Use Three Lenses to View Digital Business Opportunity

September 15, 2015

Contributor: Heather Pemberton Levy

Find the right opportunities in digital business by looking through the right lens to understand where to place your effort and what you should address first.

Everyone from end-user to vendor organizations is eager to take advantage of digital business. Filtering out the brightness of the sun, or the many facets of digital business, could be critical for seeing opportunities. And, a flip to digital requires looking at things differently, according to David Mitchell Smith, VP & Gartner Fellow. The answer will lie in what lenses you look through to filter the bad opportunities from the good ones.

Digital Business Lenses

To help organizations focus on the intersections of people, business and things, Gartner developed a set of "digital business lenses.” Namely, What happens when people meet things in digital business?

  • What happens when people meet business in digital business?
  • What happens when business meets things in digital business?

Digital business lenses provide three ways to view the digital opportunity. These lenses highlight what products, services and solutions will be best-suited for a vendor to deliver. Each lens can be used to focus on dozens of technology-based scenarios, and each carries with it a set of critical flip points that are used to shape the offerings.

Digital Business Lens

Digital Being Lens

Business opportunities will be extended, improved and created simply by the continuous connectivity to a person. Digital businesses will rely on greater access to personal behavior to understand the digital effect on people's lifestyles and how they will use the IoT to improve themselves and their behaviors. Digital being (people and things) carries with it the critical flip points of:

  • Digital humanism
  • Human augmentation
  • Postmobile living

Digital Interacting Lens

Styles of work and styles of customer interaction are undergoing significant reinvention as technologies. The digital workplace and smart machines begin to shift the labor content of business and customer interactions. Digital interacting (people and business) carries with it the critical flip points of:

  • Customer experience
  • Digital workplace
  • Analytics
  • Cognitive computing

Digital Operating Lens

At the intersection of business and things, this lens examines how business operations and assets are used in a digital context to "grow" new business models. A digital business cannot operate the same as it did in predigital models. The types of assets available to us are different. The expectations of our operating speed are different. We even expect digital businesses to fail faster in order to reach the correct solutions. Digital businesses do not assume they know all the answers. Digital operating (business and things) carries with it the critical flip points of:

  • Asset management
  • Bimodal operations
  • Digital bizops
  • DevOps

Enterprises must assess providers in the multiple universes and formulate their strategies to take advantage of the situation. The lenses can be used to consistently assess how well providers are selling through the flip to digital business into success. As we evaluate the growth of support for digital business, the opportunity arises to use the critical flip points to measure and compare how well vendors are addressing the proper concerns. In this way, digital business lenses become a methodology for evaluating progress. David Mitchell Smith, VP and Gartner Fellow, will provide more analysis during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 session, The DigiFlip – Two Universes, Two Sets of Rules for Success in Digital Business.

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