IT Leaders Learn and Network at the Gartner ITXPOBy Eileen Feretic
IT Leaders Learn and Network at the Gartner ITxpo
Hosting approximately 7,500 CIOs and other IT and business leaders, the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando provided a wealth of information about a wide array of enterprise technologies and trends. The expo housed 200 exhibitors that displayed technologies including cloud, security, software-defined, agile development, customer experience, mobility, networking, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), analytics, data science and blockchain.
At the symposium, Gartner executives presented findings about the company's top strategic technology trends, which have "substantial disruptive potential." Three of the trends focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning; four discuss the creation of immersive, digitally enhanced environments; and three highlight "exploiting connections between an expanding set of people and businesses."
Gartner also revealed its top 10 predictions for 2018 and beyond. Here are several of them:
- By 2021, 40 percent of IT staff members will hold multiple roles, most of which will be business, rather than tech-related.
- In 2020, AI will be a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3 million jobs, while eliminating only 1.8 million jobs.
- By 2020, IoT technology will be in 95 percent of electronics for new product designs.
- Brands that redesign their websites to support visual- and voice-search will increase their digital commerce revenue by 30 percent.
- By 2020, AI-driven creation of fake content will outpace AI's ability to detect it, and that will generate digital distrust.
Observations and Insight
Following are some brief observations and insight from executives who attended the ITxpo:
Companies are using analytics, machine learning and data science to solve business problems—and even to develop new lines of business. These technologies are being optimized for the cloud, and are also being used for unstructured data, including email, social media and videos. Businesses are using analytics in the cloud to gain insights, make predictions that drive business, and protect data with pattern and anomaly recognition.—Mick Hollison, CMO, Cloudera
Companies are constantly coming up with new, innovative ways to use mobile devices. For instance, package delivery companies can use the camera on smartphones to scan packages, replacing the clunky scanners many use today. And retail companies can use mobile devices to check on inventory for customers and then scan credit cards and have products shipped. Many industries are using mobile devices to train employees, such as playing videos to help workers repair parts on cars, trains and planes. And companies can use smartwatches to monitor heart rates on employees such as airline pilots and truck drivers.--Eric McCarty, vice president of mobility, and Ted Brodheim, vice president of vertical business, Samsung
The EU's GDPR is already having a tremendous impact on companies that have customers in Europe. These businesses need help understanding and tracking the data they need to collect, and then developing a checklist of all the things that need to be done with that data. They need to do a privacy impact assessment and score projects based on which have the greatest issues. Companies that do not comply will face fines from the EU and possibly lawsuits from customers.—Kabir Barday, CEO, and Alan Dabbiere, chairman, OneTrust
To improve customer satisfaction and engagement, companies need to reduce customer friction: the aspect of a customer interaction that is negative. Some things that cause friction are company websites that present confusing information and don’t guide the visitor; sites with poor navigation, menus and search functions; and websites that require a lot of steps for a visitor to complete their transaction.—Brad Rucker, senior vice president, Digital Applications & Information Management, NTT DATA Services
Vendors need to simplify security so people will use it, and they also have to make security easy to integrate into other companies' physical devices. As the IoT continues to expand, we will have to deal with cyber-physical security, encompassing software and hardware.—Alissa Johnson, chief information security officer, Xerox
Data management practices should include policies that dictate security for data both at rest and in transit. When data is stored in the cloud, only the specific customer should have access to that data—not the cloud service provider. Companies that do business in Europe should already have started preparing for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).—Eli Almog, senior vice president and CTO, and Mike Baldani, director of product marketing, Iron Mountain
IT Leaders Learn and Network at the Gartner ITXPO
Humana, which sells insurance to companies, needed to move faster to transform its operations and get an edge on the competition. It deployed PMG’s Digital Business Platform, and, in four weeks, the company cut the time from customer application in its premium insurance to enrollment from 12 to two days. Overall, it streamlined its operations and doubled sales of that product.—Greg McLaurin, service vice president, Humana
Simplifying product lines makes things easier for both sellers and buyers. And moving the development of products to agile helps speed the rate of delivery to customers. Cultural changes like this require executive sponsorship.—Troy Trenchard, vice president, Product Management, CenturyLink
Companies have valuable data sitting in email, so it's critical to protect that data, which is increasingly under attack by hackers. Businesses also need to be able to recover and rebuild emails, folders and entire accounts, when needed. It's also important to be able to search email systems for specific information related to discovery and compliance issues. Right now, companies that do business in Europe have to be able to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so being able to search email is essential.—Marc French, senior vice president and chief trust officer, Mimecast
Incident-alert systems must offer rock-solid reliability and should offer an automated workflow covering both internal (employees) and external (customers) users. Alerts need to get to the right people ASAP, and there should be an escalation process that automatically forwards alerts to the next person in line.—Judit Sharon, CEO, OnPage
Companies that want to bring DevOps into a production environment need to automate the entire process, including automating the delivery of code into distribution. They should start by moving one to three apps from dev to production. –T.J. Randall, vice president, customer success, Xebia Labs
Companies don’t need to use Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) or a Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) exclusively. They can mix and match them with software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) and public clouds for a customized approach with more control.—Paul Ruelas, director, product management, Masergy
Transitioning to 5G is going to take time, and it will work hand in hand with 4G for 10 or more years. Before 5G can take off, we will need standards that will work effectively for businesses as well as consumers. We're in the pre-standard phase now, and some carriers have trials going on. 5G will most likely be introduced in layers.—Lindsay Notwell, vice president, WW carrier operations, Cradlepoint
Too many companies pay in excess for software they aren't using. By using software asset management, they can find out who's using what and renegotiate software contacts. They can also discover shadow IT accounts and pull data for GDPR reports.—Arlo Gilbert, CEO, Meta SaaS
Companies that are considering buying technologies should be able to do a proof of concept to test those technologies in their own environment to make sure they integrate with existing IT systems. They need to be able to compare different vendors (which is even more important with start-ups) and get their KPIs.—Toby Olshanetsky, CEO, prooV
Photo courtesy of Gartner