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Conference Updates

October 19, 2020

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week virtually in the Americas. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 from the conference, we are highlighting the opening keynote, the Gartner top strategic technology trends for 2021, and sessions on psychological hot spots in transformation, and macro factors that will frame business strategies through this decade. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner Opening Keynote: Seize the Moment to Compose a Resilient Future

Presented by Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP, Chief of Research and Gartner Fellow, Tina Nunno, Distinguished VP Analyst and Gartner Fellow, and Don Scheibenreif, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner 

An adaptive, resilient business—the composable business—promises bold outcomes. In the Opening Keynote,  Tina Nunno, Daryl Plummer and Don Scheibenreif, distinguished VPs and Analysts at Gartner, explained how CIOs can achieve digital acceleration, greater resiliency and the ability to innovate through disruption.

Key Takeaways

  • “Throughout history, great leaders have faced turmoil and turned it into inspiration. They have used the energy of disruption to drive real change and help people,” said Mr. Scheibenreif. 

  • “CIOs can contribute to the evolution of a more powerful and adaptable form of business, architected to deal with continuing business disruptions — composable business,” said Ms. Nunno.

  • “Composable business is a natural acceleration of the digital business that you live every day. It allows us to finally deliver the resilience and agility that these interesting times demand,” said Mr. Plummer.

  • Three building blocks to a composable business: 1) Composable Thinking - never lose your creativity. Anything is composable. 2) Composable Business Architecture - build the enterprise to be flexible and resilient. It’s about structure and purpose. 3) Composable Technologies – the tools for today and tomorrow.

  • These three building blocks are just the start. “Modularity, orchestration, discovery and autonomy are the principles that will guide our actions,” said Mr. Plummer. 

  • “Composable business will deliver the resilience you need. Built ready to support inspiration no matter what turmoil comes your way,” said Mr. Scheibenreif. 

    Learn more from the Gartner Opening Keynote in the Gartner press release. 

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Signature Series: The Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021

Presented by Brian Burke, VP Analyst, Gartner

Strategic technology trends have significant disruptive potential and set the stage for innovation over the next five years. They are particularly important this year as organizations continue to deal with uncertainty and plan for a post-pandemic world. In his session, Brian Burke, VP Analyst at Gartner, shared the top strategic technology trends for 2021 that CIOs and IT executives cannot afford to ignore.

Key Takeaways

  • “Three broad themes run through the Gartner top strategic technology trends for 2021: 1) People Centricity 2) Location Independence 3) Resilient Delivery.”

  • Internet of Behaviors (IoB): Combines existing technologies that focus on the individual directly – facial recognition, location tracking and big data – and connects the resulting data to associated behavioral events, such as cash purchases or device usage.

  • Total Experience (TX): A strategy that connects multiexperience with customer, employee and user experience disciplines.

  • Distributed Cloud: The distribution of public cloud services to different physical locations, while the operation, governance and evolution of the services remain the responsibility of the public cloud provider. 

  • Anywhere Operations: Refers to an IT operating model designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructures. 

  • Intelligent Composable Business: Radically re-engineers decision-making by accessing better information and responding more nimbly to it. 

    Learn about four more strategic trends and additional details on each trend in the Gartner press release.

Why Transformation Feels So Hard — 4 Psychological Hot Spots in Transformation

Presented by Mary Mesaglio, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Transformation is hard, in part because humans are more rigorous about project goals and completion than they are about culture change and adaptation. In her session, Mary Mesaglio, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, discussed how leaders underestimate four predictable psychological hot spots that cause transformations to stall, but can accelerate change if properly addressed.

Key Takeaways

  • “When humans are added to any kind of transformation, things become messy.”

  • Cognitive Dissonance: “What we understand intellectually doesn’t reflect what we feel emotionally. In transformation, it comes down to balancing what we need to do and how we feel about it.” 

  • Emotional Triggers: “These are small actions or events that trigger an irrational reaction from humans. Managing the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic makes people - including leaders - more susceptible to be triggered.”  

  • Delayed Gratification: “All transformations are filled with a ‘kale-chocolate’ dilemma. Humans don’t like waiting months for the gratifying outcomes of digital transformation initiatives just as they prefer the instant gratification of chocolate over the long term benefits of kale.”

  • Cognitive Strain vs. Cognitive Ease: “In transformation, even if what you’re doing is good for the organization, people will still experience cognitive strain. Humans prefer to be at cognitive ease, or the path forward that requires the least effort.”

  • “The main takeaway is that the emotional side of transformation can be planned.”

Six Macro Factors That Will Frame Business Strategies for the 2020s

Presented by Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

The start to the 2020s was unexpected as COVID-19 triggered a multifactor crisis. But the pandemic is not the only important macro factor shaping the future business landscape - it catalyzed other big changes too. In his session, Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, shared the six macro factors that will frame business strategies for the decade ahead.

Key Takeaways

  • Global Pandemic: “This was an unwelcome way to start the decade, which exacerbated and redirected the remaining five factors that were already in play.”

  • Market Crash and Recession: “Half of CEOs anticipated a downturn going into 2020, but not to the level of persistent volatility that COVID-19 caused.”

  • Systemic Mistrust: “Trust was in trouble before the COVID-19 crisis hit with trade wars and border disputes. Now, there are travel restrictions and a fractured social civility to bear in mind when planning ahead.”

  • Weak Productivity: “Although productivity growth in advanced economies has been a concern for economists for many years, the complications of COVID-safe operations have significantly reduced it in many industries.”

  • Environment Concerns: “COVID-19 has not reset organizations’ views on climate change and plastic pollution, but it has reminded them of the power of nature.”

  • Talent Shortage: “Shortfalls of tiny amounts of the most critical skills could corrode or destroy market positions. The big battle moving forward will be around talent development.”

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