December 21st, 2017

More from the 2017 Gartner ITxpo in Barcelona

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In November 2017 Sentia was present at the Gartner ITxpo, one of the most important conferences for CIOs, with more than 5.000 attendees from all over the world. Bringing together Gartner analysts, top industry experts, leading vendors and CIO’s of all major corporations and organizations, this event is an opportunity to deep-dive in the latest trends and understand their strategic impact, access Gartner research first-hand, discover new ways of addressing key challenges and connect with peers in the IT-Industry.

In our Video Blogs ‘live’ from the event we already addressed some topics like Blockchain, IT in Education, IOT and Artificial Intelligence (see our Vimeo-page). Below you will find some more insights from the event.

Blockchain is still risky business

One of the hottest topics on everybody’s mind is blockchain. The hype in the media, events and conversations is undeniable. By 2020, Gartner predicts that blockchain-based cryptocurrencies will generate 1 billion dollars of business value in the banking industry. However, the technology is still in its early days with critical issues like security, scalability and the much needed cultural shifts. In fact, according to Gartner, only 3% of blockchain projects actually go into production and by 2023 only 10% of businesses will achieve any radical transformation with this technology.


Also, whilst combining blockchain and IoT may open up a world of business opportunities, blockchain technology is still too immature and risky and has a long way to go before all requirements are able to positively impact the business. As a result, in the 2-5 years it will take before blockchain starts making sense for real business, Gartner recommends pacing its development by focusing on experimentation in the next couple of years, then starting low-scale and low-risk pilots before scaling up once blockchain starts becoming mainstream, but always with a business and technology exit strategy.

Artificial Intelligence in business will require a phased step-by-step approach


Another hot topic that is starting to infiltrate various business areas is artificial intelligence. Although there have been continuous advances in this technology, its application with actual business impact is still limited. Both skepticism and concerns about unleashing something that humans will not fully control and that will have a major impact on society, hinders AI development and penetration. According to Gartner, 2018 will deliver some transformative bots that will start to highlight their potential. The investment in chatbots focusing on improving customer experience is a way to clearly link AI to an immediate business value. Additionally, since any effective chatbot will need to involve humans, it will showcase how AI and humans are not incompatible, easing major concerns and opening new lines of research, development and application. By 2021, Gartner predicts that more than 50% of businesses will spend more annually on bots and chatbot creation than on traditional mobile app development.


Managing talent and building competencies is one of the major challenges for CIO’s ahead


At the speed at which the world is changing, new challenges arise and these will require new skills and capabilities within organizations. By 2018, Gartner analysts forecast a major job churn in global IT services that will drop 80.000 people from more traditional IT functions (exclusively technology-related), but add 100.000 people that will need to be versatile, have a different background and skill set (multiple roles and more business-related). Additionally, fears about artificial intelligence eliminating jobs are justified, but, Gartner research predicts that the net result will end up being positive: by 2020, about 1,8M jobs will be eliminated, while 2,3M will be created.


The critical issue with all the major changes that will affect both the IT and business sides is how to ensure the business is able to manage talent adequately and have the right competencies within the organization. Unfortunately, there is not one single best formula to solve this issue and one can expect external integrators to be facing the same problems. However, since this is the fast changing reality, businesses will need to control the fear of the path ahead, take small steps and keep learning and adjusting throughout.

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