The infrastructure for the new digital enterprise rests on five domains. At the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2016, Peter Sondergaard and his colleagues explained the importance of those domains.
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The increasing pace of digital is changing civilization as we know it, according Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president of Gartner Research, who spoke on Oct. 17 from the middle of a harsh spotlight on a darkened stage at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2016 in Orlando, Florida. "Safety is at stake. The digital world around us is in a permanent state of upgrade," he warned.
Peter Sondergaard onstage at Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2016.
(Image: Curtis Franklin Jr./InformationWeek)
The dramatic words were followed by other speeches delivered by Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner fellow, and Hung LeHong, vice president and Gartner fellow. The speeches were no less dramatic, but rather less dark, taking their tone from another early passage in Sondergaard's speech: "CIOs are builders again."
CIOs are building an infrastructure for an increasingly digital business, Sondergaard said, noting that Gartner is estimating that within three years more than half the value of most company's products will arise from their digital content.
That digital content will be built on a digital platform and an infrastructure that is critical because, according to Sondergaard, "When you build it, it will bring the capability to reach customers and things more intelligently."
Sondergaard told the audience that the platform for the digital business is built on five domains:
Traditional core IT systems -- which run and scale operations
Customer experience -- engaging with the customer
The Internet of Things -- which senses and acts in the physical world
Intelligence -- that analyzes, learns, and decides
An ecosystem foundation -- that interacts with other organizations
Traditional core IT systems remain important to the organization, because the business must continue to operate while the digital transformation takes place. This traditional IT is Mode 1 in Gartner'sBimodal IT model, with Mode 2 as the dynamic, transformative digitalization mode.
LeHong said, "You don't need two organizations for bimodal. Bimodal must bring together both modes seamlessly." He explained that success comes from seamless integration of the two IT modes. "You need a single organization with clear leadership."
Plummer explained the contributions of the two modes to an IT whole in straightforward terms. "Mode 1 is experienced hands," he said. "Mode 2 is beginner's mind." Both Plummer and LeHong warned executives against creating two separate internal organizations, each dedicated to a single mode.
It's critical to have diversity on IT teams, especially cognitive diversity, they said. It can be difficult to manage such a team, they pointed out, but it's the sort of team that will produce the solutions that are needed in a rapidly evolving organization.
[Not everyone agrees that bimodal IT is the best path. Read How Bimodal IT Can Kill Your Company .]
Customer experience is the next domain, and it extends far beyond what many CIOs see as the traditional realm of user interface. Sondergaard described an "experience economy" in which "...you earn customer loyalty in moments." Those moments might not involve an encounter where the customer realizes that there is an encounter with a computer.
The "ambient customer experience" described by Sondergaard doesn't rest on a particular computing platform in the hands of the customer. "Understanding the customer's intent through AI will help customers solve problems they didn't realize they had." This experience is so critical for the business that "CIOs must fight for a seat at thecustomer experience table."
When CIOs struggle for a word to describe the Internet of Things, Sondergaard might recommend "huge." There are already billions of devices to be attached to theInternet of Things, but he warned that IT executives must not allow themselves to be distracted by the numbers.
"Adding devices to the IoT is the easy part. Adding business processes and analysis is much more difficult."