Gartner IT Symposium

November 20, 2009
84 Views

I was lucky enough this week to get a complimentary pass to the Gartner IT Symposium (thanks Gartner!) where several hundred C-level executives gathered to hear the latest on the state of the IT industry. There were no real surprises in the opening presentation from Gartner: we face many years of slow growth and we will probably never see IT spending return to the peaks we saw in the middle of this decade.

What was fascinating was hearing the new Telstra CEO speak. It was a “Parkinson” talk show style, which is a new format for Gartner, and David Thodey strode onto the stage looking very cool and comfortable, while the Gartner hosts seemed a little nervous.

David kept the message very simple and what he said applies to most businesses in Australia today.

  1. Make sure new ideas or business developments have an ROI. Don’t let technology get ahead of the business value.
  2. Focus on your core competencies. What is your unique expertise and how can you provide customers with a great experience?

The first of these messages was bundled in with the topic of the National Broadband Network. Telstra’s role is still unknown as they work through the regulatory issues, and David believes the



I was lucky enough this week to get a complimentary pass to the Gartner IT Symposium (thanks Gartner!) where several hundred C-level executives gathered to hear the latest on the state of the IT industry. There were no real surprises in the opening presentation from Gartner: we face many years of slow growth and we will probably never see IT spending return to the peaks we saw in the middle of this decade.

What was fascinating was hearing the new Telstra CEO speak. It was a “Parkinson” talk show style, which is a new format for Gartner, and David Thodey strode onto the stage looking very cool and comfortable, while the Gartner hosts seemed a little nervous.

David kept the message very simple and what he said applies to most businesses in Australia today.

  1. Make sure new ideas or business developments have an ROI. Don’t let technology get ahead of the business value.
  2. Focus on your core competencies. What is your unique expertise and how can you provide customers with a great experience?

The first of these messages was bundled in with the topic of the National Broadband Network. Telstra’s role is still unknown as they work through the regulatory issues, and David believes the timeline is a way off as the design work isn’t completed and there are still unanswered questions on how it will be implemented. Although he supports the concept, he believes it is an incredibly difficult project that doesn’t have a great ROI at this point in time.

He is wary of investing in a technology before the business case is clearly defined, and questions how quickly consumers till take on this new technology. Today Telstra has only 5% of home users on 20mbs. On the other hand he points out that the Telstra network traffic is currently doubling every 8 years, and that growth is speeding up. He can also see great opportunities around education and schools and the huge household demand for video.

In illustrating the second key message about focusing on core competencies, David talked about the core of the Telstra business, networks and network services. Telstra will focus on improving customer service via offering network centric services and work side-by-side with IT vendors and systems integrators to deliver solutions to customers.

It was refreshing to hear a straight-forward and focused talk. Even made me start to think about buying some Telstra shares. Do you think David will have success at realising these strategies within Telstra?

Tracy Gumm
Program Manager
http://au.linkedin.com/in/tracygumm