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Technologies and Enablers for the Economics of Connections

by Don Scheibenreif  |  July 13, 2016  |  Comments Off on Technologies and Enablers for the Economics of Connections

The opportunities to create and realize value will expand at an exponential rate as billions of Internet-connected things become integrated into the ways we work, live and play. The pace of change is increasing, as more enterprises, from startups to established industrial conglomerates, recognize and act on these opportunities. At Gartner, we believe the capabilities, technologies and frameworks that have enabled success in the pre-Internet of Things (IoT) world won’t be enough to tackle the challenges represented by the connections possible in the era of digital business. We believe new frameworks are needed to make sense of these things, so we introduced the concept of the Economics of Connections to describe the creation of value through increased density of interactions among business, people and things at Gartner’s 2015 Symposium/ITxpo.  We saw this as one of the focal points to begin to address the broad discussion surrounding the economics of digital business. Gartner believes this new economics of connections is altering, and will continue to alter, in an accelerated fashion, the way businesses invests in new products, physical assets, ecosystems, information technologies and people. To capitalize on the new economics of connections, business and IT leaders need to develop four capabilities:

  • Understand the new principles and tenets of economic value before applying them to digital business investment opportunities.
  • Define and develop a new set of digital-business-oriented leading indicators.
  • Manage value-creation assets not as a single “owner,” but rather as a member of an ecosystem.
  • Shift from controlling complete or entire business interactions to influencing and sharing them.

While this may sound good, what technologies will you need to employ and what business capabilities do you need to realize value from the Economics of Connections?  Saul Brand, David Cearley and I tackle this question in  Enabling Capabilities and Technologies for the Economics of Connections. We review the key technologies for the economics of connections that have the potential to help organizations realize economic and business value from this density of networks of connections. Technologies include a mix of emerging and mainstream, and may vary by industry. We also look at the concept of the economics of connections through the lens of Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends work.

While this research focuses on multiple independent technologies that organizations would have to use concurrently today, or in an orchestrated manner, to exploit the economics of connections, in reality, organizations will need to integrate these independent technologies into a platform to make the concept work. Gartner believes the economics of connections is about new platforms and exchanges that will have to be constructed for this powerful idea to come to fruition. It’s about sharing information and assets in new ways to exploit an ecosystem of opportunities — the new network effect.


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Category: data-and-analytics-strategies  economics-of-connections  internet-of-things  iot  

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

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