Gartner IT Symposium – Day 2 Doubles Down on the Tech-defined Future

 In Digital Experience

On Tuesday I headed back (virtually) for day 2 of Gartner’s IT Symposium. While cybersecurity is my focus here at Stratascale, this event offers a breadth of sessions that mean I can get insights into the trends that will impact the customers I’m working with. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of here and now, but if the last 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that we need to prepare for the unexpected.

Gartner’s Top Strategic Predictions for 2022

With that in mind, I started the day with Daryl Plummer’s presentation Signature Series: Gartner’s Top Strategic Predictions for 2022 and Beyond – Leveraging What We Have Learned.  Daryl is an energetic and inspiring presenter, and explored the predictions (which are available here) without pulling any punches. While there was a lot of thought-provoking material in this session, and I could spent a lot of time on it, the key takeaway for Stratascale customers is the importance of securing critical infrastructure by investing in hardened, redundant Operational Technology (OT) systems. If, as Daryl predicted, a cyberattack within the next 3 years will cause so much damage to critical infrastructure that a G20 country will respond with a physical attack, there’s a compelling business case to invest now.

To pay or not to pay?

In a departure from tightly-produced, slide-heavy presentations, “Should You Pay the Ransom?” featured a conversation between Paul Proctor  and Sam Olyaei. As might be expected, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the “should you pay?” question, but the analysts offered useful ways to evaluate the issue. In amongst the detail were three key points for CISOs and IT leaders to bear in mind:

  • Firms who do pay only get on average 8% of their data back
  • CISOs can’t make the decision to pay or not pay alone
  • 90% of ransomware attacks are preventable

Stratascale’s Field CISO, Michael Wilcox, tackled this topic in a recent Stratacast on staying ahead of your attackers, which echoes many of the themes discussed in this session. A proactive approach to investment in protecting your organization from ransomware attacks, or the consequences of them is essential. These attacks are not just an IT issue, but a business issue, and need to be approached as such.

Connecting technology to the real world of healthcare

Later in the afternoon, I joined what was, in many ways, the most compelling session of my day. Many technology conferences explore concepts and models that seem disconnected from real-world business concerns, and it’s easy to assign topics like generative AI, hyperautomation and privacy-enhanced computing to the ‘theoretically interesting, in the context of long-term strategic planning’ bucket. Michael Shanler’s presentation Healthcare: Applying Strategic Technologies connected these high-level trends to real-world requirements.

Future disruptions

My day ended with another Daryl Plummer presentation, Seven Disruptions You Might Not See Coming: 2021-2026, which focused on issues that that enhance, extend, transform, reinvent or revolutionize existing markets, processes or even social orders.

Beginning with a theme that resonated from the keynote, as Daryl delved into the notion of “the Human Deal” – the idea that “treating people like people should be a no-brainer.” While this might seem self-evident (as Daryl acknowledged), it can be difficult to embed fundamental value for individuals into business logic.

While it is unlikely that concepts like ethics-embedded technology, the digital human economy and emotional experiences will find their way into a blueprint for current/near-term operations (such as a practical patient path in healthcare) they serve as a reminder that the technology trends that contribute to our ability to shape current norms may have impacts that are beyond our current planning scope.

How Stratascale can help

If the role of IT is to both enable the present and empower the future, it’s important that IT leaders be cognizant not only of line-of-sight opportunities and requirements, but of the broader implications of a digital world. Our Innovation Labs teams work with their COE colleagues to ensure that our customers are planning for the future as well as dealing with the here and now.

At Stratascale, we offer cybersecurity assessments that determine areas of weakness along with corresponding improvement strategies. Since we work with all major cybersecurity companies, we can design, engineer, and implement proven, mature solutions based on your risk vectors, needs, and budgets. These solutions, along with a good risk analysis, will reduce the likelihood of a ransomware attack or any other type of malware-induced business interruption.