The Gartner IT Symposium is an 11,000 strong show taking place this week in Orlando, FL. The overarching theme at this show has been the push to change IT from a cost center to a business-centric division that helps the enterprise or each unit make better business decisions. Since this is a general IT show and not a show focused a discipline within IT, it is difficult to get a pulse of the show. But it appears that collaboration is less vogue today than mobility and BI/Analytics.
This show is definitely attended by more established IT executives and vendors in the enterprise sector, which could be viewed as a positive and a negative. Although Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce 2018 had 40,000 attendees, the show was an absolute zoo. On the one hand, it was exciting to see all of the innovation around the cloud and the new companies rallying around the Salesforce.com echosystem, but the show lacked discipline and purpose as it related to IT.
It remains to be seen whether the contrasting audiences at the two shows (40K people under 40 years of age versus 11K people over 35 years of age) truly represent the changing of the firewall guard, but there is something to be said at the amount of real deal-making that appears to be going on here. The Gartner show is a significantly more adult show with significantly smaller numbers.