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Welcome to the Digital Industrial Economy

By David Ratz

I attended Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 6-10, and during the event’s opening keynote, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, set the framework for a new era called the digital industrial economy1. A place where:

  • Every budget is an IT budget;
  • Every company is an IT company; and
  • Every person becomes a part of IT1

These statements captured my attention, and I expect, the attention of everyone listening. I was struck by how Gartner sees everyone becoming a part of IT and even a technology company. A concept Sondergaard talks more about in his blog post, “Everyone is a Technology Company.”

Sondergaard explained that “the digital world is upon us.”  What is this? “First, it’s not digitization. That is about zeroes and ones. Digitalization is about something much, much more. Something altogether bigger and fundamentally more important. It’s about the transformation of your business,” writes Sondergaard.

Sondergaard also notes that, “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 Things.     

This is notable because as the world becomes more digital the volume of data being generated increases significantly. Sondergaard writes, “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…”

That’s a lot of new devices that will create a massive amount of data for businesses to collect and analyze. To prepare for this flood of data, companies need to evaluate if their data collection and analysis strategies can keep up with the volume, variety and velocity of data being generated from their customers. This will be especially important for marketers who are looking to respond to customer needs and market changes in real-time.

More information on Sondergaard’s keynote presentation and Gartner Symposium ITxpo, Orlando Fla., can be found at Gartner Events on Demand:, Oct. 6-10. And here are some additional links of note:

1Gartner Blog “The Digital Industrial Economy,” Oct. 31, 2013.

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