A few months ago analyst group Gartner unveiled “Predicts 2015” a series of research papers that reveal top predictions for IT organizations and IT users for 2015 and beyond. Among the dozen categories captured, there is a blanket theme tying them together, which is the relationship shift between humans and machines due to the emergence of digital business. Gartner defines digital business as the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds. Sounds like we’re talking about e-business, right?
Not exactly. What makes digital business different from online or e-business is the presence and integration of things with people and business. Here’s an example from retail: a woman enters an apparel store to try on a dress. The store system recognizes the woman as a loyalty shopper, it “knows” her style preferences and uses that information to present a personalized message on a digital display such as suggestions for shoes and jewelry that coordinate with the dress.
Sound a bit “Jetson” and too futuristic? According to Gartner’s research, within just three years the total cost of ownership for business operations will be reduced by 30% through smart machines and industrial services.
If you think there are going to be significant challenges getting from here to there, you’re absolutely right. By the end of next year a whopping 50% of digital transformation initiatives will be unmanageable due to lack of portfolio management skills, leading to a measurable negative lost market share, predicts Gartner.
Wherever there’s a combination of business complexity and IT challenges, that’s where the channel shines brightest. Gartner concurs with this, adding that the digital business trend will lead to a new type of business opportunity for “innovative enterprises,” which it coins “Digital BizOps.”
Becoming a Digital BizOps expert could lead to a significant business opportunity for IT solution providers that possess a combination of IT and consulting skills, which interestingly enough is very similar to the combination of skills required to be a successful cloud service provider.