May 03 2012

Digital Business: It’s More Than Just a Feeling

It takes real action, not just warm thoughts, to transform your business into a digital player.

The shift to a digitized economy has led many businesses to embrace digital technologies. E-mail, for example, has put a huge dent in the amount of regular mail that businesses send out for correspondence.

But is the mere use of digital technology enough to call your business a digital business?

Gartner analyst Mark P. McDonald says, no, not at all. In a post for the Gartner Blog, McDonald argues that true digital businesses don't just use digital technology, but create value from digital technology. He cites Facebook, Google and LinkedIn as examples of truly digital businesses.

And yet, according to a recent Gartner survey of CIOs, 58 percent of business processes were cited as being dependent on digital technology.

McDonald argues that this feeling of being digital has led many business leaders to assume that they've become digital businesses, when it simply isn't the case:

The gap between 'being digital' and 'feeling digital' is increasingly important as a wave of lightweight technologies and technology models create an 'internet of things' filled with new sources of value, revenue and the opportunity to digitally disrupt industries and incumbents. We can use these technologies to further mimic the analog world, but does that digitalize business?

Organizations remain digital business novices so long as they do not face the requirement to engage digital resources to create new sources of value, find new ways to monetize digital efficiencies, or generate revenue from new types of products and services. Being digital in the emerging world of the Internet of things requires more than implementing digital technologies and refining digital channels. It required digitizing business through a process of abstracting analog value and creating new digital and analog resources that create new sources of value and revenue.

For more information on the digitization of business, read McDonald's full post on the Gartner blog. And for more great content from around the web, check out the 50 Must-Read IT Blogs from BizTech.


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