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Why Digital Marketing is a Catalyst for Digital Business

Once upon a time, at a typical enterprise organization anywhere in the world, all business technology procurement decisions were dictated by the company's CIO and the execution was managed by their loyal technical team.  Meanwhile, life was good for most people in an IT vendor's sales force who were laser focused on the few they considered as their 'buyer' customers.

But one day, the status-quo was broken by the rumble of militant Line of Business (LoB) leaders who rejected the IT establishment and their old ways. The LoB rebels demanded a change and pushed aside the legacy CIO and their 'preferred' vendor collaborators.

Now, anyone that was armed by the CEO with an IT budget could lead the Digital Business Transformation that enterprise end-users have craved for so long. This is the new way, the path that is taken by an open organization that seeks to survive and prosper in the Global Networked Economy.

End of Tyranny: Open Digital Transformation

A widening gap is forming between the open organizations already undertaking digital business initiatives versus those that are still in the planning stage (awaiting the guidance of the legacy IT process advocates), according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner, Inc.

Their survey found that 32 percent of executive leaders at organizations with $250 million or more in annual revenue said they have a business that is a 'digital business' -- that's up from 22 percent in the same survey last year.

Gartner recorded the findings from 304 completed surveys in the U.S., UK, Germany and Australia, as part of its "2015 Digital Business Survey of IT, Business and Marketing Executives," in order to understand how leaders take in, identify and exploit the new opportunities that digital business represents.

"The survey results underlined how digital business leaders are more likely than others to focus on design and the creation of new digital business moments," said Jorge Lopez, vice president at Gartner.

Marketing Leads Digital Business Development

"We asked respondents to rank the importance of five success factors, breaking down the results according to whether companies were using Digital Marketing techniques (a precursor to digital business), were planning digital business or had already implemented digital business. Not surprisingly, the last group accorded more importance to design and moments, which are necessary to execute digital business" Lopez added.

Digital business moments are catalysts that set in motion a series of events and actions involving a network of people, businesses and things that spans or crosses multiple industries and multiple ecosystems.

"Digital business moments of untapped opportunity and competition can rapidly change the dynamics across industries," said Patrick Meehan, research vice president at Gartner. "As such, the successful design and development of business moments, which the company can replicate, are the most significant undertaking an organization working to become a digital business can take. Innovative companies are tailoring digital business moments to complement their existing products and services."

The Fearless Digital Business Champions

The survey also revealed that most companies already undertaking digital business initiatives don't make a distinction between 'digital business strategy' and 'business strategy' --  they're deemed to be the same. In contrast, those companies in the planning phase often see the two as being separate.

According to Gartner's assessment, a company that is moving from strategy to execution will have fewer steps to reach its goals, when compared with one that has to insert a separate planning process for digital business. Over time, even if the faster team stumbles, it can recover more rapidly than one that has more process for strategy.

Other Gartner survey results demonstrate that executives already in digital business are invested in piloting and deploying, while those at companies in the planning phase are focusing on investigation and experimentation.

The top priority for digital business front-runners is adopting new technology (70 percent). The next highest priorities -- creating a highly collaborative environment (56 percent) and supporting customer-driven technology change (53 percent) -- represent responses to an external stimulus and are characteristic of a healthy digital business.

When asked to identify what would be the impact of digital business over the next five years, savvy enterprise leaders overwhelmingly concurred on the upside opportunities -- anticipating improvements in customer experience and engagement (86 percent), IT organization (86 percent), workforce productivity (84 percent) and sales organization (83 percent).

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