Gartner Calls On IT Heroes - InformationWeek
Software // Information Management
05:06 PM
Connect Directly

Gartner Calls On IT Heroes

"Most IT organizations can't deliver new value because their DNA is fundamentally about control," says Gartner fellow Jennifer Beck.

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in San Francisco on Monday, a series of Gartner analysts put out the call for information technology heroes -- those IT pros willing to reject mediocrity and embrace innovation.

Innovation is in short supply inside corporate IT organizations, according to Gartner VP Steve Prentice. "IT is a stagnant and declining market," he lamented, laying the blame at the industry's absence of ambition.

To illustrate his point, he made an example of Sprint's marketing. No longer does Sprint advertise call quality, as it did with its "pin-drop" commercials. Now the telecom company's message is that it has the fewest dropped calls.

In plainer terms, Sprint's ad copy might read, "We suck less than the rest."

"What kind of message is that?" Prentice complained. "Have we become so satisfied with mediocrity?"

We have, according to Prentice.

And the consequence of that complacency was made clear by Gartner research director Sandy Shen, who predicted the rise of China not just as a manufacturing power but as an innovator. "They could be the ones that come and eat your lunch," she warned.

Behind her, the projected image of a menacing dragon emphasized that point.

That's to say nothing of India, which receives some 80% of the global spending on IT outsourcing, according to Gartner. Other nations are rising, too. The competition will only get more intense.

In order to respond, organizations will have to innovate. And that isn't easy when IT today focuses on control. "Most IT organizations can't deliver new value because their DNA is fundamentally about control," said Gartner fellow Jennifer Beck.

Asking a question that she had already answered to her own satisfaction, Beck mused, "Are we predicting the demise of the conventional IT organization?" She paused for a moment before concluding, "Yes."

The road to redemption lies in service rather than technology. "Users don't care about which database you use," said Beck.

Make technology friendly and make it work, brands be damned, was the message of the morning. "Insulate users from technology, don't isolate them from it," said Gartner fellow Daryl Plummer.

And network architecture needs to reflect a service orientation, too. It has to be flexible to accommodate new and changing services. "The winning companies will be the ones that deliver the best service," Plummer said.

Toward the end of the keynote, Gartner fellow Mark Raskino called the entire proceeding into question with a quote from George Bernard Shaw.

"The golden rule is there are no golden rules," Raskino said, which he followed with a challenge to go forth and innovate.

Presumably, Gartner clients get a bit more guidance.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll