Gartner Symposium, held this week in Cape Town, was the first on the research company’s world tour. Brand new research findings were presented for the first time, with concepts like the bimodal business, algorithmic business and the digital workplace about to become part of business’s strategic planning going forward.

Kathy Gibson reported from the conference.

Now for bimodal business

As organisations transition to digital business models, they are having to adopt a bimodal structure that allows them to run their traditional functions alongside new and innovative business models.

There are so many trends that are affecting the way businesses will be run in the future, and technology defined by algorithms lies at the heart of most of them, says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and head of research at Gartner.


Tech investments set for upheaval

In the new digital world, the way companies manage and buy technology will change.

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and head of research at Gartner, says that the new focus on algorithms will change what companies should do.


CEOs get on board with digitalisation

CEOs are beginning to change their attitudes to technology – and some of them are downright excited about it.

Gartner’s Mark Raskino says in the past CEOs would typically have been disinterested in IT.

The interest is being driven by the shift to digital business, where technology is embedded in the real world.


How to create the economy of connections

The CIO has a vitally important role to play in building a transformed digital business.

“It’s all about building an innovation competency,” says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and head of research at Gartner. “You need people who can nurture innovation.”


Which IT suppliers will survive?

As digital transformation becomes a reality and organisations around the world move towards the algorithmic economy, the way they consume and buy technology is changing – and IT suppliers that don’t keep pace with the change may struggle to compete.

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and head of research at Gartner, says that survival in the future is dependent on execution – and there are some characteristics shared by companies geared to succeed.


Disruptive technologies to look out for

Disruptive technologies are driving the new world of algorithmic business, with digital mesh and smart machines enabled by new advances in IT.

Brian Burke, research vice-president at Gartner, says the 10 technologies that will drive change fit into these three categories.


Digital workforce key to transformation

There won’t be any digital business in the future if organisations don’t start implementing a digital workforce.

Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann points out that the digital workplace is the internal counterpart to digital business. “Digital business is about changing the enterprise, while the digital workplace is about how we interact with each other, how we work together.”


What technology will we have in 2030?

In 2030 the world will look very different to the way it looks now; and technology will be a lot more pervasive. But technology directions shouldn’t be a total surprise, as the roots of what will develop in the future are in existence already.

It could be argued that trying to predict where technology will be in 2030 is a complete waste of time, says Gartner analyst Mark Raskino.


Threat response shifts to resilience

As the number and severity of treats is increasing, organisations have to move away from preventing attacks to figuring out how to respond to them with the least impact on the business.

“But CEOs do see that bigger risks coming,” says David Willis, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Research shows that 77% are concerned about new risk and higher levels of risk; 65% are concerned about the risk management of falling behind; and 83% feel that agility is increasingly important – so regardless of operational risk it is imperative for them to move into the digital world.”

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