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Conference Updates

November 9, 2020

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo EMEA: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week virtually in EMEA. 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 and sessions on the Gartner top strategic technology trends for 2021, tips and tricks to turn virtual meetings from good to great, and how to make government fast and flexible in uncertain times. 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, Don Scheibenreif, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner, and Paul Saunders, Senior Director 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 Paul Saunders, Senior Director Analyst 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.

  • “EMEA is the ultimate composable example. For thousands of years EMEA organisations have integrated, arranged, composed and decomposed – constantly adapting, constantly evolving,” said Mr. Saunders.

  • 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.

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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.

Five Ways to Have the Best Meetings You've Ever Had Because No One is in the Same Room

Presented by Adam Preset, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

The rush to remote work forced many leaders to switch from physical to online meetings rapidly. However, running face-to-face meetings and online meetings is different. In this session, Adam Preset, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, shared five super powers workers can use to hold better virtual meetings.

Key Takeaways

  • “The rush to remote work has given you a great gift, enforcing your digital transformation when it comes to meetings. You have power and it’s time for you to learn how to use it.” 

  • Super Power #1: Foresight. “Before COVID-19 hit, Gartner said that by 2024, in-person meetings will drop from 60% of enterprise meetings to 25%, driven by remote work and changing workforce demographics. “In person meetings still have value and will not die, but their prominence will be dramatically reduced.” 

  • Super Power #2: Reality Shaping. “AR and VR are the new modalities for old and new use cases. Enterprises should investigate new tactics such as holographic town halls, immersive product marketing showcases or using 3-platforms for tradeshows or conferences.” 

  • Super Power #3: Amplified Senses. Pivot from face-to-face to face-to-face+. “During virtual meetings you can see our expressions and we benefit from the signals so we can understand each other.” 

  • Super Power #4: Visual Clarity. “Visual clarity reduces ambiguity and offers new ways to engage with your meeting guests, collaborate with them and harness their intelligence.” 

  • Super Power #5: Mind Reading. “Find ways for your meeting participants to give away what they are really thinking. Get the best ideas from everyone in meetings by experimenting with the power of crowdsourcing.”

Making Government Flexible and Fast in the New Normal

Presented by John Kost, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

When confronting COVID, many governments showed dexterity in getting outcomes fast. In this session, John Kost, Distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, offered lessons learned and key recommendations for how governments can perform in the new normal.

Key Takeaways

  • Gartner identified five areas where governments can develop a new and improved management outcome-driven mindset. They include:

  • Strategy Development: Governments are generally weak at creating and executing long-term strategy, but better at emergency preparedness planning and best at marshalling forces to meet a real or imminent threat. Balance imminent threats with long-term initiatives by doing periodic strategic planning and rally leadership engagement to address threats.

  • Strategy Execution: In crisis, time is of the essence and less concerns about risks.Prove the concept by addressing a single scenario planning opportunity with one agile solution.

  • Data Stewardship: Effective use of data and analytics can be powerful in addressing, detecting, automating and anticipating needs. Build data science capability to resolve problems with existing data by tasking the CDO to solve the tricky problem.

  • Procurement: Processes are less important in crisis because decisions can be defended by fast outcomes.Leverage risk experts focused on outcomes; prove the concept by trying an initiative that exclusively focuses on results, time and speed to outcomes.

  • Finance: Governments must redirect money quickly. Link more discretionary funds towards more agile initiatives. Enable faster results by expanding flexibility in the use of working capital funds.


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