IT leaders have been told to lead digital transformation efforts at their organizations, and that best starts with creating a vision for their own industry, according to new research from Gartner, Inc.

According to the Stamford, CT research firm, more than 40 percent of enterprise revenue is expected to come from digital business by 2020. This is nearly double the percentage of 2015. But many organizations have yet to start a digital transformation effort.

Gartner addresses this struggle in its report, "Create an Industry Vision for Digital Business." This report is part of the larger Gartner Special Report "Industry Visions for Digital Business Set the Terms of Competition," a collection of research that offers examples of industry visions that can help business and tech leaders define their own visions for digital transformation.

Recognizing the challenge of such a dramatic undertaking, Gartner recommends that organizations begin with a vision for their own industry.

"Enterprises can transform by exploiting business moments or by using digital capabilities to enter or create new markets as Airbnb and Uber have done," said Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "However, many enterprises will find it easier to start by creating a vision for digital business for their particular industry. This approach enables the enterprise to tilt the fundamentals of competition in its favor without limiting digital business to narrow sequences of events and committing to a vast building project. Once the enterprise has established its vision, it can more easily tackle business moments or leverage its digital capabilities in new markets."

Lopez offers the example of an organization envisioning changes within its industry if the Internet of Things or smart machines were used to full potential.

"For asset-intensive industries, digital technologies can automate operations on a large scale — not just individual business processes, but a whole operation end to end,” Lopez said. “Productivity will leap as smart automation makes better, faster decisions, and produces more at lower cost with fewer assets and fewer stoppages. At the same time, optimized production will usually reduce the enterprise's environmental impact."

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