The dust has finally settled from Gartner Symposium in Orlando last month. More than 8,000 IT leaders flocked to the Swan and Dolphin Hotel for the analyst firm’s annual event. As a sponsor of the event, we had an opportunity to showcase our reimagined UX in person to our customers and prospects (and offer some really cool giveaways for attendees who visited our booth).
I had the chance to attend several sessions led by Gartner analysts, customers, and sponsors on the topics of digital workforces, strategic technology trends, shadow IT, values and culture, unified communications, and collaboration experiences. It was great to see the depth and variety of content offered at the event, spanning from IT tactics and strategy to general company strategy. Here’s my recap of the biggest themes and takeaways from the event.
CIOs’ challenges span far behind the firewall and technology stack. As I mentioned above, there were numerous sessions centered on culture, values, talent acquisition, digital skills, and beyond all throughout the Symposium. This strengthens the position that CIOs are continuing to move into a more strategic role within the enterprise. Yes, they must ensure they are building a technology stack that keeps employees productive, the company on the cutting edge, and data secure, but other areas are bleeding into their domain.
Let’s focus on culture and values, as they have the power to influence talent acquisition and workforce management. In a session with Janelle Hill, the message that values, underpinned by great tactics, beat strategy every time. Values help guide behavior when no one is watching and are critical in periods of uncertainty. The main takeaway? Even if you don’t have a seat at the table to define (or redefine corporate values), think about how you can set new values for your organization within the company.
Managing the new workforce. Since Q1 2015, millennials have been the largest group in the workforce, according to Pew Research. We all have heard that millennials are shaping the new workforce. Jenny Sussin and Carol Rozwell tackled the topic heard on with their research and a dynamic presentation on managing the “selfie-centered workforce”. Studies have shown that there has been a 33% increase in narcissistic behavior among millennials. CIOs and IT leaders shouldn’t view this completely as a negative. A study at Stanford University found that students with narcissistic tendencies were much more persuasive because they believed in themselves. The main takeaway? CIOs should focus on empowering millennials with the right projects that showcase their strengths. Millennials are very driven to completing a task and doing it well.
The new collaboration experiences. Mike Gotta of Gartner led a session on Work 2020 and the new technology to enable collaboration. He covered the main trends around workstream collaboration – a persistent conversation space that helps people organize and rally around a project or initiative at work, predictive collaboration – how tools can describe, discover, organize, and analyze data to allow for information to be delivered proactively for workers’ need, and the smart workspace – how the internet of things and integrated work systems are shaping the future. The main takeaway? IT should now focus on the main use cases within the organization, design personas around the needs to flesh out the context, and utilize that information to enable the right tech within the organization.