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Top 5 Takeaways: Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2022

Last week, thousands of the world’s brightest minds in IT gathered in sunny Orlando, Florida for the long-awaited Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2022. We’re sharing Software AG’s top five takeaways from the event.

Laurie Austring Laurie Austring

Software AG’s Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2022 team has returned home from sunny Florida after a busy week that was jam packed with thought-provoking presentations, inspiring conversations, and smiling faces – it was great to be back in person!

Whether you attended a Software AG hosted session or chatted with us on the exhibition floor, we hope you learned, laughed, and enjoyed spending time with us.

Software AG had the pleasure of sponsoring this year’s IT Symposium/Xpo as a premier exhibitor. In addition to sharing and receiving insights on best practices, trends, and the future of IT strategies and enterprise technologies, we hosted sessions with some special guests.

Highlights included:

From day one, it was clear that the focus was not about specific technologies. What really resonated with us – and to most attendees, in our opinion – was a general desire to help organizations rationalize their portfolio and positively impact customer experience.

Most sessions and conversations were about leadership, management, and creating structure between people, processes, and technology.

If you couldn’t attend or pack everything into your schedule, our elite team of on-site experts highlighted five themes from the event that will impact the direction of IT in 2023 and beyond.

1. The best tool for acceleration is understanding what you currently have and modernizing your IT infrastructure

You must understand where you are in order to get where you want to go.

If there’s one thing to take away from this year’s IT Symposium/Xpo, it’s the importance of knowing what you have in terms of systems, processes, data, and technology – and creating or improving organizational structures to manage the entire ecosystem.

You may find that existing solutions aren’t providing the value you need them to. We saw a focus on the importance of modernizing IT infrastructure, especially from the perspective of portfolio rationalization and strategic cloud migrations.

The rise of management tools to help organize areas such as enterprise architecture, IT portfolios, and APIs can help to simplify the chaos, make sense of what you currently have available, and prioritize what needs to change.

Applications are one example. Your business relies on tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of different applications, and you want to ensure that every single one brings value to your organization. Through an application rationalization framework, you can unlock scaling ability, vitality, and adaptability of your IT landscape. You will save time, money, and other resources by reducing the need for all your applications to be monitored, refreshed, supported, and more.

The digital backbone and how organizations can create the truly connected enterprise

2. Customer experience (CX) is (still) king

The relevancy of customer experience has been a priority for years, and it’s not going away anytime soon. A Gartner VP in Customer Experience Research revealed during the event that 76% of Executive Leaders see CX as critical to meeting business goals, according to a Gartner study.

Throughout the many sessions related to CX, it was clear that CX correlates with revenue and an effective strategy is best achieved by communicating and collaborating between functions to reach common goals and outcomes – not just through a strong focus on the structures, operations, and metrics surrounding the initiatives.

3. Establish software strategies and systems – in addition to people – as your single source of truth

We all know “Joe in IT” who knows everything and everyone…but what happens if Joe leaves, and every documented strategy is locked inside of presentations and spreadsheets?

The U.S. has seen record-breaking turnover rates since 2020, which makes it crucial to have systems in place capable of capturing and documenting business and operational processes and tools, rather than relying solely on people to act as record-keepers.

As new people join an organization, they need to properly understand what’s available to them. Agility is unrealistic if processes are not controlled and transparent.

During a “Critical Execution” session, Gartner’s VP Analyst stressed the importance of optimizing the workforce by creating a “digital culture which will attract and retain talent, implement digital more effectively by integrating technology delivery with the wider business, and improve enterprise workforce productivity by exploring all automation opportunities.”

4. Sharing is caring (in your digital transformation journey)

As an IT Executive, how do you convince people to get behind your well-thought-out digital transformation strategy? Laying out the logical steps and necessary technology doesn’t cut it in most cases.

When you’re discussing any type of major change in an organization, the conversation goes far beyond financial and business impacts. There will be a natural focus, hesitation, and excitement about the positive and potentially negative implications this will have on people – your employees, customers, and partners. Use this to your advantage.

Translate your IT strategy by tailoring the discussion to explain why people should care about the potential business outcomes. Your message should be different based on the type of person and how it will affect them – whether in finance, HR, sales, or any other department.

Step-by-step plans can be shared after you have support for the big-picture strategy. Some tips we heard that stuck with us is to leave behind the buzzwords and complex “tech talk.”

Take a realistic approach by connecting with emotion, meaning, and the human impact. It will likely be more compelling than a logistical argument (that’s important too but can be discussed afterwards!).

5. People. Love. Socks.

We’re not sure whether it was the cold feet about returning to the in-person symposium or if everyone is gearing up for winter, but socks were the number one, most sought-after item across the exhibitor floor. If you’re looking for new and creative ways to keep your team happy (and warm) – socks seem to be one of the hottest items.

And that wraps up our top takeaways from this year’s IT Symposium/Xpo – keep an eye out for us at next year’s event!

P.S. – if you haven’t noticed this year, vendor selection and sales cycles take a long time.

Over the past 50 years, we’ve worked with more than 10,000 organizations and we’ve repeatedly seen that our customers know where they want to be years in advance, but they start searching for solutions too late. In the tech world, you’re often looking at buying cycles of one to two years, so the faster you engage with vendors, the more realistic it is to maintain your planned timeline.

The right provider can understand complex companies – in fact, Software AG prides itself on thriving in even the most complex use cases. So don’t be afraid to begin the conversation early, it may turn out to make a huge impact on maintaining the pace for your transformation.

If you want to learn more about anything we covered about the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2022, follow up on a conversation you may have had with us at the event, or in general want to know more about Software AG, drop us a line. We would love to connect!