Digital business success will require organizations to take bold actions, including inventing new business models and changing the way they function, according to Gartner Inc. The firm predicts that by 2017, 70% of successful digital business models will rely on deliberately unstable processes designed to shift with customers' needs.

"Many organizations are either beginning, or in the midst of, digital business transformation initiatives," Julie Short, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "We expect that only 30% of these efforts will succeed. To be part of that 30%, business and IT leaders must be ready and willing to innovate rapidly from a business model, business process and technology perspective."

As a result of business model innovation, some business processes must become deliberately unstable, the firm says. Deliberately unstable processes are designed for change and can dynamically adjust to customers' needs.

They’re needed because they are agile, adaptable and "supermanoeuvrable" as customers' needs shift, Gartner says. They are also competitive differentiators, because they support customer interactions that are unpredictable and require ad hoc decision making to enable larger, more stable processes to continue.

"It's imperative to break away from linear business processes and deploy a spectrum of standardized and variable processes to reap the benefits of digital business," Short said. "The need for this shift is intensified by the introduction of many types of Internet-connected 'things' into the business environment. Things like smart machines generate real-time information for other machines. Business processes must be designed for change to enable organizations to exploit this information.”

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