Conference Updates

October 27, 2021

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2021 APAC: Day 3 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. You can also read the highlights from Day 1 and Day 2 here. 

On Day 3 from the conference, we are highlighting sessions covering the top CEO concerns for 2021-22 and the implications for CIOs, the impact of external digital products on the CIO role, and we share key results from the Gartner Board of Directors Survey for 2022.

Key Announcements

Signature Series: CEO Concerns 2021-2022 — Implications and Actions for CIOs

Presented by Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst and Gartner Fellow; Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

The pandemic awakened many CEOs to deepen digital change further, which in turn has implications for CIOs. Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst and Gartner Fellow, and Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, explored the latest survey insights on chief executive concerns and how the resulting actions CIOs take must be bold.

Key Takeaways

  • “The top 3 strategic business priorities for CEOs in 2022 are growth, technology initiatives and corporate actions.”  

  • “One-third of CEOs want to aim for higher digital vision and ambition in 2022 and beyond.”

  • “CEOs intend to invest in the kinds of resources CIOs need to drive digital business change: digital capabilities, IT, people and culture, business services, including management consulting, and more.”

  • “Given CEOs’ priorities, CIOs should focus digital change efforts in four key areas: 1) sustainable profitability 2) sharper proposition 3) engaged people and 4) renewed purpose.”

  • “When asked about post-COVID-19 individual and social behavior changes, CEOs are focused on employees more than customers.”

  • “ESG mentions by CEOs as a top strategic business priority are up 303%. Most CEOs agree that ESG is an investment that attracts more customers, investors and talent.”

  • “Artificial intelligence was the most frequently cited technology that CEOs believe will most significantly impact their industries over the next three years.” 

How External Digital Products Are Reshaping the Corporate Technology Landscape — And What CIOs Should Do About It

Presented by Brian Prentice, VP Analyst, Gartner

Practically all enterprises and public sector organizations are adding digital products and channels as means to engage with their external stakeholders — customers, partners, citizens or wider ecosystem. In this session Brian Prentice, VP Analyst at Gartner, outlined the impact this has on the CIO role and the strategic choices CIOs can make to avoid obsolescence or technology anarchy. 

Key Takeaways

  • “The move toward customer facing digital products is representative of a deeper trend of the distribution of decision making and authority over digital technology out into the business. CIOs should be behind and supporting that.”

  • “As a CIO, you can make a significant contribution by anticipating and proactively responding to the IT systems that the business needs to be successful in the creation, delivery and maintenance of these customer facing digital products.”

  • “You will do a great job by just being a traditional CIO. But you can help the business as it expands in this area by helping other executive leaders grow their digital dexterity.”

  • “Continue to apply product management practices to internal products. That is going to yield significant benefits to the IT organization, and importantly, allow you to connect with the business when they need you to, and in exactly the right way that is needed to create these products.”

  • “Build your skills in understanding, identifying and promoting marketable digital assets. Having that asset perspective as part of the transition from project to product is something the whole organization needs. As the CIO, you can be the starting point.”

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 associated Gartner press release.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight that drives smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities. To learn more, visit


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