December 2020

A Best of … Compilation

Here a short – end of year-  look back at the Gartner research I authored or coauthored during 2020.

In total this included close to a hundred notes, that sounds like a huge number but the majority of those were related to the quarterly forecasts and forecast outlook presentations we publish as a team for the different vertical industries we track. If we exclude those for a minute I lead authored close to ten and coauthored about thirty notes during 2020.  Below some of the highlights:


Towards the end of the year we have Gartner ITxpo and Symposium (be it a virtual one this time) which launches the publishing of the Gartner CIO Agenda, I coauthored on the summary for Belgium and Netherlands:

2021 CIO Agenda: A Belgium and Netherlands Perspective

15 December 2020|The 2021 Gartner CIO Survey indicates Belgium and Netherlands CIOs have demonstrated how technology supported enterprise resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future CIO success depends on the ability to deliver and scale digital capabilities that will drive enterprise growth. Coauthored.


Closely followed by the annual series of predicts looking ahead, this year I lead the one for cloud:


Predicts 2021: Building on Cloud Computing as the New Normal

14 December 2020|2020 events have accelerated cloud adoption to the point where it is the de facto new normal. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders should reject any new project that does not follow “cloud first” as a guiding principle.


And contributed with own predicts to:


Predicts 2021: CSP’s B2B Will Pivot Forward With Edge and Digital Competencies

07 December 2020|Communications service providers are accelerating their digital services growth while facing increasing competition from new and existing vendors. Product leaders at CSPs should engage ecosystem partners for building 5G, edge, SASE or CPaaS services with new API-driven and B2B2C business models. Coauthored.

Predicts 2021: Navigating Through the Changes for Vertical Industries

10 November 2020|Nimble tech providers alter their product and services portfolio as business models change, more so in a postpandemic world. Product leaders selling into different industries will use approaches directed by composable architecture, hyperautomation, AI and CX techniques to address evolving needs. Coauthored.


In October a Gartner team of analysts coordinated a special Trends Insight Report on the future of tech providers


Tech Providers 2025: Strategic Transformation Drives Growth — A Gartner Trend Insight Report

22 October 2020|Every business is becoming a technology business and this phenomenon has profound implications on all facets of the technology provider industry. This special report is a collection of research that highlights the long-term changes in the industry and the strategic actions that are necessary now. Coauthored.


My main personal contribution to this report was below cloud inspired outlook on the future of the competitive landscape. We discuss 4 trends  shaping the competitive future (further cloudifcation, bundling, composability and regulatory balkanisation).


Tech Providers 2025: Strategic Impacts to the Competitive Landscape

16 September 2020|Four global trends will change the competitive landscape significantly over the next five years. Technology and service providers aspiring to thrive or survive into and beyond 2025 must evaluate and adapt their product, market, staffing and other strategies to stand out from the competition.


Regarding this regulatory balkanisation trend the below is also a good read


Market Trends: Europe Aims to Achieve Digital Sovereignty With GAIA-X

04 August 2020|GAIA-X is a European approach, driven primarily by Germany and France, to achieve digital sovereignty through a federated data infrastructure. Technology and service providers must evaluate the impact of GAIA-X on their go-to-market strategy to support European clients. Coauthored.


Below notes address the core of my coverage: the role of cloud and edge in vertical industries, specifically in the financial services and telecom segments .


Pivot Forward With Gartner’s Vertical Industry Strategy Guide 2020

10 July 2020|Business value exists in an industry context. Gartner’s vertical strategy guide provides an overview of research that will help leaders at technology and service providers formulate a pragmatic industry strategy, which will help capture growth opportunities across industry markets and technologies.


Market Insight: Cloud Service Strategy 2.0 for CSPs

24 February 2020|Most communications service providers have failed to make a success of their cloud IT services. With the arrival of cloud-based SD-WAN and NFV services, CSP product managers should review their cloud initiatives and restrategize for success. Coauthored.

Use Gartner’s Cloud Heat Map for Banking and Investment Services to Adapt Your Banking Roadmap

21 January 2020|Banks are increasing their investments in public cloud with the overwhelming majority still investing in private cloud deployments. Product managers targeting banks should use Gartner’s heat map to guide their cloud product and
deployment roadmaps to stay competitive and offer innovation. Coauthored.

