Bimodal IT, Gartner’s PPM Hype Cycle, and the Cognitive Era: Our Insights From Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo 2015

Posted by Amy Fowler Stadler on 10/20/15 12:59 PM
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Lewis Fowler's take on the emerging trends and hot topics from Gartner's Symposium and ITxpo.


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Gartner’s flagship IT Symposium event in Orlando, Florida. The theme this year was “Rise to the Challenge.” There were over 8,000 CIO types and about 250 sponsors and vendors at the Expo. I had not been to this event for some time, and I was reminded of the amazing buzz you have when that many technology leaders come together in one place!

Not only did it give me a chance to meet 1-1 with several customers in a casual setting, but it also gave me time to think about the future of where the industry is going, and where Lewis Fowler fits into the solutions of the future. 

I thought I would share my insights from the event and what forecasts really resonated with me. My four favorite sessions (there were hundreds to choose from) were:

  1. Keynote Session with IBM CEO Ginnie Rometty
  2. Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends in 2016
  3. Gartner’s Predictions: The Future is a Digital Thing
  4. PPM (Project Portfolio Management) Hype Cycle


Keynote Session with IBM CEO Ginnie Rometty

Ginnie was knowledgeable and down to earth. Of course, she talked about Watson and says by 2020 how we will have completely transformed to a digital business and digital cognitive era. Also, that we are in an age of learning machines that can learn from any kind of data. And speaking of data, it is DOUBLING every two years.

Ginnie mentioned that you either have to be doing the disrupting in business or be a business that gets disrupted. They have products now that they are banking on to be their ‘moonshot’ (loved that term). 

She has a passion for this industry and she shined!


Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends in 2016

This session was well attended - standing room only.

It looks like we are working on a new term:   Bimodal IT (new to me anyway), which to me is a mash up of what we already knew about in terms of keeping the lights on (running), growing the business, and innovating the business. There was talk about the “digital mesh” – device, user experience, and 3d printing material all merging. I guess we blinked our eyes and apparently we are already in the post mobile device era!

I heard some pretty cool things about 3D printing with multiple materials and of course a lot about the Internet of Things, internet of people, and internet of places. Wearables like Fitbit and smart watches may shortly be a fad of the past as we are moving toward smart wearable fabric!

This session just confirmed for me how much faster the corporate environment has to move to keep up with the consumerization of technology.


Gartner’s Top Predictions:  The Future is a Digital Thing

Mastermind Darryl Plummer had a standing room only audience for his talk. His belief is that thinking machines will be helping us get everything done and more than 25 billion things will be connected by 2020. With smart agents and virtual personal assistants on the horizon, the age of the “intelligent robot” is coming faster than I realized.

It will be the age of information of everything.  I could go on and on. Needless to say, everyone was riveted by this session.


PPM (Project Portfolio Management) Hype Cycle

Robert Handler presented in the theatre area on this topic where there were hundreds of people lining the walls and the back of the hall. I was glad to see that this topic is still important to CIOs as I know many companies still do not do this well.  Robert quickly talked through the different phases of the PPM Hype Cycle and described each briefly.

Although I felt there was not new content here, he spoke about what phase most organizations are in, and how long companies really should spend in each cycle area to do it well. I recognized many of our clients in this picture at various stages. Agile was a key focus of the cycle and reminded me that most companies need a mix of traditional waterfall, Agile and some combination of both. You can read more on this topic in Gartner’s research report.   


Wrapping Up

For those of you in the Dallas-Metro who are interested in exploring these topics and other key trends from the Gartner Symposium, we are hosting a PMO Forum on Thursday, October 29th, from 5:00pm-7:30pm. Get all the details and register to attend here:

Register for the PMO Forum

I left the event feeling excited about the future. It gave me many ideas to ponder, and discussions to be had about where companies need to focus. It also confirmed that having outstanding execution capabilities is key to corporate success.   If you attended or if you would like to do a deeper dive on this discussion, be sure to connect. I would love to hear what your favorite sessions were and why!

Topics: IT Strategy