However, a digital edge rests on more than the relationship between analog and digital resources. These types overlap in the sense that organizations can achieve similar goals with different types of digitalization.
“Selecting the right type of digitalization rests on the scope and requirements of the outcome a company seeks from digitialization,” Mr. McDonald said. “The outside-in process for building a digital edge starts with an outcome that provides the basis for working outside in. The results build up a digital edge based on achieving specific outcomes in the context of an overall theme or value proposition.”
Building a digital edge involves more than putting a Web facade on a brick-and-mortar operation. Companies who give themselves a "Web-lift" merely add sales channels that are easy for others to imitate. Developing the alternative, a digital edge, involves creating new connections and capabilities across the enterprise. Companies must build up their internal digital capabilities to produce externally relevant outcomes and results.
“Companies have a choice. They can apply new technologies to achieve even greater levels of operational integration and control, a technological approach to business based on making the enterprise better. Or they can fully digitalize,” said Mr. McDonald. “Fully digitalized businesses are already emerging, and they represent the superior choice because they go well beyond the familiar models that rely on advertising or freemiums.”Mr. McDonald will present additional information at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in the session, "Digitalizing Business" at 9:30 a.m. EDT today. During the session, Mr. McDonald will discuss specific examples of how "old line" companies are digitalizing their value and revenue streams. In addition, Mr. McDonald will host a Tweet Chat via Twitter on Wednesday, October 24, at 1:45 p.m. ET. To participate and/or follow along, please follow the hashtag #GartnerChat. Additional details regarding the Tweet Chat are available on Mr. McDonald’s blog at http://blogs.gartner.com/mark_mcdonald/2012/10/22/why-do-you-need-a-digital-edge/. The ebook, “The Digital Edge” is available on Amazon, and Apple’s iBooks. For other books by Gartner analysts, please visit www.gartner.com/books. About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.