Conference Updates

October 25, 2021

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2021 APAC: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week virtually in APAC. 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, how to navigate geopolitical tensions in an increasingly localized world, and the Gartner top strategic technology trends for 2022.

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 VIP 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, Senior 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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Navigate Geopolitical Tensions in an Increasingly Localized Digital World

Presented by Gavin Tay, VP and Gartner Fellow

Nations around the world are reacting to increased geopolitical tensions with increased regulation and policy changes. The result is a shift away from globalization towards increasing localization, including in the digital environment. How should organizations navigate this new world? In this session Gavin Tay, VP Analyst and Gartner Fellow, provides a forward-looking assessment and recommendations for organizations to consider.

Key Takeaways

  • “Traditionally, organizations have located business functions in the country where they can be best resourced. Geopolitical tensions mean that the ability to pivot from one country to another is now a critical business capability.”

  • “Globalization would not have been possible without digital technology. But this has happened on the assumption of what we call ‘free digital markets’ with globally agreed protocols. This can no longer be assumed.”

  • “Geopolitical tensions are impacting enterprise technology decisions. CIOs that support multiple geographies will find it harder to maintain legal operations in some countries. For example, they may need to run multiple instances of HR systems in Germany to comply with local employee data storage requirements.”

  • “Where cross-border compliance becomes impossible, companies may choose to exit the market. The alternative is to redesign your operating model to comply with cross-border regulations.”

  • “Executive leaders and boards need to challenge established views on the structure of a multinational, for example, to shift from centralized to federated decision making.”

  • “Legacy enterprise architecture may be at loggerheads with the need to isolate certain data or even complete IT autonomy within a country. Instead, Gartner recommends a meta topology incorporating edge operations inside countries, so companies can be locally compliant and globally consistent.”

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.

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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