Gartner 2014

Gartner: Make way for digital business, risks or die?

Enterprises will spend over $40 billion designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things just this year

ORLANDO -- Change, change and more radical change: That is the opening theme at this year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.

While the notion of IT changing is nothing new really, Gartner says the shift towards everything virtual – what it calls the Digital Business – is more intense than years’ past.

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 For example in his opening keynote Garter’s Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research said that since 2013 650 million new physical objects have come online. 3D printers became a billion dollar market; 10% of cars became connected; and the number of Chief Data Officers and Chief Digital Officer jobs have doubled.

By 2015, all of these items will double again, he said.

“This year enterprises will spend over $40 billion designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things,” Sondergaard said. “Every piece of equipment, anything of value, will have embedded sensors. This means leading asset-intensive enterprises will have over half a million IP addressable objects in 2020.”

With all of that change comes significant risk – a term most CIOs are quite aware of.

“In digital business you must change your relationship with risk. Digital risk is not something to mitigate but rather embrace,” said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Treat your ability to manage specific risks as a competency and capability. Accepting risk is OK; ignoring risk is tragic.”

Some other risk-wary tidbits from Gartner:

  • Thirty-eight percent of total IT spending is outside of IT already, with a disproportionate amount in digital. By 2017, it will be over 50%
  • Gartner estimates that 50% of all technology sales people are actively selling direct to business units, not IT departments.
  • By 2018, digital businesses will require 50% fewer business process workers. However, by 2018 digital business will drive a 500% boost in digital jobs.
  • 1 in 3 jobs will be replaced by software or robots by 2025
  • Sensor networks, robots and "Smart" machines will become commonplace in the business environment.
  • Managing millions of remote devices will become a huge challenge (and a great opportunity).
  • The privacy issues surrounding devices (and the data they collect) will become a legal, regulatory and ethical challenge to enterprises and governments
  • Businesses and governments face challenging decisions about digital risk and ethics in the years to come

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