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Live@Gartner Symposium: Why Industry Expertise Matters

*Photo courtesy of Gartner. Check out more at http://blogs.gartner.com/symposium-live-orlando/

The 2012 Gartner Symposium and ITxpo officially kicked off today in Orlando with industry-specific  sessions all day today. In this morning’s keynote, Gartner VP Andrew Spender ended the 45-minute session with a look back at the first Gartner Symposium in 1996.

It had only four industry sessions and the rest were all based on technologies. Under a slide that read, “IT Success Factors in the 90’s: Industry Doesn’t Matter,” Spender explained that in the 1990’s Gartner clients weren’t asking industry-specific questions, so they didn’t have the need for industry sessions.

Sixteen years later and Spender noted that this year’s Symposium has 81 sessions on 10 industries with 30 industry analysts. The slide on the screen read, “IT Success Factors in the 2010s: Industry Matters A LOT.”

As IT has evolved and matured, so have the questions CIOs are asking. Their questions focus much more on how to solve business problems, often specific to their industry, not technologies. To answer these questions, Gartner has developed analysts with extensive industry knowledge that are constantly diving deeper into these industries to answer the questions of today’s CIOs.

The same is true for vendors. A vendor needs to have knowledge of your industry to give you the best solution. A vendor that is unfamiliar with your industry limits its ability to help you use your IT solutions to solve real business challenges specific to your organization and the work you do every day. Their products should be developed to meet your specific organizational and industry needs.

If your IT vendors don’t know your market or the challenges you face regularly, you could add time and money to your purchase, implementation, deployment and upgrade processes. As you choose your IT vendors, consider their industry knowledge and it’s importance to making sure you have a solution that adds value to your organization quickly.

In the meantime, stay tuned to the Hyland Blog for daily updates on the Gartner Symposium. We’ll start tomorrow off by commenting on the opening keynote with some of Gartner’s top analysts.

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