Gartner Reveals How to Forge “The Digital Edge”

  Gartner Reveals How to Forge “The Digital Edge”

Findings from Newly Released e-book "The Digital Edge: Exploiting Information
       & Technology for Business Advantage" to be Presented at Gartner
                  Symposium/ITxpo, October 21-25, in Orlando

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012

Business Wire

ORLANDO, Fla. -- October 23, 2012

Digital technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are opening up new
opportunities for companies to create new sources of customer value and
revenue streams, according to Gartner, Inc. However, meaningful digitalized
revenue opportunities are difficult to access and address, leading to
significant challenges in establishing a fully digitalized business.

In the e-book “The Digital Edge: Exploiting New Technology and Information for
Business Advantage”, launched this week, Mark P. McDonald, group vice
president and Gartner fellow, reveals how forging an edge requires new
thinking and new approaches for bringing together digital and physical
resources. The result is a new source of advantage, where technology supports

Mr. McDonald is discussing some of the key findings from the book at Gartner
Symposium/ITxpo, which is being held here through October 25. He is explaining
how the increasing density of digital technology is fueling new kinds of
innovation that can provide organizations with a digital edge.

“The first wave of business investment in technology created the modern
IT-enabled enterprise by automating and integrating back-office and
operational processes,” said Mr. McDonald. “Then the Internet wave of
investment created electronic copies of analog business models in the form of
e-commerce, Web stores and the like. Digitalizing the business represents a
new wave that will drive business investment in IT, based on the evolving
capabilities of mobility, analytics, social computing, communications and
cloud technologies.”

Gartner believes that a digital edge comes from creating new combinations of
analog and digital resources resulting in new sources of customer value and
company revenue or results. Analog resources refer to the people, how they are
organized, the equipment they use, the facilities they work in, as well as the
company's other physical aspects. Digital resources include information,
customer history, situational awareness, and so forth. Digital resources also
include the equipment that processes information such as mobile phones, tablet
computers, sensors, computer controlled machinery, etc.

However, a digital edge rests on more than the relationship between analog and
digital resources. These types overlap in the sense that organizations can
achieve similar goals with different types of digitalization.

“Selecting the right type of digitalization rests on the scope and
requirements of the outcome a company seeks from digitialization,” Mr.
McDonald said. “The outside-in process for building a digital edge starts with
an outcome that provides the basis for working outside in. The results build
up a digital edge based on achieving specific outcomes in the context of an
overall theme or value proposition.”

Building a digital edge involves more than putting a Web facade on a
brick-and-mortar operation. Companies who give themselves a "Web-lift" merely
add sales channels that are easy for others to imitate. Developing the
alternative, a digital edge, involves creating new connections and
capabilities across the enterprise. Companies must build up their internal
digital capabilities to produce externally relevant outcomes and results.

“Companies have a choice. They can apply new technologies to achieve even
greater levels of operational integration and control, a technological
approach to business based on making the enterprise better. Or they can fully
digitalize,” said Mr. McDonald. “Fully digitalized businesses are already
emerging, and they represent the superior choice because they go well beyond
the familiar models that rely on advertising or freemiums.”

Mr. McDonald will present additional information at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in
the session, "Digitalizing Business" at 9:30 a.m. EDT today. During the
session, Mr. McDonald will discuss specific examples of how "old line"
companies are digitalizing their value and revenue streams.

In addition, Mr. McDonald will host a Tweet Chat via Twitter on Wednesday,
October 24, at 1:45 p.m. ET. To participate and/or follow along, please follow
the hashtag #GartnerChat. Additional details regarding the Tweet Chat are
available on Mr. McDonald’s blog at

The ebook, “The Digital Edge” is available on Amazon, and Apple’s iBooks. For
other books by Gartner analysts, please visit

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and
senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content
with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory
organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology
providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of
attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner
Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to
address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.

Additional information about Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, is available
at Video replays of keynotes and sessions are
available on Gartner Events on Demand at Follow news,
photos and video coming from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Facebook at, and on Twitter at and using #GartnerSym.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:

October 29-31, Sao Paulo, Brazil:

November 5-8, Barcelona, Spain:

November 12-15, Gold Coast, Australia:

March 5-7, 2013, Dubai, UAE:

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 12,000 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 5,200 associates, including 1,280 research
analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information,


Christy Pettey, 408-468-8312
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