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Conference Updates

October 22, 2020

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 4 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, Day 2 and Day 3

On Day 4 from the conference, we are highlighting what roles should be part of your AI dream team, the outlook for collaboration in the enterprise, and five ways organizations can stay focused on customers during uncertain times. 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:

How to Staff Your AI Dream Team?

Presented by Arun Chandrasekaran, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

CIOs need to cultivate a full spectrum of skills beyond data scientists to be successful in their artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives. In his session, Arun Chandrasekaran, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, explored some of the roles and skills needed by organizations as well as how to structure teams to be successful in their AI journey.

Key Takeaways

  • “There are several reasons why IT leaders struggle to scale AI projects, the most significant of which is misalignment of talent.”
  • “The technical skills are extremely important, but equally important are some of the non-technical soft skills.” 
  • “The AI ethicist is an emerging role that we see, responsible for weeding out bias and any unintended consequences of AI. They also have to make sure that the AI systems and processes that you have in place truly reflect the values and mission of your organization.”
  • The hiring market for qualified AI talent is hypercompetitive. “There are a lot of technical experts, but they tend to be more horizontal in nature. In many cases, they lack specific business or domain knowledge that you may require.”
  • “When you go and hire talent, you have to be clear and creative in terms of creating a robust pitch. Why should these employees join your organization? You need to have a very compelling AI and employee value proposition.”
  • “Talent retention is extremely important. The simplest way to stop employees from leaving the organization is to make sure that you have a solid plan to make them stay within the organization.”

The Future of Collaboration: Emerging Trends Enabling New Ways of Working

Presented by Mike Gotta, VP Analyst, Gartner

In the wake of COVID-19, collaboration strategies are undergoing significant transformation to fully embrace new ways of working that include remote and frontline workers. Mike Gotta, VP Analyst at Gartner, examined the emerging trends that are promoting more effective team communication, community-building and collaborative work management.

Key Takeaways

  • “Remote work is dominant. It’s consumed all of us over the last several months as the pandemic has swept across the global landscape.”
  • “IT strategies, including those that were relevant to collaboration, that we thought were well-settled were not prepared to handle the kind of abruptness and transformational impact that COVID-19 had on business continuity.” 
  • If we’ve learned anything, we can’t assume that work is going to be done in one model or another. At some point, we will get to a place where workers are in an office, workers are remote, and there’s some mix in between.”
  • “Remote work is not the same as remote culture. Remote culture is that sense of identity: how do I identify with the organization and its mission?”
  • “The most dominant collaborative advancement over the past several years has been workstream collaboration tools.” 
  • “The need for a robust employee communications framework as part of your collaboration strategy has become essential.”

Five Ways to Stay Focused on Customers in Uncertain Times

Presented by Michael Chiu, Sr. Director Analyst, Gartner

During uncertain times, it is critical for IT to step up and expand its role in customer experience, especially as digital is a larger part of the customer experience than ever before. In this presentation, Michael Chiu, Sr. Director Analyst at Gartner, shared five ways for IT to stay focused on customers through the current downturn and future recovery.

Key Takeaways

  • “It’s valuable to speak to customers once a month to stay focused on them.”
  • “Customer experience increasingly relies on technology, but in a pandemic environment in which so many interactions are becoming more virtual and more digital, your IT staff and the technology they manage is an even more important part of the customer experience.”
  • Reduce employee effort. “64% of employees surveyed believe that unnecessary effort prevents their company from delivering a higher quality customer experience.”
  • Employ 3-2-1. “The 3-2-1 method starts with three customer experience strategic priorities. For each of these priorities, identify 2 obstacles that are preventing those priorities from being achieved. Finally, think of one tech-related business idea that will either eliminate or reduce each obstacle.”
  • Make IT and Voice of the Customer a two-way street. “Does your organization have a customer experience dashboard that reports on Voice of the Customer insights? Add your IT staff to the distribution lists for these reports.”
  • Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. “It’s not enough today to merely understand customers—you have to empathize with them.”
  • Use customer-centric culture hacks. “Shift your thinking on how to change culture. Instead of big, infrequent initiatives, aim for small frequent ones.”

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