Highlights From Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Barcelona: Day 1

By Alexis Wierenga | 4-minute read | November 06, 2023

Executive Insights from Day 1 of Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Barcelona

Opening Keynote: How Generative AI is Changing the Human-Machine Relationship

A massively disruptive force, generative AI poses both opportunities and threats to nearly every organization. As our relationship with AI evolves from tool to teammate, Gartner Sr Director Analyst Gabriela Vogel and Distinguished VP Analyst Mary Mesaglio explored how we shape AI and AI shapes us.

To effectively implement game-changing AI in your organization, take these three steps:

  1. Be the executive AI guide: Lead the executive team to explore opportunities and risks. 

  2. Determine your optimal investments: Are you going to defend, extend, or upend your organization and industry position?

  3. Identify your opportunities: Explore whether to focus internally or externally based on your industry.

“If your data isn't ready for AI, then you're not ready for AI."

Mary Mesaglio, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner

Hybrid 3.0: A New Reality for Synchronous Work

In order to effectively engage employees in remote and hybrid work environments, you need to understand why strategic in-person interactions boost productivity. Matt Hancocks, Gartner Sr Director Analyst, shared innovative strategies to boost collaboration and productivity when primarily or sometimes-remote employees come together.

Matt Hancocks Speaking at IT Symposium Barcelona

“The question is not ‘how do we get them (back) to the office?’ It is, ‘how do we trigger a rich, immersive experience?'"

Matt Hancocks, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner

Physical colocation for synchronous work enhances collaboration by positively affecting:

  1. Perception: The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information. 

  2. Attention: The cognitive process of selectively concentrating on specific aspects of the environment. 

  3. Memory: The process of encoding, storing and retrieving information. 

  4. Social cognition: The mental processes that underlie social interaction, including understanding and predicting others' thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

What Good Looks Like — Stories of CIO Allyship

Allyship can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, a moment of learning and fuel for success — all that is to say, it’s not simple. CIOs and other executive leaders have an outsize opportunity to contribute to DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) by acting as allies to employees and colleagues in marginalized or underrepresented groups. To help attendees become allyship champions, Gartner Sr Director Analyst Tori Paulman highlighted stories of and learnings from CIOs on their journeys to allyship.

Tori Paulman speaking at IT Symposium Barcelona

“The CIO has more influence on a positive employee experience than the CHRO."

Tori Paulman, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner

A champion ally:

  • Is committed: Makes deliberate and visible choices that reflect importance.

  • Is affirmative: Takes intentional action to include those who have limited access.

  • Follows through: Sees to it that unintended harm is acknowledged and repaired.

Look Ahead to the Innovations That Will Change Everything

Technology is evolving at a particularly breakneck speed with new possibilities unlocked by advancements in AI. These innovations require navigating unprecedented territory. In this session, Daryl Plummer, Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst, dives into ten predictions that represent opportunities and/or threats to help CIOs prepare their businesses.

Daryl Plummer Barcelona

“Generative AI makes people better and more powerful personally and professionally."

Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner

Gartner’s top strategic predictions for 2024 and beyond are:

  1. AI makes us seem better than we are.

  2. AI productivity shifts geopolitical balance.

  3. The real value of neurodiversity spikes.

  4. Energy-aware operations are a competitive advantage or a major failure risk.

  5. GenAI supercharges legacy modernization.

  6. Robot workers outnumber people.

  7. Machine customers force CEOs to embrace new channels.

  8. Malinformation is a multifront threat.

  9. CISOs get more power.

  10. Unions of people form to combat machines.

About Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, The World’s Most Important Gathering of CIOs and IT Executives™, brings together thousands of executives every year to address the strategic needs of enterprise CIOs and their leadership teams.

Learn more about Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo and what's in store for 2024.

