Gartner IT Symposium 2021: The CIO and Technology Executive Agenda for 2022

Michaël Renotte I 1:22 pm, 9th November

COVID-19 changed the way enterprises do business, triggering unprecedented volatility. Existing leadership and technology principles are not adapted to thrive in this new world. This year at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2021 EMEA held virtually from November 8 to 11, the CIO and Technology Executive Agenda explored the leadership actions necessary to maximize business value delivery during this period of volatility.

Mastering business composability

According to Gartner's annual survey of 2,387 CIO and technology executive in 85 countries and from all major industries, enterprises must embrace business composability to thrive through disruption in 2022 and beyond.

Business composability is the mindset, technologies, and set of operating capabilities that enable organizations to innovate and adapt quickly to changing business needs. It is built on applying the key principle of modularity to business assets to achieve the scale and pace required of business ambition.

"Business composability is an antidote to volatility", said Monika Sinha, research vice president at Gartner. "63% of CIOs at organizations with high composability reported superior business performance compared with peers or competitors in the past year. They are better able to pursue new value streams through technology, too", she added.

Investments in AI, cloud and security technologies support business composability

Artificial intelligence and distributed cloud are the two main technologies that a majority of high-composability enterprises have already deployed or plan on deploying in 2022. These technologies are a catalyst for business composability because they enable modular technology capabilities, as reported by Gartner analyst.

The survey reveals that cyber and information security is at the top of the list of planned investments for 2022, with 66% of all respondents expecting to increase associated investments in the next year. This is followed by business intelligence and data analytics (51%), and cloud platforms (48%). "There is a continued need to invest in cybersecurity as the environment becomes more challenging. A high level of composability would help an enterprise recover faster and potentially even minimize the effects of a cybersecurity incident", noted Monika Sinha.

High-composability enterprises leverage IT better

Gartner's report shows that, on average, high-composability enterprises expect greater increases in revenue and IT budget in 2022 than their moderate or low-composability peers. In 2022, surveyed CIOs and technology executives at high-composability enterprises expect their revenue and IT budgets to grow, on average, by 7.7% and 4.2%, respectively, while low-composability enterprises only expect both to increase by 3.4% and 3.1%, respectively. "Most high-composability enterprises set up strategic planning and budgeting as a continuous and iterative activity to adjust to change more easily", explained Monika Sinha. "Without big deficits to remedy elsewhere, CIOs can afford to invest in composability, especially for IT developers and business architects who can design in a composable manner", she observed.

Globally, IT budgets are expected to grow at the fastest rate in over ten years, with an average growth of 3.6% in overall IT budget for 2022 reported among all survey respondents.

Three domains of business composability

With volatility serving as a business driver for the foreseeable future, CIOs are in a unique position to advance the three domains of business composability identified by Gartner analysts: composable thinking, composable business architecture and composable technology.