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Back from Wonderland: Take-aways from Gartner Symposium

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Back from Wonderland: Take-aways from Gartner Symposium

The 2014 Gartner Symposium in Orlando … that was impressive. Over 10,000 people, celebrity speakers, magic quadrants, good food, intelligent conversations … what a party!

Speaking of intelligent conversations, did anyone else notice a trend in the discussions that were taking place? I spoke to many people who were focused on business-outcome-driven initiatives, and leveraging IT portfolio management, capability modeling, etc. to achieve business transformation.  A wise man once said “you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone.” That was good advice fifty years ago and it’s good advice today. The pace of change that we’re experiencing is unprecedented, and it’s customer expectations that are driving that change. This isn’t simply a matter of “do I want to get my business in on that new trend?” – this is a swim or sink scenario.

I know, it doesn’t sound easy. Things have been done a certain way for a very long time, and with great success. I understand. Change can be daunting. But there’s good news. Not only will these changes allow businesses to better meet customer expectations, but you can lead the charge on converting IT from a cost center into a profit center. This is the Wild West, baby! Just because we have internet and smart phones now doesn’t mean we’re done. Quite the contrary - we’re just getting started. (… more on that to come.)

So now what? We’re back from Orlando, the party’s over, it’s raining – how do we transform the magic and enthusiasm from Symposium into tangible results back at the office? Here are a few steps we can take now to keep the momentum rolling:

  • Start talking: If business-outcomes are what matters, then we’ve got to talk to the people who drive the business. We need to understand strategy from decision-makers and we need to understand day-to-day logistics from the people who execute the tactics to deliver the strategy.
  • Assess the scene: Let’s take stock of what we have (equipment, skills, money, reputation) and figure out where gaps exist between what we plan to do and the resources we have to achieve these goals. We don’t want to start on a journey and then realize we forgot the GPS.  
  • Pick a project: Here’s a cliché – if you’re on an island and you need to eat, don’t try to boil the ocean, start by frying a fish. We need to deliver results if we’re going to get buy-in on bigger transformation initiatives. Let’s pick something tangible where we can demonstrate an ROI, and then illustrate how we can carry that forward into broader successes.

Exciting conferences can be like New Year’s – there’s a huge celebration and we come away full of hope and ambition, but by February we’ve given up on our diet and we’re back to watching the world go by. Let’s make a pact … not this time! We can’t travel to Wonderland, party with queens, smoke with caterpillars, and come back as if nothing’s changed. Everything’s different. The world is different.

It’s time to sink or swim. What’s your next move?

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MEGA

The 2014 Gartner Symposium in Orlando … that was impressive. Over 10,000 people, celebrity speakers, magic quadrants, good food, intelligent conversations … what a party!

Speaking of intelligent conversations, did anyone else notice a trend in the discussions that were taking place? I spoke to many people who were focused on business-outcome-driven initiatives, and leveraging IT portfolio management, capability modeling, etc. to achieve business transformation.  A wise man once said “you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone.” That was good advice fifty years ago and it’s good advice today. The pace of change that we’re experiencing is unprecedented, and it’s customer expectations that are driving that change. This isn’t simply a matter of “do I want to get my business in on that new trend?” – this is a swim or sink scenario.

I know, it doesn’t sound easy. Things have been done a certain way for a very long time, and with great success. I understand. Change can be daunting. But there’s good news. Not only will these changes allow businesses to better meet customer expectations, but you can lead the charge on converting IT from a cost center into a profit center. This is the Wild West, baby! Just because we have internet and smart phones now doesn’t mean we’re done. Quite the contrary - we’re just getting started. (… more on that to come.)

So now what? We’re back from Orlando, the party’s over, it’s raining – how do we transform the magic and enthusiasm from Symposium into tangible results back at the office? Here are a few steps we can take now to keep the momentum rolling:

  • Start talking: If business-outcomes are what matters, then we’ve got to talk to the people who drive the business. We need to understand strategy from decision-makers and we need to understand day-to-day logistics from the people who execute the tactics to deliver the strategy.
  • Assess the scene: Let’s take stock of what we have (equipment, skills, money, reputation) and figure out where gaps exist between what we plan to do and the resources we have to achieve these goals. We don’t want to start on a journey and then realize we forgot the GPS.  
  • Pick a project: Here’s a cliché – if you’re on an island and you need to eat, don’t try to boil the ocean, start by frying a fish. We need to deliver results if we’re going to get buy-in on bigger transformation initiatives. Let’s pick something tangible where we can demonstrate an ROI, and then illustrate how we can carry that forward into broader successes.

Exciting conferences can be like New Year’s – there’s a huge celebration and we come away full of hope and ambition, but by February we’ve given up on our diet and we’re back to watching the world go by. Let’s make a pact … not this time! We can’t travel to Wonderland, party with queens, smoke with caterpillars, and come back as if nothing’s changed. Everything’s different. The world is different.

It’s time to sink or swim. What’s your next move?