Talking about cloud, we published the 7 essential elements of enterprise cloud strategy in a convenient powerpoint, of which our publishing team did a summary translation for the Chinese market

7 Elements for Creating a Pragmatic Enterprise Cloud Strategy

07 October 2020|Despite the increasing popularity of cloud services, enterprises continue to struggle with creating and implementing a comprehensive cloud strategy. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders can use the seven best-practice examples in this research to strengthen their cloud strategies.

Summary Translation: 7 Elements for Creating a Pragmatic Enterprise Cloud Strategy



Last mention: the special analysis we did in the first half of the year on the impact of the pandemic on global IT spending by Industry



Forecast Analysis: Global Industry Recession Scenario

ARCHIVED21 April 2020|This document analyzes a recessionary scenario of the IT spending forecast by vertical industry, as a result of COVID-19. In this scenario, industry IT spending is set at $3.12 trillion in 2020, a negative growth of 7.3% in constant currency, with significant variations by industry.



And now onto 2021, that will hopefully pan out to be a bit less of a “rollercoaster”.

Gartner's Top 20 Emerging Technologies and Trends Topics for 2020

Here’s our final “20 for 20” view on the top 20 Emerging Technologies & Trends (ETT) client topics across the full 2020 year. This list is informed by Gartner’s ETT focused research agenda designed to help our Technology & Service Provider (TSP) clients improve their product and service offerings.

At Gartner, our research analysts speak with thousands of clients across the globe to help them succeed amidst the ever increasing demands of today’s technology fueled business environment. In 2020, our ETT analyst team addressed nearly 11,000 unique discussion topics as part of our daily client interactions. The following top 20 list (see figure below) represents the technologies and trends our clients deem most critical to their strategies for future success.

Health and safety challenges related to COVID-19 served as the primary backdrop for our client discussions in 2020, in stark contrast to 2019. As we look to 2021 and the anticipated global economic recovery, we see continued interest in topics related to emerging business risks, digital transformation and cybersecurity. As a result, integrated risk management (IRM) topped our list in 2020.

We also continue to see increased interest in the wider adoption of digital technologies to support an employee base that is now physically separate due to stay-at-home mandates across the globe. Technologies such as smart spaces, digital risk management (DRM), secure access service edge (SASE) and zero trust network access (ZTNA) are emerging as critical needs in this new working environment. Gartner’s 2020 Strategic Technology Trends for Product Leaders report explores these technologies in greater detail.

To learn more about IRM and how digital risk can be more effectively managed, read our latest research – “Emerging Technologies: Digital Risk Management is the Next Big IRM Opportunity” (Gartner subscription required). In it, you will learn how IRM enables greater clarity and understanding of digital risks. In addition, you will discover why risk management tech and service providers should use Gartner’s definition for IRM to address digital transformation requirements that cannot be met by outdated, legacy GRC software.



Prioritize Marketing Operational Excellence in 2021

Operational effectiveness is getting a mini-makeover with the phrase “operational excellence” taking its place in business lexicon. A review of earnings transcripts and financial analyst calls shows that business executives across industries as diverse as retail, life sciences and manufacturing refer to operational excellence while discussing 2021 plans. Consider these statements by CEOs:

Execution in this challenging year continued to be guided by our enterprise strategic priorities of accelerating profitable growth, driving productivity and operational excellence, and empowering people.
In pursuit of operational excellence, we’ve established operating targets designed to reduce the environmental footprint of operations while also reducing operating cost.

Operational excellence is more inspirational than operational effectiveness, reflecting pressing mandates in business to address disruption and support digital experiences and innovation. Still, we cannot overlook Harvard Business School’s Michael E. Porter’s advice in “What Is Strategy” from 25 years ago, where he states that operational effectiveness is important, but not the sole ingredient to business success. Operational excellence must be accompanied by strategy.

What does this mean for CMOs? Today’s CMOs must continue to eliminate inefficient processes, improve marketing results, motivate employees and support agility—all while ensuring that marketing programs are aligned to business strategy.

As a CMO, where can you begin? Here are ways to make marketing operational excellence a priority in 2021:

Document key elements of your strategy, establishing a plan for moving from your current marketing state to a desired future state. See “Strategic Plan on a Page for Marketing Leaders, 2020-2021.”
Employ a marketing operations function. Develop well-defined responsibilities to avoid placing unrealistic demands on the new role. See “Marketing Operations Survey 2020: A Successful Function That Requires Change to Sustain.”
Deploy a marketing work platform to better manage, prioritize and align projects to business goals. Gartner clients can review market trends and vendor categories in the report, “Market Guide for Marketing Work Management Platform.”

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