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Conference Updates

November 12, 2020

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo EMEA: Day 4 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. You can also read the highlights from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 here

On Day 4 from the conference, we are highlighting sessions on the top CEO concerns for 2020 and their implications for CIOs, how to use strategic planning to thrive in a global crisis, and how to build an AI dream team. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Signature Series: CEO Concerns 2020: Implications and Actions for CIOs

Presented by Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Where will CEOs take their companies in 2021 and how can CIOs help? In his session, Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, shared the results of a new CEO survey and explained what CEOs and CIOs will need to do to help drive growth for their organizations in 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • “Unlike 2001, unlike 2009, half of CEOs anticipated an economic downturn in 2020. They didn’t expect COVID-19 and that crisis, but they did expect a downturn.”

  • Business leaders “use economic downturns to change direction and to fix things.”

  • “We rely on business leaders to grow our companies, to produce the things we need to get through this crisis, and to deliver the jobs we all need.”

  • “CEOs want to restore good growth in 2021.”

  • “Technology is one of the key levers they are going to use to find the growth that they need.”

  •  “Three ways CIOs can help their CEOs restore good growth are 1) accelerate smoothly; 2) nurture people; and 3) rebuild better.”

  • CIOs should “focus on scaling up the digital business mainstream. Don’t push digital experimental extremes.”

Learn more in the Smarter With Gartner article.

Use Strategic Planning to Survive and Thrive in a Global Crisis

Presented by Ian Cox, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

CIOs need to use strategic planning practices to help their enterprises navigate through a crisis like COVID-19, reset their strategic plans for recovery and renew their long-term strategy in an evolving aftermath. Ian Cox, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, explored best practices for using strategic planning to survive and thrive in a global crisis.

Key Takeaways

  • “Eighty-eight percent of enterprises will have to revisit and in some cases reset their strategy and strategic plans in the post-pandemic world. This presents a great opportunity for CIOs.”
  • “For adaptive strategic planning. CIOs need to focus on four core practices, which are 1) Start execution as early as possible; 2) Respond to changes as they happen; 3) Embrace and explore uncertainty ;  and 4) Involve everyone in strategy.”

  • “When getting started with adaptive strategy, CIOs can select one or combination of building blocks such as real time insights, crowdsourcing, distributed decisions, and option based strategies among others to focus on.”

  • “CIOs should consider various scenarios that will emerge post pandemic that are likely to impact their enterprise.”

  • “CIOs can help their enterprise survive and thrive in the post pandemic world. In doing so, CIOs can further enhance the reputation that they have already established during the initial response to the pandemic.”

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.”

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