Gartner Says Digital Businesses Will Spot Opportunities in a Matter of Seconds

Tools
STAMFORD, Conn., April 10, 2014

The hallmark of a digital business will be the ability to spot opportunities that might span a matter of just seconds, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner introduced the concept of a "business moment" — a transient opportunity that is exploited dynamically — in 2013 and expects these moments to occur more and more frequently as enterprises migrate from today's world to the digital business world. 

Digital business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds. It promises to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business and things that disrupts existing business models, even those born of the Internet and e-business eras. Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and at least 30 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet. With people, businesses and things communicating, transacting and even negotiating with each other, a new world comes into being — the world of digital business. 

"Digital business will break down traditional barriers between industry segments, creating completely new value chains and new business opportunities that may not be filled by incumbent players," said Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "It will also challenge existing industry boundaries and challenge the dominance of leading players in an industry and cause them to rethink the businesses they are in. 

"Most will see digital business as a simple extension of an enterprise technology or an e-business past. Gartner calls this 'digitization,' or using technology to automate existing processes. However, that is no longer enough," said Mr. Lopez. "To compete in digital business, enterprises must digitalize their models, and rethink their value in a world of people, business and things." 

A digital business focuses on spotting new opportunities to drive revenue, and as such it represents a new frontier of growth and development for industry, as has been seen in past technological revolutions. It has implications for industry competition, business models, talent and risk. The Nexus of Forces — the convergence of social, mobile, information and cloud technologies — has set the stage for this digital revolution. However, like other revolutions before it, digital business may well create a significant downside for those that do not move quickly enough, and will cause enterprises to rethink what business they are in. 

Business moments are specific transient opportunities that illustrate how people, businesses and the Internet of Things interact. They represent moments of untapped opportunity and competition that can rapidly change the dynamics across industries. Moments are very short in duration (even seconds or fractions of a second), depending on the nature of the opportunity. They are interconnected with an enterprise's business model and business processes, all of which are being disrupted by digital technologies. They are not only customer "moments of truth" but also impact the entire organization. These moments are expected to occur more and more frequently as enterprises migrate to the digital business world. 

"In the context of digital business, a business moment is a brief everyday moment in time and the catalyst that sets in motion a series of events and actions involving a network of people, businesses and things that spans or crosses multiple industries and multiple ecosystems," said Don Scheibenreif, research vice president at Gartner. "These events and actions unleash a loose set of sequences of observe, orient, decide and act (OODA) loop activities where many processes are executed by many resources in many different companies. Moreover, one business moment may trigger or collide with any number of adjacent business moments." 

For example, a smart house could detect when a room has to be repainted and collaborates with the homeowner and the local retailer to identify, select and obtain the necessary supplies and services to get the room repainted. The retailer's system then solicits bids from painters on behalf of the consumer. Or a laundry machine may chime in when detergent is running low. 

Business moments are important, because they will force enterprises to rethink the role they play in a value stream. Business moments, by their very nature, illustrate a wide variety of possibilities and players and help companies envision and design new businesses that integrate people, businesses and things to do things not possible five years ago. The trademark of a digital business will be the ability to spot these opportunities, however fleeting. 

"CIOs, IT leaders and business leaders can use business moments to highlight digital business opportunities," said Mr. Scheibenreif. "Every industry has business moments that will be critical to an enterprise and to customers or citizens. These moments of opportunity and competition that lead to the gain or loss of a sale, or the transformation of an industry, can happen in an instant. The question is how will enterprises handle these momentary opportunities and challenges in the digital future." 

Additional information is provided in the Gartner report "Digital Businesses Will Compete and Seek Opportunity in the Span of a Moment." The report is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2689619

This report is part of the Gartner Special Report "Digital Business." The special report can be viewed at http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-business/ and includes links to reports and video commentary that examine what is driving the convergence of people, business and things that disrupt existing business models, and how IT leaders can take their place among the digital leaders of the future.

Contacts
About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner in more than 14,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 6,100 associates, including more than 1,460 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.