Gartner Symposium / ITxpo 2018: key takeaways for AR professionals

Gartner Symposium Barcelona 2018 - keynoteThis year’s keynote theme: the Continuous Next Strategy

Gartner Symposium, Gartner’s flagship event in Europe, attracted more than 8,000 visitors this year, and met or exceeded expectations, at least mine. The analysts were brilliant, inspiring speakers on stage and great advisors in the one2one meetings.

This was the first time in Europe that Mike Harris delivered the keynote, having taken over from Peter Sondergaard in the summer. It was a hard act to follow: Many attendees knew Sondergaard as an exceptionally gifted and inspiring speaker. Harris was different, of course. His presentation was strong and dynamic – and he came across as being very present, open and humble.

Harris outlined Gartner’s “Continuous Next” concept, referring to how the pace of innovation is accelerating and disrupting business models, and outlining the need for organizations to adapt to be successful. CIOs must adopt the role of business innovator and enabler, he said, and must interact with C-suite leaders to secure the foundation of digital business. In the era of Continuous Next, the CIO assumes responsibility for digital products and therefore controls not only technology and operations, but should also drive cultural change for the benefit of digital or business transformation. CIOs must also consider digital ethics before adopting new technologies.

Harris also noted that traditional enterprise roles, including HR, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Legal, Supply Chain will change as they all become digital.

Gartner seeks growth areas in new roles, building on the CEB acquisition

The Gartner AR Forum brought together AR professionals to offer a Gartner Business Update. The growth curve looks pretty good for Gartner, with contract value increased by 16% CAGR (2010-2017). The CEB acquisition, a large deal at USD 3.3 billion, contributed nicely to the positive trend.

The acquisition also reflects a shift: Gartner’s ambition is to serve all roles within an organisation and to expand its offerings. We are seeing already new research and engagement models for business leader roles.

The Gartner TSP Research Framework is being  renewed on a role-based model, targeting General Managers, Product Managers, Product Marketers and Tech CEOs, and widening its scope to embrace smaller businesses. AR Professionals can expect new research frameworks. These changes also impact pricing, something we’ll discuss next week in our IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with Gartner.

Gartner is not only talking about trends and the need to embrace new business models and technologies, but is leading by example. Advanced analytical capabilities are becoming an integral part of research. In a move away from focusing solely on best practice, Gartner plans to focus primarily on the top performers (10%) and examine the reasons why they are outperforming their competition.

Peer insights, a new headache for AR pros?

Gartner Peer Insights teddy bear
The Gartner Peer Insights Marly the Meerkat stuffed toy

It’s very clear from Symposium that Gartner Peer Insights will gain importance, with future Magic Quadrants (MQs) relying on customer experience captured in Peer Insights instead of reference customers provided by vendors. This means that in the worst-case scenario, vendors who are behind the curve in scoring reviews on Peer Insights may be excluded from MQs, and at the very least, will see their ratings suffer.

So far, Peer Insights is available only in English: next year, Gartner is introducing AI-based translation to offer additional language versions. This is an important step for Gartner as it tries to diversify its user base beyond English-speaking markets.

Gartner is also introducing a “Voice of the Customer  ” report to complement MQs, based on feedback and ratings from end-users and designed to help buyers in vendor selection and purchasing decisions. This new format could become equally powerful as MQs.  Any AR professional who has not yet done so must start to pay the same attention to Peer Insights as to MQ‘s.

Other newly-introduced research formats are “Gartner Cloud Decisions”, an interactive platform for Gartner Technical Professionals subscribers, helping to determine a best-fit for cloud vendors, and “Gartner Market Opportunity Map”, providing analysis of market size, forecast and profitability opportunity, designed specifically to help technology business leaders prioritize investments, product development planning and portfolio management.

What’s more, Gartner plans to update its flagship MQs and the associated Critical Capabilities deep-dive reports more frequently than the current 12-month cycle.


Key takeaways from Gartner Symposium in Barcelona for AR professionals:

  • Peer Insights hasn’t yet reached all technology areas but will impact your world, which means a world where ARs have less control over client references for MQs
  • This will also change the analyst role over time, increasing a focus on data analysis, possibly at the expense of industry expertise and opinion
  • Today, Gartner monetises some of its user-generated content on research platforms such as GetApp and Capterra on a cost-per-lead model. Although right now, these are distinct from Peer Insights, how long will this last?


1 thought on “Gartner Symposium / ITxpo 2018: key takeaways for AR professionals”

  1. Pingback: Gartner Symposium / ITxpo 2019: key takeaways for AR professionals | Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR)

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