This is my first Gartner ITxpo and Symposium and they’ve made a good first impression. The main keynote auditorium is very professionally set up. It’s like a rock concert–the sound and video system is top notch with bass you can feel. I am also grateful for comfortable chairs at the Moscone Center since my butt is going to be in one for eight hours a day all week long. In February, I attended the Southwest regional conference for Educause and the chairs at the Omni in Austin were murder. After about 45 minutes your glutes were asleep–it was genuinely hard to pay attention. In any case forget about the seats and the eye candy. The content of the kick off address was powerhouse–attention getting. Gartner CEO, Gene Hall, started things off by telling us that IT was in trouble. We are looking a decline in IT growth from 4.8 % in 2007 to 4.2% in 2008 with that trend continuing for three more years for a total of 5 years of declining growth in the IT sector. Considering that the IT sector is growing in Asia, this is very bad news for IT in the US and Europe. The problem in a lack of innovation and ideas. Innovation is stagnant in the west. Generally speaking IT vendors are afraid to be the first movers… they are risk averse.
Here are a few of the take aways from the first keynote:
- The current trend is for decentraliazed decision making
- IT projects are never finished. Implement when they are 80% ready. “Beta is beautiful.”
- Consider IT from the perspective of business impact for the dollar. Use finacial metric, ROI.
- 30% of all IT budgets are spent at the businessunit level.
- Integrate IT in business decision making–IT is not secondary, but should be viewed as foundational to business success
- “IT has the power to destroy business”–It has the power to destroy your competition when leveraged properly; it has the power to destroy your own business if it is not utilized properly
- The customer must be at the center of decision making
- “Be a hero of the IT revolution.”