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Gartner on surviving -- and thriving -- in the digital world

Linda Price | Dec. 17, 2013
Linda Price of Gartner writes about the new opportunities and threats businesses must address if they are to survive in the next decade.

To increase agility, the company is reorganising from four monolithic business units to 25 small ones. Its approach to digital talent is just as decisive, hiring more from digitally savvy campuses and less from the highly experienced, yet rigid workforce — only 7000 of its 24,000 employees are engineers. It is also very careful about who it partners with and how these partnerships work — it cannot depend on partners who don't have significant digital and online experience.

The City of Brisbane in Australia is a traditional organisation with very large digital ambitions. The local government has set itself the ambitious goal of doubling the number of digitally engaged small and midsize enterprises in Brisbane over the next five years and creating a '"cyber-city" program.

The strategy illustrates the need to consider the entire digital life cycle, from developing digital talent and stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship, to implementing infrastructure and services that support a "digital city." Given that the digital landscape is changing so fast, with the Australian people adopting new digital services at three times the rate that Australian businesses do, the City of Brisbane believes flexibility is key. It has appointed the first chief digital officer in local government in Australia.

Digital business strategy is a critical capability for success in the next decade. At some point, digital will simply be embedded in everything we do, but until then, we must ensure that appropriate digital leadership exists to overcome "analogue inertia" and generate the necessary momentum towards digital business.

 

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