Improvise. Adapt. Overcome

This year’s Gartner Event in Orlando, Florida was the world’s largest gathering of CIO’s and proved to be extremely informative, as always. Gartner has been talking about the Digital Business Platform for quite some time now. The speakers at the symposium were focused on how companies can either start or improvise their digital platform. The central theme of the symposium was to industrialize the Digital Business Platform.

Let us look at the some of the highlights from the Symposium

highlights from the Symposium

1) Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics

Quite often we must’ve heard the need of becoming a Digital Business. What does becoming a Digital Business mean to you? A digital business is the one that’s adept in adjusting to the changing infrastructure with the evolving technologies by reaping the maximum benefits of data assets and technology-focused initiatives.

According to Gartner, “digital business watches what the customer does, not just what the customer wants. It’s less about data and more about intelligent algorithms”.

The biggest change in the market, trends or technology when it comes to Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics, has been the continuous and rapid growth in augmented analytics. For organizations to switch to a culture of self-service business analytics in a world of big data takes more than just the advanced analytics – it involves embedded machine learning techniques, natural language interfaces and a sheer focus on data storytelling to communicate business meaning.

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when it comes to BI and AA, is that too many get distracted by the “shiny thing of AI” without realizing that the very core basics of BI and AA not only deliver huge values in themselves but are also an important component of analytics strategy propelled by the traditional reporting to the undoubted potential of AI.

 2) Customer and User Experience

Customers are empowered than ever before. With Customer Experience (CX) management ranking as a top agenda for a CEO, it must be crucially important for CIOs and IT Executives.

In a recent Gartner customer experience (CX) leader’s survey, three-quarters of respondents say that their organization has increased technology investment for CX in 2019. Customer analytics continues to be one of the biggest technology investments for CX, with a focus on areas such as AI, customer journey analysis, customer needs analysis, voice of the customer (VoC) and digital marketing.

IT Executives are helping to introduce innovative tools that will support newly designed customer journeys that will ultimately transform the customer experience.

One of the biggest mistakes’ organizations make is by not having a clearly defined CX vision, that means:

  • Inability to measure the voice of customer (VoC)
  • Ineffective governance structure
  • Inability to measure the business benefits

3 ) Emerging & Disruptive Technologies

 At Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™, some latest technology trends such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), AI and Robotic Process Automation were discussed – that transform the way your business models operate.

Click here to view the Infographic depicting the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020 as the Signature Series in the Gartner Symposium 2019.

4 ) Focus. Achieve

Purpose-driven brand outperforms the stock market by 120% and National Geographic is no stranger when it comes to building a brand by inculcating purpose. The core model of NatGeo is: “When people understand the world, they care more deeply and take responsibility for it”

National Geographic has used technology to propel connection and create empathy in its storytelling and branded the magazine’s iconic yellow rectangle as a familiar icon. The company launched a major campaign called Planet or Plastic, measuring success by how many people took the pledge to reduce their plastic consumption. Jay Wilson, VP, and an Analyst at Gartner stressed on the importance of building and reinforcing purpose into campaigns to motivate customers into liking your equinity and believing in your brand.

According to Wilson, nearly 66% of Millennials and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something. When it comes to Gen Z, however, new traits emerge. In his session on Conquering the Digital World of Gen Z, Jack Mackinnon, Senior Principal Analyst, Gartner for Marketers, revealed the key traits of Gen Z from a Gartner study in October 2018. With a population of over 90 million people ages 0 to 23 years, Gen Z represents $2.8 trillion in buying power “of the most diverse generation ever.”

“Focus your strategy on boosting their brand,” Mackinnon said. “You can’t sit back and do the same old on social media with Gen Z. You have to shake it up.”

He encouraged brands to create content rooted in Gen Z values: identity, creativity, and passion. Political engagement is the norm for Gen Z; 60% say they want to change the world versus 39% of Millennials. Here’s where a brand’s purpose can matter (think Adidas).

5) Jumping the Curve: From CIO to Digital Leader

The spotlight is on digital and CIOs are uniquely positioned to lead a digital change in the enterprise. How can they up their game and execute a pivotal role in shaping their organizations’ digital agendas?

Regardless of the industry, market or geography, DIGITAL technologies impact every organization. Some organizations are disrupting through digital, whilst some are getting disrupted. The approach of “doing business in fundamental, new and different ways” is more preferred rather than to simply “do what we’ve always done, but faster and cheaper” way. Each organization’s response will be different depending upon their business strategies.

CIO’s technology expertise can help position them to lead a digital change in the organization, but the question here arises:

Why is Digital Leadership important?

So where is the disconnect between CEOs and CIO?

  • Many executives expect to make money by the same “old conventional ways “as always.
  • Keep in mind that the success acquired with digital transformation efforts take longer time than anticipated – an average of 6-7 years to achieve the net positive financial results from a significant new product or a business venture.
  • Net positive financial results don’t come for free. There could be low investment returns in a shorter time frame, profit warnings, spin-offs, and other unpalatable exigencies before the result comes.

Hence executives need to jump the curve.

Digital Leadership is needed: From CIOs and the Executive Team

CIO as a Digital Leader

  • Leader of a Mindshift amongst the other peer executives.
  • Technology guide (expertise gain)
  • Talent scout

The solution? Digital Dexterity 101!

What’s the biggest threat to your digital transformation success?

The employee’s resistance to change that has the power to thwart even the most strategic organizational change efforts.

What is Digital Dexterity?

Digital dexterity is the desire and ability of employees to embrace existing and emerging technologies to achieve and yield better business outcomes.

It’s important for a few reasons:

  • Digital technology is emerging and developing at a rapid pace – which means more advanced tools will find their way into workplace
  • Many of the employees’ work is being performed using digital tools and platforms.
  • Business strategies only rely on capabilities using disruptive technologies to optimize internal operations and improve customer satisfaction.

If you were at the Gartner Symposium /ITxpo in Orlando, what were your key takeaways?

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