Gartner ITxpo Gold Coast

nexus of forcesDuring the past 4 days I attended the annual biggest Gartner conference ITxpo.

I haven’t been here for a number of years and was really looking forward to it. My program was not aligned to any of the pre-defined streams and had a good selection of mobile, big data, business intelligence, cloud and enterprise architecture with a sprinkle of leadership and management aspects.

Gartner always has multiple sessions in parallel and I find it difficult to choose at times. Nonetheless I was happy with my schedule that looked ram-packed with exciting stuff.

Admittedly the start of the conference was a bit “luke-warm” as the bog keynote setting the scene wasn’t schedules before Tuesday. That left the first tracks a bit hanging in the wings. It felt the speakers didn’t want to give away the big things but needed them to put their talks into perspective. Which meant the session about GIS (geographical information systems) in itself was great and putting it later into the context of location awareness, mobile, cloud, and special apps gave it a much more important spin.

Day one ended with the Technology Trends of 2013 presented by David Cearly. That was one of the highlights – as expected – of the conference!

Tuesday was marked with the keynote talking about the nexus of forces in much detail that was hinted upon previously. A nice show using “holograms” and story telling were employed to bring the concepts to life. The digital life of a person was the centerpiece. My further agenda had a mixed bag of sessions, mobile security risks didn’t quite live up to my expectations while project reporting and dashboards was exceeding those unexpectedly! In the afternoon I had 2 more sessions that sparked my interests widley and made me change my further schedule. I learned that EA (enterprise architecture) is more hype then value and only few people including a small consulting company called Gravity had something to say about it. I got confirmation that information management and BI – at times called big data – are essential for the future success of any business.

On Wednesday I ventured into the session “What Senior Executives really want” and again was pleasantly surprised that I did. Wednesday turned out to be the best day of the conference. The Internet of Everything scenario gave a glimpse what is happening and about to happen in the connected world. It was followed by a neutral and very practical vendor presentation (UXC). I thanked the presenter for that at the end. He was surprised 😉

What followed was the best presentation of the lot, David Aron spoke about ‘Masters of Leadership” in general and what he recommended for CIOs and senior ICT managers. I had to change my schedule again for him to listen on Thursday what he had to say about “Hiring clusters” – a maverick research. That man had real passion and let it show.

Mobile innovation in relationship to business value and business risk were other topics I listened to. This is a complex scenario were the forces of control, ownership, freedom, privacy and data security, and rapid change pulling and pushing the boundaries of traditional ICT and business rules. No ready answer is at hand yet.

I finished on Thursday with a view through the looking glass. Tom Austin, who I’d listened to earlier on the information management aspect was exploring what is in store for us up to 2017. More of the same but more sophisticated and integrated could be the simple answer. That is challenged with the rapid change of interconnectedness, readily available information, and some clever minds that put this together in new and unexpected ways.

I left with ideas brimming and how to channel this into a practical approach for coming Monday.

The question – in good Gartner manner – is:

  1. What do I do on Monday differently?
  2. What will I change or start in the next 90 days?
  3. What will I have achieved as a result by the end of next year?

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