Conference Updates

October 21, 2021

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2021 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 results from the 2022 Gartner Board of Directors Survey, the top success factors for business-driven automation, and signals and patterns CIOs can look out for as they plan strategies for the year ahead.  Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Signature Series: Gartner's Board of Directors Survey for 2022 — Roadmap to Renewal

Presented by Partha Iyengar, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Boards of Directors (BoDs) are taking a more active role in leading enterprises out of the pandemic and supporting a strong ‘renew’ phase for their companies. In this session, Partha Iyengar, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, shared insights about the top BoD priorities for 2022 and how CIOs and executive leaders can align their activities to support these initiatives. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Boards are increasingly concerned about the risks from social polarization as society gets more divided about issues like the environment and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).”

  • “Boards are now amending their risk appetite to take this new—and for many, unfamiliar—risk, and factor it into their digital acceleration strategy and investments.”

  • “Economic uncertainty continues to be the biggest source of risk that Boards are concerned about.”

  • “Digital business remains the top priority for BoDs. This is broader than just IT, encompassing the landscape of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, AR/VR and blockchain.”

  • “The workforce becomes a significant challenge as companies increase their digital acceleration. IT and HR will be at center stage for Boards focusing on workforce, whether it’s retention, training, hiring or partnerships.”

  • “For executive leaders looking to align with Board priorities, look at three areas that have become a massive focus: workforce; environmental, social and governance; (ESG) and risk management.”

    See more key findings from the 2022 Gartner Board of Directors Survey in the associated Gartner press release.

Top Success Factors for Business-Driven Automation

Presented by Jason Wong, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Gartner has found that business technologists, those who don't work in IT, created technology output for an average of 4.2 automation initiatives in a year. In this session, Jason Wong, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, discussed the three key factors that CIOs and IT leaders need to check for successful business outcomes using automation.

Key Takeaways

  • “Companies need to reach beyond IT to deliver groundbreaking technologies and business capabilities.”

  • “On average, 41% of employees are what we call business technologists — employees who are not in IT, yet they use tools to create technology work or outputs.”

  • “One of the myths of citizen development is that these individuals create simple applications and they don’t know what they’re doing. In fact, they’re doing serious work.”

  • Factor #1: Co-operate: “Cooperating is about amplifying the skillsets of the business technologists. We have to take the work of business technologists seriously — both the dedicated technologists and the citizen technologists.”

  • Factor #2: Co-own: “When you broker connections and also support communities of practice, this increases the likelihood of success by 80%.”

  • Factor #3: Co-create: “We need to scale this, and that means promoting the participation of the business technologists in more opportunities.”

Where Next? Signals and Patterns You Can Use

Presented by Chris Howard, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

As organizations consider their next move heading into 2022, questions such as “Which path to take?” or “Who to partner with?” are top of mind. In his session, Chris Howard, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, wrapped up the major themes from Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, covering the four focal issues from Boards of Directors (BoDs) and CEOs and the signals and design patterns within each that enterprises can use to implement the future. 

Key Takeaways

  • “BoDs and CEOs are focused on four areas that give permission to CIOs to move quickly and act boldly, and produce strong digital results.”

  • “Each focal issue has signals that require subsequent action and design patterns, or technology initiatives, that support such action.”

  • “Sustained Profitability: Rising input and supply chain costs signal the need to drive out inefficiencies via hyperautomation or agile funding.”

  • “Sharper Value Proposition: Digital channel prominence and new service expectations, such as telehealth, signal the need for enhanced relationships with consumers via total experience or an open AI marketplace.”

  • “Engaged People: Employees proved that their productivity did not suffer with remote work and are now signaling the need for radical work flexibility, prompting enterprises to support fusion teams and cross enterprise collaboration.”

  • “Renewed Purpose: Stakeholders are demanding action on environmental, social and governance (ESG) promises, showing the value in technology, such as data mesh, to support strategies and customer analytics to understand associated needs.”

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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