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The 7 Critical Topics Discussed at #GartnerSym

Posted by Kevin Cobb on Oct 10, 2014 4:45:22 PM

To help streamline that wealth of thought-provoking perspectives, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 things discussed at the event. Let’s dive in!

7. All Digital Business Starts with Mobility

Digital business can’t happen without mobility. Consider, for example, that many of us start and end our days with digital moments that happen on our devices. To tackle digital business, you need to start by mobilizing your workforce, partners and customers in a way that prioritizes productivity, innovation and engagement.

6. Humans and Machines Are Converging

The Internet of Things was undoubtedly one of the most talked about concepts throughout the show. As IoT continues to grow, we’ll continue to intersect with connected “things” and automate—and orchestrate—more and more parts of our lives. The key question: how do we, as businesses, participate in IoT in a way that makes sense (and drives results) for the enterprise?

5. Welcome to a Bi-Modal IT World

It’s always interesting to hear what peers and colleagues consider an important topic—and at Symposium, the concept of bi-modal garnered a steady stream of discussion and exploration. In terms of IT, think of bi-modal as a dual execution method. On the one hand, you have IT systems and projects that remain consistent and uninterrupted. Because of their tasks, they must function properly at all times and the associated data must always be correct. They are secure, predictable and stable.

On the other hand, you need more room to experiment and evolve. Because the pace of change is so rapid—in terms of both technology and business models—you need the fluidity to quickly adapt in a way that helps you maintain your competitive edge while leveraging new capabilities. Combine those, and you have a bi-modal IT approach.

If you’re looking to incorporate that second, more agile mode into your IT capabilities, consider exploring options with a partner so that you can keep risks low and innovation high. However you decide to proceed, now’s the time to act as we enter a third era of IT that requires a stronger ability to sense, respond and act as compared to waiting, solving for requirements and stabilizing. The time has come to fail fast, learn and iterate—but in a bi-modal environment, you can preserve the systems and processes that are critical to your company so that you don’t compromise continuing output.

4. Let Machines Do the Automating

Examine your workflow, business processes and industry requirements to discover opportunities where machines can enhance activities to decrease risks, increase safety and enhance productivity. What tasks can be automated to create a more efficient and accurate process? Once you’ve created some foundational priorities, you can then adapt and evolve to continue to thrive in the naturally dynamic digital business environment.

3. Build Strategies for the Users, Not Their Devices

One of the more important themes throughout Symposium emphasized the user over the specific device. We’ve all become accustomed to moving from one device to another as we go about our days. If you’re going to be user-centric in your approach, then how can you build a fluid experience not only on mobile devices but also across many different devices? Start a task on your phone, pick it back up on a tablet at the airport, finish it on a laptop in the office—this is the type of ad hoc process flow that is necessary to support for optimum effectiveness and satisfaction.

2. Find Big Answers in Big Data

Another hot topic? Big data—and now that companies are getting a better handle on how to capture this volume of information, the focus is making sense of that data by getting it to the right people to extract useful business insights. The buzz of big data for big data’s sake is over. You need big insights from the data you have and will continue to gain to provide value. It’s not necessarily a new or groundbreaking concept, but as we gather more information from users and machines, it’s increasingly imperative to make a plan for that information and use it in a way that drives strategy, initiatives and business results.

1. People Are at the Center

When you spend most of your time in a technology-intensive environment, it’s easy to maintain a primary focus on machines and technology. It’s important, however, to keep the people using that technology in mind. Make sure that the processes you’re automating enhance what your users need to do and in a manner that respects the user’s point of view. This starts from the very beginning of a project. For example? Don’t just gather requirements—go out on the job and observe how people work and what can be improved through mobility. That sort of mindset will help ensure that you not only meet user needs, but also expectations. Mobile continues to drive a growing expectation that we, as users, have experiences that make sense for us, rather than procedures that we follow simply to complete tasks. As a result, richer, simpler interfaces are just as important as the functional parts of these mobile tools.

Whew—what a week! And trust us—there’s much, much more to talk about! If you attended Symposium, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the key takeaways and action items that are now at the top of your priority list.

We have more Symposium-related content on the way, including recaps of the three presentations that we delivered during the event. Stay tuned to the DSI blog for more!

Topics: bi-modal, big data, convergence of humans and machines, digital business, digital supply chain, gartner symposium/itxpo, #gartnersym, internet of things, IT priorities, IT strategy, mobile implementation, mobile supply chain, mobility strategy, user experience

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