Here are 10 sessions you need to attend at the 2017 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando

By Rado Nikolov

The 2017 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo will explore new ways to approach the top challenges IT leaders face today. If you have the opportunity to attend in Orlando, Florida, 1-5 October, you’ll receive insight into future trends and explore new ways to approach your business challenges. 

You’ll get the first look at the research and predictions you need to plan your next digital projects with confidence. Gartner analysts, industry experts, peers and solution providers will be on hand to inspire, share and converse on how you can become a more successful IT leader in our rapidly changing, digital-focused world.  

This year’s conference will have 848 sessions, which can be just a bit daunting when it comes to choosing the best ones to attend. I’ve pulled a list of the 10 I’m most excited about to get you started:

1. Opening Keynote: Creating Digital Value at Scale

  • Peter Sondergaard, EVP Research & AdvisoryLeigh McMullen, Research VP 
  • Tina Nunno, VP & Gartner Fellow
  • Monday, 2 October 2 at 9:30 - 10:30 AM
  • Digital business is real, but how do you build momentum to scale and create value? How can you amplify the power of your people, your culture, and your technology platform to deliver breakthrough value? The Opening Keynote will provide practical advice and inspiration — no matter where you are on your digital journey. 


2. The 2018 CIO Agenda: Mastering the New Job of the CIO

  • Andy Rowsell-Jones, VP Distinguished Analyst
  • Monday, October 2 at 11:15 AM – 12 noon
  • The "job" of CIO must grow and evolve as digital business spreads, and disruptive technologies, including smart machines and advanced analytics, reach critical mass. The complication is, for many CIOs, the path forward is unclear. What powerful practices should CIOs and IT leaders adopt to position themselves and their organizations to face the coming challenges and opportunities? This session will provide an answer, helping CIOs plan their 2018 leadership agenda.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​3. The Cloud Computing Scenario: Strategy and Tactics to Live By

  • Daryl C. Plummer, VP & Gartner Fellow
  • Monday, October 2 at 2 - 2:45 PM 
  • The cloud phenomenon continues to grow. As many companies have moved to a cloud-first position, many others are finding they need advice in structuring their overall cloud journey. This presentation will describe the state of cloud computing, major strategy elements and will explore some tactics critical to driving cloud success.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​4. IBM: The Power of Creative Disruption

  • Marie Wieck, GM IBM Blockchain
  • Monday, October 2 at 3:15 – 4 PM
  • CIOs are facing unprecedented demands to help drive product, service, and operational transformation, a whole new game that takes ingenuity, initiative and inspiration to innovate, play and win. Learn how to leverage cloud, cognitive and blockchain to create new value and gain insight into where your disruptive power lies. 


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​5. Gartner's Top Predictions: Pace Yourself for Sanity's Sake

  • Daryl C. Plummer, VP & Gartner Fellow
  • Tuesday, October 3 at 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
  • The future is filled with disruption. But, the pending disruptions are taking on new forms. The relationship between people and machines are changing forever and our expectations for how the world will evolve are changing too. The presentation explores Gartner's top predictions that herald the change we all see coming but few understand. 


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​6. Maverick: Fixing IT's Diversity Problem Requires a Focus on Inclusion

  • Carol Rozwell, VP Distinguished Analyst
  • Tuesday, October 3 at 2:30 - 3:15 PM
  • Encouraging girls to pursue a career in STEM disciplines is only one step in fixing the lack of diversity problem that plagues IT organizations. This presentation examines proven practices from IT organizations that have successfully tackled the thorny issue of inclusion. 


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​7. IBM: Exponential Technological Capability: Capitalizing on Multi-Clouds

  • Denis Kennelly, GM IBM Hybrid Cloud
  • Tuesday, October 3 at 1:45 – 2:15 PM
  • You: who architects disruption to reshape IT Hear how CIOs are architecting disruption - powering business innovation and reinvention in a multi-cloud (public, hybrid and private) world to deliver value to the enterprise. Learn how you have the power to innovate no matter how complex your IT environment.


8. IBM: Applying Next Generation of Technologies to Your Data to Drive Growth

  • Bala Rajaraman, IBM Fellow and CTO Cloud Platform Services IBM
  • Don Boulia, GM Cloud Developer Services IBM
  • Tuesday, October 3 at 3:45 – 4:30 PM
  • It takes new levels of insight to win in today’s digital world. To beat the competition, organizations need to make relevant and timely connections with customers and employees. Content must be delivered in context – matching real-time insights from multiple data sources using both traditional analytics and cognitive solutions.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​9. IBM: Role of the CIO: Creating Smarter Apps and Services 

  • Ismail Amla, Managing Partner, GBS IBM
  • Steve Wilder CIO/CFO City Furniture
  • Wednesday, October 4 at 3:15 – 4 PM
  • You: who inspires co-creation How can you design a growth business through a digital strategy that starts with the customer and infuses cognitive / AI? Quickly build smarter applications & services that use the latest technologies, like blockchain, IoT, machine learning & AI/cognitive to transform experiences and reimagine business models


​​​​​​​10. To the Point: Storytelling for Culture Change

  • Christie Struckman, Research Director
  • Wednesday, October 4 at 4:30 – 5 PM
  • Digital business is driving change. CIOs are important business leaders. Change can only happen when a critical mass of employees take ownership of the change process. CIOs need to learn to use storytelling as a powerful tool for engaging employees in the change process. This session will explore the value of storytelling specific to culture change, will guide CIOs on how to create the five critical components of the story, and inspire you to craft your organization’s culture change story.