Takeaways from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2018
Our team recently attended the 2018 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida, to hear from some of the industry’s experts about advances and challenges we can expect for the future of IT as constant technological advancements continue to shape the future of business.
With little time to spare for palm trees or theme parks, we attended four days of engaging conversations, groundbreaking presentations, and riveting keynotes that left our minds swimming with the implications for businesses braving the world of digital transformation.
Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the 2018 Gartner Symposium.
The Future is Coming Fast
On our first day, we were lucky enough to catch a presentation from Professor Michio Kaku, one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and an avid futurist, (you may know Professor Kaku as the former boy genius who built a particle collider in his garage when he was in high school) who spoke about the advances that will transform not just businesses, but society as a whole over the coming years. From contact lenses that will allow you to surf the web with the blink of an eye, to automated and flying cars, all the way to on-call robotic doctors and lawyers.
But while Professor Kaku’s presentation certainly left our minds reeling with the possibilities on the horizon for human beings, soon enough it was time to exit the realm of science fiction and get down to business, and more specifically, the outlook for businesses in the digital era.
Work Is Not a Place
Fuze’s VP of Product, Michael Affronti, presented on the future of work and how attitudes towards work are shifting. He was joined on stage by Stacie DePeau, CIO of Easterseals Southern California, to share her experience with Fuze, and futurist Michael Hopkins, co-founder of The Solo Project, to serve as a moderator for the discussion.
Referencing our latest Workforce Futures report, Affronti discussed how work is increasingly following the “as a service” model, as employees look for greater flexibility as to when and where they work. In fact, 89% of workers say flexible working should be how we work, not a benefit. DePeau discussed how the talent challenge is affecting Easterseals and how they are working to solve the problem of remote and flexible work to help reduce employee turnover.
Audiences also walked away with insight into how the modern worker’s office is not limited by physical or geographical location, allowing employees to do their best work wherever in the world they may be. For Easterseals, its workforce is made up of multiple generations in multiple locations and they needed a solution that would work for every employee. After researching more than 20 vendors and ultimately trialing two vendors, Easterseals selected Fuze for its single application complete with voice, video, messaging, meetings, and rooms management. Overall, the organization is experimenting with several things to better engage its workforce including a four-day workweek, desk sharing, and flexible hours.
Finally, Affronti spoke to how the employee of today and tomorrow is one that will increasingly exercise personal preference and choice, and discussed what that might mean for employers hoping to attract talent in a competitive landscape.
CIOs Stepping Up
Perhaps one of the most interesting presentations came from one of Gartner’s VP Analysts, Mark Raskino, who spoke to how digital transformation will require CIOs to step into a pivotal role in “solving” the digital business, as the “capability crunch” (the increasing demand for tech savvy individuals against the short supply of them) makes knowledgeable CIOs much more valuable and integral to a business’ success. While historically the CIO position was created to manage the cost and efficiency of information management, the emerging role of the CIO will be to support their CEOs in thinking about technology, and understanding what is needed to achieve strong, lasting structural growth that will still maintain the fluidity needed to keep up with the rapidly changing tech landscape.
Overall, this year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo was a compelling experience that provided us with strategic insight into how businesses will need to adapt to remain competitive in the years to come.