Today marks the first day of Gartner’s Symposium ITxpo event. The event, which attracts IT leaders from the world’s leading companies, helps to guide the IT landscape and education for the coming few years. With Mubaloo at the event, we will be delivering a daily overview of some of the key topics being discussed.

Helping to set the agenda for 2016, Dave Aron, VP & Gartner Fellow led the 2016 CIO Agenda session focusing on the role CIOs need to play. During the talk, Dave discussed how businesses need to become creative about where funds for digitisation will come from, especially to help companies evolve to compete against digitally enabled threats.

To help companies navigate the fast changing landscape, Gartner recommends that leading companies should think about their business and its operations as a platform. As one example, Ocado has created its own platform which it makes available to brick and mortar stores.

Ocado’s platform enables partners to operate the entire customer shopping process using integrated software systems. These include the interfaces with their customers (website and apps), management systems for supply and inventory, management and control systems for the fulfilment centres, and software to optimise delivery routes and to operate contact centres.

The platform, which utilises robotics, IoT and smart machines launched in February this year and is already in use by a number of retailers, including Morrisons. By creating a platform, Ocado is able to further extend its reach and expand its operations, whilst also helping other retailers to streamline their operations.

Gartner identifies that there are five main platforms that CIOs should focus on creating throughout their businesses:

  1. Business model platform
  2. Leadership platform
  3. Talent management
  4. Delivery platform
  5. IT infrastructure platform

To help create these new platforms, Gartner recommends that CIOs look at a Bimodal IT journey, whereby there are two very distinct groups in IT: one taking care of the traditional IT operations, with the other exploring and developing infrastructure to support the next-generation of applications and services. So far, Gartner’s research shows that 38% of CIOs are on a Bimodal journey.

The session revealed that people issues are the biggest issues holding companies back, with talent being a problem that isn’t being addressed enough. Demand for digital and technical skills are on the increase and the talent pool is increasingly diminished, leading to talent being IT’s burning platform, with 49% of CEOs and 66% of CIOs saying talent management is at crisis levels, according to Gartner. To help companies deal with the talent crisis, Gartner recommends that CIOs should think of vendors and service providers as an extension of their talent pool.

One of the key benefits of working with external resource, is that these vendors can bring experience from different industries, along with specialised technology knowledge, to help organisations mobilise operations.

Algorithms Rule
Big data is undoubtedly one of the key enablers for companies creating platforms, as data will help to drive the value of any platform. Whilst big data has been a big topic for a few years now; Gartner argues that algorithms are the most essential part that make digital business work.

Anyone who works in digital would be hard pressed to argue against that point; algorithms are the things that make sense of big data and help to drive innovation. It is algorithms that help to reveal trends or insight from big data and are the things that will define products and services in the IoT economy.

According to Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard, Algorithms are where the real value with digital business lies and that Algorithms are leading to the post-app era. The post app era, according to Gartner will see people move away from apps to instead rely on virtual assistants to guide us through our daily tasks. Click here to read more about Sondergaards views.

CIOs need to be the trusted ally of the CEO
Gartner argued that to be a digital leader, CIOs need to become the trusted ally of a CEOs to help with the digital transformation and put in place the right frameworks.

With this, Gartner posed a number of questions:

  • Decide your level of digital courage?
  • Digitising operations?
  • Digital product extensions
  • New markets?

Check out the video below to hear Mubaloo’s Sarah Weller discuss the session.

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