The Rise of the Business Moment

February 18, 2015

Contributor: Andrew Spender

A business moment exploits the connection of people, business and things and allows companies to innovate for entirely new scenarios.

It's Saturday morning in a typical suburban neighborhood when Mary's automated house alerts her of mild water damage in her son's room and recommends repainting. Mary agrees with the house, and the house sends the specifications for the paint and a list of supplies to the home improvement store, where Mary belongs to its loyalty program. Then the washing machine chimes in and adds extra laundry detergent to the order. It knows that based on past experience, Mary is a messy painter.

A Smart House Helps Its Owner

After Mary's house orders the paint, the home improvement store alerts it that it is out of stock and the paint manufacturer offers to ship the paint directly to Mary's house the same day via drone. The home improvement store checks with the house to see if it needs anything else, and then Mary approves all of the recommendations. To help her further, the home improvement store app provides a list of links for painting how-to videos and a list of links to local painters.

Value stream process of the business moment

How Business Moments Operate

This house paint scenario is what Gartner calls a "business moment," a transient, customer moment that organizations can exploit dynamically based on the interconnection of many things. Today, this business moment may seem far-fetched, but in reality, the building blocks are in place as billions of things become connected to the Internet and each other. Businesses, however, will need to break down the traditional barriers between industry segments and create new relationships or "value chains."

According to Don Scheibenreif, research vice president at Gartner, businesses will need to explore the blurring of the digital and physical worlds regarding:

People: What people are involved in the scenario, and how are they impacted as consumers or employees?

Business: What businesses are involved and how are they enabled with technology? In this instance, they include the home improvement store, home builder, paint manufacturer, auto manufacturer, shipping company and appliance manufacturer.

Things: Things must be identified as "actors," and the data they generate and how they interact are part of the solution. They are an equal partner with business and people.

CIOs, IT leaders and business leaders need to identify business moments that will be critical to their enterprises and to their customers or citizens. Mr. Scheibenreif recommends exploring how "things" become important in ways you haven't envisioned. Use these moments to help you see new connections and opportunities for your organization.

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