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October 21, 2020

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 3 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. You can also read the highlights here from Day 1 and Day 2

On Day 3 from the conference, we are highlighting the Gartner top strategic predictions for 2021, some of the common mistakes organizations make and the practical solutions they can use in an unknowable future, and the outlook for cloud computing. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Press releases and stories covering news from Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas are listed below:

Signature Series: Gartner’s Top Strategic Predictions for 2021 and Beyond: Resetting Everything

Presented by Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Predicting the impact of technology is much easier than predicting the impact of global change. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, most will realize that global change is only one crisis away. In his session, Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, discussed the Gartner top strategic predictions for 2021 and beyond, projecting a future based on a present filled with uncertainty. 

  • By 2025, 40% of physical experience-based businesses will improve financial results and outperform competitors by extending into paid virtual experiences. “Immersive experiences are getting better, more realistic and more fun, and the pandemic has caused us to consider how we can do things remotely without risking our physical selves.” 
  • By 2025, customers will be the first humans to touch more than 20% of the products and produce in the world. “Automated factories and farms will actually do most of the heavy lifting, from planting to picking to packing to shipping.”
  • By 2024, 25% of traditional large enterprise CIOs will be held accountable for digital business operational results, effectively becoming “COO by proxy.” “The generation of above-the-line value has to be done through a deep understanding and a fusion of technology and business goals, and the CIO is in a great position to do that.”
  • By 2024, 30% of major organizations will use a new voice of society metric to act on societal issues and assess the impacts to their business performance. “Being tone deaf to societal issues can hurt, and a brand can go away overnight.”
  • By 2023, large organizations will increase employee retention by more than 20% through repurposing office space as onsite childcare and education facilities. “Worker demand for childcare is still unmet, and it needs to be met. It is a perk to work for an organization that does this.”

Learn about five additional top predictions and more about each trend in the Gartner press release, “Gartner Unveils Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2021 and Beyond.”

Planning for an Unknowable Future: Common Mistakes and Practical Solutions

Presented by Jackie Fenn, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

As leaders construct their organization’s future, they must make assumptions and predictions about how the world will be different from today—but it can be challenging to plan for the unknowable. In her session, Jackie Fenn, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, discussed specific techniques for CIOs and IT leaders to anticipate and own the future scenarios that they can and cannot control.

  • “Humans are generally very good at predicting what is going to happen. But it turns out, when we are wrong about the future, we’re wrong in predictable ways.”
  • “Many of the assumptions we make are usually right. We think that the future will be like today, and most of the time it is.”
  • “For the things you can control, you want to own them. And that starts, as always, by being explicit and deliberate about your goals and aspirations.” 
  • “An important part of thinking about the future is to question your assumptions. Check for overconfidence, and to counter the optimism bias, make sure you know the odds of achieving your goal—and you want to achieve it anyways.”
  • “Techniques like scenario planning, contingency planning, options and spread bets can help to identify a range of possible futures, rather than focusing on the ones we’re hoping for.”
  • “Increasing your organizational resilience is not about the accuracy of a single bet, but the ability to maintain as many different bets as long as possible, to ease that stress of uncertainty.”

The Cloud Computing Scenario: The Future is Distributed Cloud

Presented by David Smith, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Distributed cloud represents the future of cloud computing,bringing together edge, hybrid and new use cases. In his session, David Smith, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, explained why distributed cloud is the next generation of cloud computing and discussed what IT leaders need to know about this emerging cloud use case.

  • “We now see that public cloud has become the preferred model and is becoming increasingly ubiquitous.”
  • “Cloud has absolutely proven itself during this time of uncertainty due to its ability to scale and deal with resilience and give us the ability to get speed.”
  • “Distributed cloud is the answer to the question, ‘What is the future of cloud?’”
  • “Distributed cloud is not limitless, but there are a lot of different places it can take us. Next, I think we’re going to see to a situation where you would be able to go to a cloud provider and ask for certain kinds of requirements, rather than detailed configurations.”
  • “If you go to a metropolitan area like New York City where we used to have a lot of payphones on every corner, some of those have been repurposed to provide municipal WiFi.” The distributed cloud model portends a future where resources can be repurposed to create brand new opportunities.
  • “Perhaps, there will be a world where you can envision selling data center and compute capacity back to a cloud provider, analogous to the way today that you can sell back excess solar power that you generate to the utility. That’s the vision of where distributed cloud will eventually get.”

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