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Gartner IT Symposium Keynote: Re-Imagine IT

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This year's keynote urged IT leaders to Re-Imagine IT.

So, what does that mean? According to Gartner, IT must re-invent itself due to disruptive forces that risk the very existence of the BUSINESSes IT empowers. Cited examples included the effects of online music exchange and I-tunes on the music business, the effects of digital media on newspapers, and so forth.

They advocate a focus on three bold concepts:
* Be a Postmodern Business
* Focus on Simplicity
* Conduct Creative Destruction

Being a Postmodern Business means to NOT do the safe, expected thing. It means breaking rules. The analogy is to postmodern architecture, where creative, innovative combinations are embraced versus rigid adherence to past practices.

Regarding Simplicity, they what they are talking about is a substantive focus on context awareness and intent, inferring what the user is trying to accomplish and making it very easy for them to do it. It also means embracing mobile platforms in a major way. By 2015 there will be 4 times the development being done on iOS and/or Android platforms than there will be on traditional PC OS platforms. Users want simply solutions that are easy to use. Gartner advises investment in user Experience experts.

And with regard to Creative Destruction, what they are saying is to re-invent things that may have been previously considered as sacred. Yes, some things can be rebuilt from scratch and in doing so, they can be made more simple, more powerful, more adept to change more responsive to business needs.

A couple of interesting points:
* The spend on IT over the next 4 years will be flat or declining due to global economic pressure.
* A move to mobile computing is underway and mobile app development is not only growing, it will overtake traditional app development within 4 years.
* The concept of a singular enterprise data warehouse is dead. The new vision, referred to as Big Data, is an aggregation of data from content management systems, cloud sources, databases and other complex data sources. The new frontier in this regard is about pattern recognition.

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