Conference Updates

October 18, 2021

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2021 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 2022, results from the 2022 CIO and Technology Executive Agenda and a session on how to fight for underrepresented groups in IT. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner‌ ‌Opening‌ ‌Keynote:‌ ‌Where‌ ‌Next:‌ ‌Technology‌ ‌Leadership‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌World‌ ‌Disrupted‌ ‌

Presented by Mbula Schoen, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner; Hung LeHong, Distinguished VP Analyst & Gartner Fellow; and Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst & Gartner Fellow

Technology executives must lead in a world seemingly flipped upside down, looking for opportunities and acting to create value. In the Opening Keynote, Mbula Schoen, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner and Hung LeHong and Daryl Plummer, distinguished VPs Analysts and Gartner Fellows, explained how CIOs and IT executives can learn to lead from anywhere, nurture connections to build ecosystems and reach beyond today’s knowns to create greater value. 

Key Takeaways

  • “An overwhelming majority of employees prefer hybrid work. This is forcing CIOs to challenge previous assumptions and implement radical flexibility at scale.”

  • “Focus on three things to attract and retain IT talent: design a human-centric workplace; harness the power of business technologists; and build an internal talent marketplace. 

  • Gartner research shows that 41% of employees identify as business technologists, meaning they report outside of IT departments and create technology or analytics capabilities for internal or external business use. 

  • “Getting it right with business technologists is about having the right enabling technologies and the right ways of working.”

  • “We are now in the position to go further and solve world-class problems. But you won’t solve these on your own. Sometimes you’ll need a good friend, sometimes you’ll need a whole village.”

  • “How will you nurture your connections with partners everywhere?” Focus on three types of connections: one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many.” 

  • “The CIO will need to get really good at building partnerships of all types.”

  • “The answer to the question “where next” cannot be just in terms of a location or direction - that would be a limitation. “Where” is actually the exploration of how value can be found and seized.”

  • “CIOs must reach beyond historica insights, legacy business practices and bias to create value.”

  • “You now have the opportunity to be bold. Reach beyond to the unexpected. Reach beyond to the unimagined.”

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

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Signature Series: The Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022

Presented by David Groombridge, VP Analyst, Gartner 

Strategic technology trends have significant disruptive potential and set the stage for innovation over the next five years. In his session, David Groombridge, VP Analyst at Gartner, advised CIOs to examine the business impact of this year’s trends and adjust business operations appropriately or risk losing competitive advantage to those who do. 

Key Takeaways

  • “The Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022 span three core themes: engineering trust, sculpting change and accelerating growth.”   

  • Generative AI: Machine learning methods that learn about content or objects from their data, and use it to generate brand-new, completely original, realistic artifacts. 

  • Data Fabric: A flexible, resilient integration of data across platforms and business users that simplifies an organization’s data integration infrastructure and improves data usage.

  • Distributed Enterprise: With the rise in new working patterns, traditional office-centric organizations are evolving into distributed enterprises comprised of geographically dispersed workers.

  • Cloud-Native Platforms: CNPs use the core capabilities of cloud computing to provide scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities “as a service” to technology creators using internet technologies, delivering faster time to value and reduced costs. 

  • Autonomic Systems: Self-managing physical or software systems that learn from their environments and can rapidly adapt to new conditions in the field, much like humans.  

  • Decision Intelligence: A practical discipline used to improve decision making by explicitly understanding and engineering how decisions are made and outcomes evaluated, managed and improved by feedback.  

  • Composable Applications: A composable application architecture empowers fast, safe and efficient application changes in a continuously evolving business environment.

    Learn about 5 more strategic trends and additional details on each one in the associated Gartner press release.

Signature Series: The CIO and Technology Executive Agenda for 2022 — How to Master Business Composability

Presented by Monika Sinha, VP Analyst, Gartner

COVID-19 changed the way enterprises do business and existing technology principles are ill-suited to thrive in this volatile business world. However, embracing business composability is the antidote to such volatility. In her session, Monika Sinha, VP Analyst at Gartner, shared results from this year’s CIO and Technology Executive Agenda and explored the nine actions CIOs must take to further their enterprises’ business composability and maximize business value delivery.

Key Takeaways

  • Work through autonomous, self-organizing networks of teams to respond to new business conditions. The survey found that 51% of highly composable enterprises empower autonomous, self-organizing networks of teams, compared to only 7% of low-composability enterprises.
  • Practice adaptive strategy. Most highly composable enterprises set up strategic planning and budgeting as a continuous activity to adjust to change more easily. Almost two-thirds of high-composability survey respondents practice adaptive strategy to spot and respond to opportunities and threats on a more continuous basis.

  • Empower employees to make decisions independently. Decentralized decision making paves the way for faster decision-making during periods of volatility.  

  • Shape multidisciplinary teams to align on value. In a composable business, CIOs must proactively work with non-IT teams to meet evolving market demands.

  • Embrace distributed accountability for digital outcomes across IT and the business, an imperative in the digital era. 

  • Design business processes and technology together to optimize operations.

  • Adopt iterative development as a default. As one example, developers can deliver immediate business value and pivot direction as needed with product-centric delivery.  Sixty percent of high-composability enterprises adopt this iterative development as default, compared to only 17% of low-composability enterprises.

  • Mobilize technologies to support continuous cross-team collaboration and access to platforms, tools and knowhow to drive better performance. 

  • Build out integration capabilities for data, analytics and applications rather than adopt a single instance of a fully integrated technology package. 

    Learn more about the 2022 CIO Agenda and Technology Executive Survey findings in the associated Gartner press release. 

Women and Diversity in Leadership: Fighting for What We Are Worth

Presented by Christie Struckman, VP Analyst, Gartner

Women and people of color are often reminded that they don't fit the stereotype of a person working in technology. In her session, Christie Struckman, VP Analyst at Gartner, discussed how IT leaders can dispel this myth and ensure underrepresented groups get the respect and opportunities that are deserved.

Key Takeaways

  • “Gartner research shows that women represent 28% of the IT workforce, persons of color 8%, and women of color 2%. CIOs must reach beyond to fight for these groups.”

  • “There are a number of assumptions that keep these groups underrepresented in IT: lack of competence, encumbered by other responsibilities, standards are too high.” 

  • “The 4 strategies that CIOs can do or encourage in the fight for these groups are:

  • Build a coterie, or community of coaches, mentors, allies and sponsors, to create opportunities for yourself and others.

  • Manage your personal brand based on purpose - passion, mastery, profession and mission - to chart your career path.

  • Fix pay equity where you can. Negotiate salaries and be transparent about what the organization is doing to ensure pay equity.  

  • Confront behaviors that marginalize these underrepresented groups, or the death of a thousand cuts, such as ignoring women or profiling."

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities. To learn more, visit


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