I have just returned from Gartner’s ITXpo in Barcelona; an ideal place to network with many of the 2000+ CIO’s and IT Directors present and gain new insights through valuable analyst presentations and roundtables.
If you did not get the chance to attend, I offer my top five takeaways from ITXpo here:
- CEOs Focus on Growth and Technology
Gartner’s CEO Research found that growth (#1) and technology (#2) are the top CEO priorities for 2017-2018. This did not come as a complete surprise since growth and technology are in fact already reshaping the industries. Think of Amazon, who this year became the largest online clothing company in the US.
Gartner’s EVP Research, Peter Sondergaard said that a clear pattern emerged: “Once digital revenue for a sector hits 20% of total revenue, the digital shake-out begins.”
Clothing and books are good examples; will the grocery business be next? Sondergaard said: “Watch out for the 20% mark, no matter what industry you are in, 20% is the point of no return…”
Gartner’s recommendation to CEOs is to optimize the current business as well as pursue new business and models.
- Platforms Underpin Ecosystem Success
Gartner recognized that business ecosystems have always existed, but digital technologies have increased the ability and speed at which ecosystems can now be employed. Several analysts used innovative examples of how to support business moments and improved customer experience, but a platform to support the whole ecosystem is (often) lacking.
Platforms make it possible to respond more flexible to changes (faster and cheaper) despite rigid and complex IT landscapes and enable connectivity with suppliers, partners, things, customers or citizens. The platform includes five building blocks: The IT systems to run, customer experience to engage, things to sense, intelligence to decide and the ecosystem foundation to interact.
To support this, Gartner recommends a hybrid integration platform which can integrate both internally and with ecosystems externally. The hybrid integration capability is urgently needed, since CIOs who participate in digital ecosystems expect that the number of their partners will increase by 100% every two years (Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda).
- Industrialize your Platform
Gartner recommends industrializing your platform to gain more value. This is an extension to the value chain, since you already know the main ecosystem business partners to engage with, the details of the supply chain and the regulatory boundaries and opportunities within the ecosystem.
Gartner used OCTO as an example of industrializing your platform. OCTO Telematics built an industrialized platform for an ecosystem around car insurance. See more insights from OCTO Telematics’ COO here.
To industrialize your platform, Gartner highlighted three technologies to scale: the Internet of Things, to scale the physical world by connecting digital and physical (like digital twins), APIs, to scale relationships or networks to unlock value, Artificial Intelligence: to scale people and augment human capabilities.
- Focus on Business Outcomes and Metrics
“What is your primary metric of digital transformation progress and success?” (Gartner CEO Research). Almost half of all CEOs answered with “no metrics” on the question. That is problematic and is why Gartner has developed a framework to measure digital transformation success. In this way CIOs and their teams are able to articulate the value of digital business in concrete metrics to track and progress the digital business journey.
- Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond
It is always fascinating to look at what Gartner calls its top 10 predictions for the next year. My favorites: #1 Consumers favor visual and voice search, #6 Bots take over, #8 AI creates more jobs than it takes (we shall see) and #9 IoT in everything.
I am already looking forward to next year’s symposium.