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Mary Mesaglio is a Managing Vice President, leading the Executive Leadership Dynamics team, where she also contributes as an analyst. Ms. Mesaglio's research has a practical bent and is focused on helping enterprises to transform, innovate and change their culture. Much of her recent work has focused on how to motivate employees who are feeling crisis fatigue, critical actions for leaders during a crisis, how to turn values into action and what it takes for humans to really transform. Ms. Mesaglio is on a mission to help large enterprises harness behavioural science to lead teams and change behaviors. She is a frequent keynote speaker at Gartner events and externally. Ms. Mesaglio is Canadian and is based in Barcelona, Spain. She has traveled extensively in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She speaks English, Spanish and French fluently, is working on her Catalan, and would love to learn Japanese one day.

Gabriela Vogel is a Senior Director Analyst with Gartner Executive Leadership. Seasoned in leading strategic business transformation programs and dealing with adversity across different continents and industries, Ms. Vogel advises executives with a pragmatic vision on how to lead in times of change by balancing off the human factor in their decision-making process. She supports executives by identifying critical adversity and designing possible strategies for tackling each of them. Before joining Gartner, Gabriela worked as a strategy & transformation executive. During this period, she led the go-to-market implementation, post-merger integration, cost optimization, and operational improvement programs in global organizations. Also, she designed and implemented behavioral change management offices in several industries, working in partnership with several research institutes in France and Germany.

Matt Hancocks is a Senior Director, Analyst at Gartner where Dr. Hancocks covers Executive leadership, organizational development, organizational change and culture and organisation design. He has been helping CIOs adapt and change behaviors in order to support major transformational programs through a focus on leadership behavior, organizational culture, diversity initiatives and organizational change - All with a view to enhancing the human potentials of individuals, teams and the organizations to fulfilling organization purpose. He also facilitates workshops for CIOs and other leaders in relation to leadership development, organizational design, culture and change.

Tori Paulman is a Research Analyst in Gartner's Employee Experience Technology team covering digital workplace leadership and strategy, digital employee experience, the workplace experience application market, strategies for hybrid work, and Gartner's 2022 digital worker experience research study. Prior to joining Gartner, Tori has extensive career experience as a leader of digital employee experience, technology adoption, and employee resilience. They offer differentiated depth and breadth of knowledge in industries ranging from software development, entertainment, higher education, financial services, retail, and professional services. Tori's focus is on ensuring that employees have a validating, supportive, and engaging experience with work. They help Gartner clients achieve their goals by sourcing and implementing the right combination of technologies, and applications, and cultural practices to ensure their employees are productive and happy at work. Tori is passionate about the importance of inclusion and facilitating opportunities for people to have positive interactions with technology that makes their work, and lives, better. Tori has spent more than 25 years in IT roles cultivating an empathetic IT methodology which seeks to balance the narrative that so often focuses on the adoption of new tools and drives the conversation back to the most valuable asset of your organization, people. Their work centers on the human experience, because they believe that fostering innovative performance requires that Digital Workplace programs must be focused on something deeper than user experience, they must be focused on the human experience. Years of Experience: - 2021 beginning at Gartner - 25 years in IT industry - 7 Years Financial Services - 7 Years Entertainment - 6 Years Retail - 5 Years Professional Services for Non-Profit and Higher - 1 Year Software Development, specifically BPM

Daryl Plummer is a managing vice president, chief of Research and chief Gartner Fellow. He is chief of research for cloud computing and a primary analyst covering multiple cloud topics, business process management, SOA and Web technologies. Mr. Plummer manages the Gartner Fellows Program, which is designed to allow senior analysts the opportunity to explore new research ideas and to elevate the Gartner culture and brand with clients. He is also chief of Research for emerging trends and interacts with clients on topics ranging from application development to enterprise architecture. With Gartner for 15 years, Mr. Plummer has more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining Gartner, he was division director and technology coordinator for the State of Florida’s Department of Management Services. Mr. Plummer was also data center director of the Technology Resource Center, at the time one of the largest data centers in Florida. In this capacity, he managed the introduction of statewide client/server systems and methodologies. He was instrumental in the creation of the state’s TCP/IP network and designed and implemented the Florida Communities Network and Florida’s economic Internet presence.

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