Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Algorithms, Not Apps, Future of IT

Keynote speaker says companies must get algorithms right to capture piece of $1 trillion digital business opportunity

Data Center Knowledge

October 5, 2015

2 Min Read
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Algorithms, Not Apps, Future of IT
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)



This post originally appeared at The Var Guy

By Charlene OHanlon

The future of IT is digital, and algorithms are the drivers of success. That’s the message from the keynote address today at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015.

“If the most important thing you offer is data, you’re in big trouble,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president, Gartner Research. “Big data is not where the value is. By itself it may not be transformative. Algorithms are where the value lies.”

As analog revenues flatten and decline, businesses are shifting to new revenue for growth, he said. That represents a $1 trillion digital business opportunity. And much of that lies in algorithms. “Algorithms define the way the world works,” he noted.

The best part? Companies already have much of what can push them forward. The trick is making it work for them. To do that, companies first must know what they have.

“You must inventory your algorithms,” Sondergaard said. “Which ones define your most important processes? Key customer interactions? Then you must assign ownership to algorithms. Prioritize which should be public and which should be private. Then license, trade or sell those that are important but not critical to your business.

“Imagine a marketplace where tens of billions of algorithms are available,” he continued. “The algorithmic economy will power the next phase of machine-to-machine interaction.”

Gartner predicts that by 2020 smart agents will facilitate 40 percent of business interactions. “Users will have forgotten about apps,” Sondergaard said. “The post-app era is coming. Google, Amazon, Apple platforms will be agents.

“Agents enabled by algorithms will define the post-app era,” he said.

But, to make this vision of the future work, “we have to get the algorithms right.”

Sondergaard also discussed the changing role of the chief security officer in digital business, noting that by 2020 50 percent of large enterprises will have a digital risk officer who manages IT, OT (operational technology) and IoT risk, Gartner predicts.

“The risk and security officer of today is obsessed with hacks. But the new concerns are not just of protection, but also safety and quality,” he noted. “By 2017 IT organizations will spend 30 percent of their budget will be spent on risk, security and safety.”

The first step, he said, will be to create an infrastructure that is more resilient and shift security spending to focus on detection and response rather than “impossible protection.”

“You can’t control hackers, but you can control your infrastructure” he said.

This first ran at

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