decisions. For more information and insights from ISG’s CPG practice click here


32: Getting to Grips with the Metaverse

The metaverse – it’s been in the headlines, social media platforms and your kids’ video games, and now it’s rising to prominence as a business opportunity. But do you really know what the metaverse is? And what does it have to do with web3, the new internet you keep hearing about? In this episode of the ISG Imagine Your Future podcast, hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer catch you up with the basics of the metaverse and web3. They kick off their discussion by defining both technologies and exploring the current status quo. Then, together we get into the really interesting bits: the implications for the digital economy, security concerns and how businesses might leverage this tech. Listen in to hear what the future might look like as metaverse develops – and what smart moves you can make today in this space to reap “early adoption” advantages.


31: The Future of Manufacturing: Transforming Through Disruption

Are you keeping your eye on trends in the manufacturing space? It’s been a turbulent time lately; manufacturers are contending with rising costs, a global chip shortage and a global talent shortage. More than ever, the future seems unpredictable. What impact is this scale of disruption having on the industry? How are manufacturers dealing with these challenges? In this episode of the Imagine Your Future podcast, hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer delve into the disruption facing the manufacturing industry with guest John Lytle, a director with the ISG Manufacturing practice. Listen in to hear their discussion of the trends emerging amidst the current instability – plus discover some insights into how manufacturers are adapting and transforming to remain agile. For more information and insights from ISG’s manufacturing practice, click here.


30: Making the Invisible Visible: Part 2

Back by popular demand! Last year, Imagine Your Future hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer interviewed Elizabeth (EC) Caley, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Poppy. As a fast-growing tech start-up specializing in detecting and monitoring pathogens – including the COVID-19 virus – present in the environment, Poppy has expanded rapidly. This time, EC returns to the podcast to share the inspiring story of how she and her associates successfully grew the company over the past 12 months, despite challenges arising from the pandemic and ongoing supply-chain disruptions. Listen in to find out more about how Poppy is helping organizations create infection-resistant indoor spaces and to ensure that investments made in indoor safety are effective. EC and our hosts also make time to talk about the impacts of Web3.0 and the Metaverse, how to make time for mentoring and what you can do to prevent mental fatigue.


29: How Insurers Can Survive and Thrive in the New Digital Era

The Insurance industry has been grappling with multiple challenges – from legacy IT systems to emerging competition, margin pressures, a tightening regulatory environment and the rise of millennial buyers. The pandemic only heightened the pace of change. In this context, it’s difficult to know if you are focused on the right issues. How can insurers ensure survival in the coming years? In 2021, ISG interviewed more than 200 insurance and technology executives across Europe to get their perspectives on the current context and on what insurers need to succeed. To discuss the findings and the wider trends facing the Insurance industry in 2022, ISG’s Johanna Von Geyr joins Imagine Your Future hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer. Useful links Download ISG’s Pulse Check – State of the European Insurance Industry 2021 here Find out more about ISG’s Insurance Practice Insurance | Technology IT Research & Benchmarking | ISG (


28: Private Equity: What’s Next After a Record-Smashing 2021?

2021 was a record year for private equity investment. New annual records were set in terms of deal volume and value. According to data from the Pitchbook 2021 Annual US PE Breakdown, in the U.S. market alone, more than 8,600 deals were concluded in 2021 for a total deal value of over $1 trillion. What drove these unprecedented activity levels? And what is the outlook for the Private Equity industry in 2022? These are just some of the questions that ISG Imagine Your Future hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer discuss with Chris Reeves a director in ISG's Private Equity practice. Useful links Learn more about ISG’s private equity practice Private Equity | ISG (


27: What Is Digital Engineering and Why Does It Matter?

In this episode, ISG hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer talk to Gaurav Gupta about some of the mega trends driving the engineering services industry in 2022 and beyond. Gupta describes how engineering services has been going through some major transformations of late. In recent times, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital engineering as companies strove to bridge the gap between information technology and operational technology. “It’s not about building products anymore,” believes Gupta. “It's more about connecting and building an ecosystem of platforms, insights, data, and the capabilities to stay connected with your product beyond the point of sale.” Tune in to hear more about how digital engineering has gone beyond the engineering department to enable new business models, deliver superior customer experiences and realize operational efficiencies.


26: The Persistent Power of Digital

In this episode, ISG hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer talk to Sandeep Kalra, CEO of Persistent Systems. Together they discuss some of the post-pandemic economic trends impacting businesses: the Great Resignation, talent acquisition and retention, environmental sustainability and more. Kalra also shares his perspectives on how Persistent Systems remained resilient through the pandemic, achieving impressive growth over the past year. Listen in as he shares his experience of leading during the pandemic and the lessons he learned from the crisis.


