Top Four Takeaways From Gartner ITxpo 2015


IT plays a critical role as digitization goes from concept to actualization.


By: Travis Sterne, Managing Editor, Connected Futures

Digital Business is here. Organizations across all industries know they need to transform.

In fact, according to Gartner’s CEO Survey 2015, CEOs expect double digit revenue over the next five years due to digital.

It’s no longer a matter of should my organization become digital? That answer is yes. The question now is: how does my organization transform?

This was the underlying focus of this year’s Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Orlando, Florida. Gartner’s theme was ‘Rise to the Challenge.’ Fitting considering the CIO needs to rise to the challenge of making it possible for their organization to transform into a digital organization.

It became obvious early into the event that several care-abouts were top of mind. Below are some key takeaways from the event where CIOs and senior IT leaders gathered to understand how innovating in the digital era will drive transformation.


1. Think Strategically Before Connecting Everything

An increasingly connected world may impact the potential physical safety and loss of human life.

For instance, during a session hosted by Gartner’s Christian Brynes, he cited that two months ago the FDA recalled a connected insulin pump because it could be hacked through hospital networks.

Racing to connect things without baking physical and digital security throughout can spell disastrous results. Most industries and organizations have yet to understand the gravity that this connectivity will mean.

“If your company starts killing people because of bad security, you’re not going to look good” says Christian Brynes, Managing Vice President at Gartner.

The lines between physical and virtual security are blurring and we need to plan and act immediately.


2. Cybersecurity Strategies

The new opportunities that digital presents for business, consumers, and employees means new opportunities for hackers. So how do you secure this?

A few CIOs and senior IT leaders who Connected Futures talked to during the event had a few opinions on security strategies.

These individuals felt that cyber insurance is an answer. Many were citing that ‘we know it’s not a matter of if, but when, we will be hacked. It costs less to remediate and deal with the consequences than to throw money and resources at prevention when you know you’ll be breached.'

However cyber insurance does little to protect your brand reputation.

Additionally, the cybersecurity world is becoming greyer and greyer. It used to be you’re either secure or you’re not.

Now, the conversation focuses around business risks. So when you are in the grey area, it’s critical to understand the business risk and determine what the business is willing to accept.

But people are the weakest link. Techniques are becoming so sophisticated that it’s more difficult to determine legitimate versus evil intent.

Security teams need to minimize the window of time it takes from detection to remediation of a breach. This requires visibility into the network to detect as soon as a breach occurs.

Reducing the detect-to-remediate window means hackers have a narrower entry to take what they need, and get out. Decreasing their probability of success.

3. There’s a New Member of the C-Suite in Town

The C-suite is expanding with the latest role being the Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

New skillsets are required to become a digital organization, transform how you do business, and disrupt the market.

A CIO cannot do it alone. Organizations that place digitization solely on the CIO will not be setting themselves up for success. Instead, organizations should look to create a new role for a leader to be the business partner to the CIO.

CIOs understand the value and opportunity of data. However the typical CIO has so much to do that it takes a business partner to help set a digital vision, determine key performance indicators (KPIs), and govern it.

Debra Logan, VP and Gartner fellow, hosted a discussion that aimed to answer the question ‘Does your organization need a CDO, CAO (Chief Analytics Officer) or both?'

In her talk, Debra stressed that IT should not own the data. The business owns the data. Therefore, a business partner needs to bridge this gap between IT and the business.

4. The Modern City is Here Today

Creating digital cities means connected solutions such as Smart Parking, Connected Lighting, physical cameras, and much more may very soon become mainstream.

City operators can use visualization and analytics capabilities, combined with physical security video, IP-based walkie-talkies, streaming video, and wearables to improve public safety. All by increasing communication flow at the edge, be it city streets, patrol cars, or education campuses, to central city/community operation centers.

Community leaders walked away with an understanding of not only what a connected community looks like, but also how to bring it to your local city, college, K-12, or hospital.

The capabilities, promises and advancements of Digital transformation are here. Technology will not wait.

More Information: Digital Transformation requires new CxO skills and participation from the boardroom. Learn how to get your organization on the path for successful digital transformation.