Gartner Blog Network

Gartner Special Report: The Economics of Connections

by Don Scheibenreif  |  March 25, 2016  |  4 Comments

I am pleased to announce the publication of Gartner’s latest Special Report on Digital Business:  Unlock Digital Business Value Through the Economics of Connections (non-clients, can access the landing page here).  Eighteen Analysts contributed across the spectrum of Gartner’s research groups.

Gartner defines the Economics of Connections as the creation of value through increased density of interactions between business, people and things. We developed this set of research to help IT leaders and digital business strategists think through the complexities of digital business. Traditionally, organizations have used value calculations, such as Metcalfe’s Law, to understand the value of connecting to networks. However, this understanding of value changes dramatically in the digital era as tens of billions of things (such as smart devices, wearables and smart appliances) connect with billions of people and hundreds of millions of businesses.  The increased density of interactions among businesses, people and things will change how economic value is created. As the number of connections between these entities grow, time and distance shrink.

Gartner believes the economics of connections will enable the organization to evaluate technology investment decisions and to develop flexible methods for adapting to a more dynamic business environment. In our special report, we have organized the research under four key topics:

  • Economic agents Organizations will need to think beyond people and businesses as economic agents. We see a world where internet connected things and even algorithms become players in a digital business ecosystem with the ability to change roles (from a customer to a supplier to competitor) dynamically. 
  • Ecosystems — The shift to ecosystems (and the highly collaborative nature of them) means a business model with multiple actors playing multiple roles. Organizations will need to think differently about the ecosystems surrounding their enterprise,  and, can they accommodate new technologies and economics agents easily as dynamic business opportunities arise.
  • Economic architecture — Most companies have well-established business models — ways of making money. Economic architecture is about helping digital business leaders quickly recalculate ways for the enterprise to grow revenue, profitability and market share in an environment subject to increasing levels of technology disruption. 
  • Business moments — Enterprises will  need the ability to spot and agility to exploit dynamic situations where people, business and things work together to solve a problem – a business moment. We see a world where events, disruptions, changes and so on can occur at any point, at any time, and ripple across an ecosystem. Enterprises will have to design for these opportunities that cannot be defined ahead of time and that cannot be exploited by working through pre-existing relationships with partners and suppliers

I will highlight the various research notes in this special report over the coming weeks in this blog. We are excited to be sharing this work as part of Gartner’s continuing thought leadership on Digital Business. We welcome your comments.


Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: business-moment  digital-business  

Tags: business-moments  digital-business  economics  ecosystems  network-theory  

Don Scheibenreif
Vice President and Distinguished Analyst
9 years at Gartner
9 years IT Industry

Don Scheibenreif is a Distinguished VP Analyst with Gartner's Customer Experience research group. He works with with Customer Experience and other IT leaders on how emerging trends and digital business will impact CX and enterprise digital transformation. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Gartner Special Report: The Economics of Connections

  1. David Hamman (@JSDConsulting) says:

    Huh! How do I subscribe… ?

    • Don Scheibenreif says:

      Hi David – where are you located? That will help me identify the right group to discuss Gartner with you.

  2. Fascinating read! Well done, keep up the great work

    • Don Scheibenreif says:

      Thank you for your feedback! Look for more recaps in this blog in the coming weeks.

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.