26: Taming the Tech Monster

Without a doubt, the digital revolution has brought about a plethora of world-changing technologies that have significantly improved everyday lives and enhanced business performance and healthcare across the globe. During the recent Covid-19 pandemic, the world witnessed the power and agility of digital technology and the benefits it can bring to society. Yet, on the flip side, many of its darker implications have become hard to ignore in recent times. As the foothold of modern technology...


25: Why User Experience Is Essential to a Successful Hybrid Workplace

As businesses continue to navigate global uncertainty and new ways of working, one thing is certain. Flexible working is here to stay. It has become clear in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic that many employees want to continue working remotely for at least part of the week. Others will prefer to return to the workplace. Undoubtedly, a one-size-fits all approach to work is no longer viable. Companies must adapt to new and varied employee expectations. Many organizations are adopting a hybrid workplace model that offers more choice and flexibility to their workforce. What are the keys to making the hybrid workplace a success? And what are the benefits for employees and employers? Our guest on this episode of the ISG Imagine Your Future podcast believes that companies must prioritize providing an exceptional user experience for their employees. Listen in as Leon Gilbert, Senior Vice President Digital Workplace Services at Unisys, talks to ISG hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer about his experience of the digital workplace and what he expects from the future of work. Gilbert explains why he believes organizations that embrace the hybrid workplace will have the most success in the future.


24: Accelerating Digital Transformation through Acquisition

As the race to digitize business gathers speed, we have witnessed in recent years a surge of M&A deals in the digital engineering sector. One such deal announced earlier this year was Hitachi’s $9.6 billion acquisition of U.S.-based digital engineering services company GlobalLogic. The scope of this deal demonstrates that software engineering capability has become a strategic priority for manufacturers. Join ISG Imagine Your Future® Podcast hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer as they talk to Tim Langley-Hawthorne CIO of Hitachi Vantara, the digital infrastructure, data management, and digital solutions subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. The three discuss the challenges of leading a multinational organization that seeks growth through acquisitions and how to use the lessons learned from 2020 to help define the future of work. Langley-Hawthorne, who took on his role of CIO in early 2020, also faced two other major challenges: a new senior leadership team at Hitachi Vantara and a merger with sister company Hitachi consulting. Listen in to hear how this “people focused” leader successfully navigated these significant shifts.


23: Making the Invisible Visible

As we move into a post-pandemic world and toward the workplace of the future, health and safety is top of mind more than ever. The pandemic has heightened everyone’s awareness of the safety of our immediate environments. As workers begin to return to office buildings, whether full-time or in a hybrid working model, it is essential that businesses take strong measures to ensure their employees feel safe and confident in their workspaces. Things that were perhaps taken for granted or overlooked prior to the pandemic, such as indoor air quality, are now on people’s minds as we navigate into the “new normal.” One startup providing some ground-breaking technology in this field is Poppy. Founded in 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life as we knew it, Poppy is on a mission to make the workplace safe again by detecting and monitoring pathogens present in the environment. Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Caley join ISG Imagine Your Future® Podcast hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer to share her story. Listen in to hear more from this inspirational tech leader about how science and technology are coming together to make workplaces safer in the future.


22: Trends Shaping the Sourcing and Technology Industries

In this episode of the ISG Imagine Your Future® Podcast, host Steve Hall is joined by two veterans of the ISG Index™: Stanton Jones, Director and Principal Analyst at ISG Research, and Bret Breeding, Director and one of the original ISG Index™ creators. The latest ISG Index™ shows that the global technology and business services market has grown for the third straight quarter after the pandemic-induced dip in the second quarter of 2020. Global demand for such services has never been higher, with the first quarter of 2021 producing a record $17.1 billion of annual contract value (ACV) for the global combined market, up 11 percent. The ISG Index™ has been assessing and analyzing the state of the global IT services market for almost 19 years, over 74 consecutive quarters. The Index is considered the authoritative source for marketplace intelligence related to outsourcing transaction structures and terms, industry adoption, geographic prevalence, and service provider performance. It covers both the traditional managed services sourcing market, as well as the fast-growing as-a-service market, measuring the significant impact cloud-based services are having on digital business transformation. Listen in to find out more about how disruptive technologies are transforming IT and business services markets. And if you would like to get a fuller picture of current market dynamics, view the 1Q21 Global ISG Index presentation slides, news release and infographics, please visit the ISG website


21: Meet the Hosts

In this episode, co-hosts Steve Hall and Karen Collyer tee up the remainder of this year’s Imagine Your Future podcast – an impressive lineup of thought-provoking conversations with heavyweight industry authors and leaders from across the world of digital. Get to know Steve and Karen as the voices behind the podcast, what excites them about the future of digital technology and how they bring their passions to bear in their work. Join them as they explore a wide range of subjects – from the latest thinking on diversity, equity and inclusion, to their own eclectic influences – with a few tips on how to manage the demands of a constantly changing world of work thrown in for good measure.