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Digitise or be disrupted – techquilibrium is the key says Gartner

  Digitise or be disrupted – techquilibrium is the key says Gartner

Businesses must emerge from change as more digital enterprises or face detrimental disruption.

Techquilibrium – or the ideal balance of technology and people, digital and analogue – enables businesses to be both a traditional company and a technology company, and the best way to handle change or what Gartner describes as 'turns/ sudden shifts in direction' .

At the company's 2019 Symposium and Xpo hosted in Cape Town this week, executives said in the digital society there will be no distinguishing between traditional and tech companies.

Senior vice president Valentin Sribar said: "Think about your enterprise. As CIO you must partner with your executive team to design a business model that drives value from the right mix of traditional business and digital business. And when you reach this balance point, Gartner says you will have reached your tech equilibrium."

According to the company techquilibrium empowers businesses to 'win in the turns' and those that follow.

Sribar added: "You will use techquilibrium to decide, design and drive to win in the turns. We've all experienced many turns, right now many of you are facing economic uncertainty. While South Africa has managed to avoid an outright recession, GDP growth is predicted to slow down, investment rating agencies are downgrading South Africa, the finance minister just the other day acknowledged pressure on growth and spending. This has had an impact on societal issues here, including a troubling growth in crime. These turns follow a stretch of growth."

Turns like shifting global trade policies, tariffs, taxes and variations in regulations effect all sized businesses.

"It makes you reconsider how to deploy your resources, it impacts your operating models and it's non-trivial to re-architect traditional enterprise capabilities in response to all these turns," Sribar added.

Gartner says businesses have to achieve stability and change simultaneously ... "and it applies not just to the technologies that you use, but also to how you work, how decisions get made, how digital abilities evolve in your team."

To hit techquilibrium, a business has to go "as far as you can in both the transformation of your business and operating models" says Gartner and this process takes 7 years on average, the company adds.

Gartner's most recent CIO survey suggests that on average just 39% of operations are digitised and a fifth of value propositions are delivered digitally.

"Most of you need to come out of the next turn as a more digital enterprise...because the further you are from your industry's point of techquilibrium, the more likely it is that you will be disrupted," Sribar added.

The company also believes CIOs have to think like designers to better prepare for turns and extract the opportunity using AI, analytics to scenario plan and "design actions" accordingly.

Gartner acknowledged that while there is widespread global uncertainty and in South Africa growth is uneven with business confidence at a low level, it remains confident about the country and the continent – referring to its youth and the opportunity for change this represents.

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