Architecting Digital Business
Digital business changes the scope and speed of business and introduces new opportunities and threats for enterprise architects.
“It’s not built on a highly controlled environment, but one where things are free to emerge,” said Chris Howard, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona. “It’s all about chance, and finding the chance, within those opportunities that create new kinds of value, also known as business moments.”
The advent of digital business changes the scope and speed of business and introduces new opportunities and threats for enterprise architects. This new reality involves operating outside their internal operations in a broader ecosystem of both known and unknown entities. It also encompasses the digitalization of nearly all physical and virtual assets in the value chain.
To create opportunities, organizations should focus on business moments, dynamic events created by the intersection of people, business, and things. “Determine who you interact with and what’s their potential change of role in any point in time,” Mr. Howard said.
Build for business moments
Enterprise architects and other business executives should take the following steps to recognize when a business moment is about to happen and respond appropriately when it occurs.
- Discover the entities and their capabilities within your business ecosystem. Know your business partners and customers, including people, businesses, and smart things and understand how they could potentially work together.
- Examine the data you collect that you are not using (dark data). What value can it create for someone else if you expose it through an API, as the Mayo Clinic did with its diagnostic data?
“Don’t assume that what doesn’t have value for you won’t have value for someone else,” Mr. Howard said.
- Focus less on controlling transactions than on influencing business moments. Value will come significantly less from owning and more from sharing capital assets.
- Take the perspective of outside-out where there may be unknown customers, partners, and competitors that play a role in creating new value from algorithms you share with your broader ecosystem.
Sense events in the ecosystem
The majority of enterprise architects should spend at last 30 percent of their time exploring, understanding and responding to disruptive trends that affect their ecosystem, and that could ultimately affect the business, according to Betsy Burton, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in Architect Your Business to Sense, Respond and Create Business Moments. Time is of the essence, and it’s important to be disciplined about dedicating time to outside-in and outside-out exploration, research and analysis, beyond the day-to-day tactical operational issues that often consumer your time.
For more articles on Digital Business visit Smarter With Gartner website.