Peter Sondergaard

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Peter Sondergaard
Senior Vice President and Global Head of Research
25 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Peter Sondergaard is a senior vice president in Gartner, where he is the global head of Gartner Research. Mr. Sondergaard is responsible for people management and the direction of the global research organization, which includes Semiconductors, IT Infrastructure and Operations, Communications, Software and Services Management, Business of IT, Research Operations Management, and IT provider and end-user organizational roles.

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The Digital Industrial Economy

by Peter Sondergaard  |  October 31, 2013  |  2 Comments

The digital world is upon us. Every budget is an IT budget. Every company is a technology company. Every business leader is becoming a digital leader. Every person is becoming a technology company.

Welcome to the Digital Industrial Economy.

If you’ve already attended Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in South Africa, Japan, US, India or Australia this week, you’ll recognize these opening remarks from our analyst keynote. And judging by the literally hundreds of CIOs I have spoke to over the past few weeks at these events, we’ve captured the attention, mood, hopes and, quite frankly, many of the fears of our attendees.

One of the questions we address directly in our opening keynote is about “digital” itself. Basically, what is it?

First, it’s not digitization. That is about zeros and ones. Digitalization is about something much, much more. Something altogether bigger and fundamentally more important. It’s about the transformation of your business.

Digital business applies unprecedented combinations of new technologies to generate revenue and value. It starts with digital assets and capabilities. 

For business, it means digital products, services and customer experiences conducted through digital channels from the front office all the way through the value chain. For governments, it means digital services to constituents, more transparency and higher mission effectiveness

Digitalization exposes every part of your business and its operations to the Nexus of Forces (where cloud, mobile, information and social technologies meet) and the Internet of Everything. It is how you reach customers and constituents, how you run your physical plant and how you generate revenues or deliver services.

No matter what business or service you deliver today, digitalization is changing it. The changes we see in media and digital marketing are just the beginning. If you work in agriculture, mining or manufacturing, digitalization means a new opportunity for you as well. If you deliver public services, digitalization allows you to better engage with your constituents where they are in the moment. 

And the way your business runs, your internal operations, are changing too as digitalization is becoming pervasive inside organizations, shortening time cycles. For example, to a chief marketing officer, what happens with a customer in the moment can make all the difference. S/he can commission a successful mobile app-driven campaign that sees payback in a matter of weeks. That’s the time it takes a typical IT organization to just gather requirements.

We are seeing the cost for the basic hardware building blocks of the Digital Industrial Economy, such as sensors, radios, and microprocessors are plummeting. In 2009, 0.9B sensors and 1.6B personal devices — so roughly 2.5B “things” — were connected. But by 2020, that will grow to become 30B “things”. In fact, by 2020 all products costing more than $100 should have sensors embedded, even if you don’t know what to use them for. 

Digitalization will change the way we all think about technology and, after talking to CIOs at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo across four continents in the last few weeks, it will fundamentally change the way we need to lead our organizations to be successful in this new digital world.

So if you haven’t attended Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in order to figure out what all this means for you and your organization, don’t worry. There’s still time to register for Sao Paulo next week and Barcelona the week after!

2 Comments »

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christian Anders Jørgensen   November 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Interesting article Peter!
    Well, I couldn’t agree more, both in relation to the overall impact tech has one the way we run our business, and particularly in relation to the internal processes. I was in SF 1,5 month ago, and I was surprised how many restaurants, hotels, nightclubs etc. that still use a blackboard to plan their employees shift schedules. 35% used Excel spreadsheets, 35% used the blackboard and the last 30% used a digital scheduling system. Absolutely an area which will be changed by technology within the next couple of years.
    Keep up the good articles Peter :-)!

    Best regards,
    Christian, Planday

  • 2 No Easy Ride for CIOs and Vendors Alike in the New Digital Industrial Economy   November 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    [...] ← The Digital Industrial Economy [...]