Conference Updates

November 10, 2021

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2021 EMEA: Day 3 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 here from Day 1 and Day 2

On Day 3 from the conference, we are highlighting sessions that explain how C-level executives can manage cyber risk in their organization, the impact ESG has on the IT department and the whole organization, and sharing key results from the 2022 Gartner Board of Directors Survey. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Four Ways to Hack Your Cybersecurity Culture

Presented by Sam Olyaei, Director Analyst, Gartner

Strategy is what gets an organization into the next phase of the evolution, but culture is what you need in order for an organization to stay alive. In this session, Sam Olyaei, Director Analyst at Gartner, outlined four ways CIOs and IT leaders can hack their cybersecurity culture.

Key Takeaways

  • “The biggest barrier to transformation is culture. Forty-four percent of CIOs reported culture is the biggest barrier to digital transformation.”

  • #1 Minimalist Hack: What If Security Did the Bare Minimum

    • “CISOs need to figure out a way to sketch a vision where security is focused on the most important aspects of the job and the prioritizations of the job. It fosters a culture of taking risks and a culture of authenticity. ”

  • #2 Share Hack: Create a Security Community!

    • “You need to be visible in your organization. Create a dedicated security page, focus on transparency by collecting policy feedback in real time. Be more engaging, develop a common security language that everybody understands.”

  • #3 Gamification Hack: Can Security Be Fun and Intrusive?

    • “Gamify the experience, develop a gamification badging system, award your people and incentivize them. It fosters collaboration, inclusivity and innovation.”

  • #4 [In] Equality Hack: How Much of Your Time Is Spent Servicing the Most Important Business Units?

    • “Focusing on the most important business units that drive the most important value for the organization creates a culture where accountability can be implemented and decisions can be made a lot faster with the risk owner.”

  • “Don’t treat security like it is a function that has to deliver services to everybody in the organization. Ultimately, it turns cybersecurity into a value-generating function.”


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ESG: What Boards Want CIOs to Know and Do

Presented by Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Stakeholder pressure is driving the growth in board attention on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. In this session, Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, explained why CIOs should verse themselves on what ESG is and the impact on the IT department and ultimately, the whole organization.

Key Takeaways

  • “ESG is becoming more strategic.”

  • “Boards need to be seen as if something is happening when it comes to ESG, and all signs point to doing good not just trying to look good.”

  • “First step as a CIO is to understand if a materiality assessment has been conducted to identify those issues that are the most important for the enterprise to be addressing.”

  • All CIOs that we work with are being asked to make their own IT programs more sustainable. Identify the metrics in your own IT department that you should be measuring.”

  • “There are four main types of data that you are going to be pursuing in an ESG program: material issues, goals and targets, data for reporting frameworks, and ad hoc requests.”

  • “It’s really important that ESG data be trustworthy and accurate, so focus on data quality and reliability.”


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.


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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