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Thoughts on Gartner Symposium 2017

How would you define a 2017 IT vendor? Are they selling servers and hardware or are they discussing how to completely transform your organisation through technology and the power of the cloud?

I attended the 2017 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on the Gold Coast two weeks ago with three of my Empired colleagues. We unanimously agree that this year’s event showed a marked difference, particularly in the exhibitor hall. In years gone by attendees were greeted by a hardware vendor as the centre stage spot on the exhibition floor. I admit, in times past I used to like geeking out on the new hardware. This year, I don’t believe I saw a single piece of hardware, save for IBM’s IOT wizard with his lunch box full of Arduino bits.

Gartner Symposium 2017

This year, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services held the prime exhibition spots that would have been filled with servers, storage and networking only a few years ago. What I saw on the exhibition floor reinforced my thoughts that as the majority of enterprise strives towards some kind of cloud adoption maturity we realise the future of IT is about data and platforms.

Looking back at the agenda, it’s heartening to see knowledge tracks that are complementary to the capabilities of Empired. There was a lot of content to consume over the brief handful of days we had, however content from the following tracks resonated with me and what we do at Empired.

Plan for the digital future

The takeaway here was how we best leverage the ‘best’ of new tech – as it applies to us – with the ultimate view of improving the experiences of our staff and customers. The world is awash with new tech and niche capability and this means new vendors, new partners and new integrators. It was pleasing to see a session from Jim Longwood about ‘Engaging with unconventional partners’ on the quest to embrace digital and IOT. Emerging tech often enables challengers, as larger integrators struggle to change and adapt. It makes me proud that Empired are well credentialed in data platforms, being on Microsoft’s Red Carpet programme for IOT, Cortana Analytics and Power BI.

Architect the digital platform

With so much data in so many cloud places these days integration and content management are crucial to successfully executing a digital platform. With so many challengers in a crowded market and so many customers expecting more, a well design digital platform is crucial to engaging your market, understanding them and producing the desired output. The session on developing a pragmatic security posture in this world of ‘much data, many locations’ echoes guidance we tell our customers; whilst you may be able to buy the platform you can’t buy risk management and governance with your organisations’ specific context. I was reminded of our own session "Keeping page, staying safe in the digital world" at Empired Convergence only a week prior.

Transform the technology core

Gartner’s Bimodal IT remains as relevant today as ever when it comes enabling innovative thought to enter an organisation along with a means to enable the status quo to accept that innovation. It was refreshing to sit through a session on enterprise cloud strategy to see a slide proclaiming “Picking a cloud vendor is not a cloud strategy” along with some other guidance on what wasn’t a solid foundation and then providing guidance what was. Planning for a digital future, architecting what that future looks like and the transformation of current operations align strongly to Empired’s Modern Enterprise Roadmap and I recall our own presentation "Business Transformation Across the Enterprise" from Empired Convergence.

Drive business performance

Successful execution of the above tracks should culminate in enhanced business performance, better decision making and the ability to keep pace with market demand, if not get ahead. The theme I picked up here was analogous to a realisation that data is our most valuable asset and we need better ways to understand it, slice it and produce insight we can action. I am reminded our of Empired Convergence session "Data as your most strategic asset".

Posted by: Andrew Burke, Chief Technology Officer, Lifecycle Services | 15 November 2017

Tags: Cloud Platform, Digital Transformation

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