Day 2 Recap: Gartner Application Innovation and Business Solutions Summit

16 May, 2024
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Excited by the previous day’s momentum, attendees packed into the Augustus Ballroom at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas as guest keynote speaker Diana Nyad took the stage to kick off day two of the Gartner Application Innovation & Business Solutions Summit.

Nyad is the first—and only—person to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. The 74-year-old’s story was one of perseverance. She described the perils and failures she faced on her decades-long journey, including surviving a near-fatal sting by the world’s most deadly marine animal, the box jellyfish. She attempted the feat four times over thirty years before finally succeeding at age 64.

Due to exceptionally strong currents and unpredictable weather conditions, many told Nyad she should give it up; swimming shore-to-shore was a mathematical impossibility. But her message to the audience was one of resilience. She shared her secrets to battling hours of sensory deprivation, which included singing Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” 1,000 times to herself.

Her grit is founded in routine, she said. According to Nyad, the difference between a 13-hour-and-58-minute practice session and a 14-hour practice session is critical. “If you make concessions in practice, you’ll be asking yourself what kind of concessions you can make on the big day,” Nyad said.

She left the audience considering an important message: Don’t underestimate the value of your teams. It took more than 40 experts and 35 years to get Nyad across 110 miles of ocean. Failure is not a death sentence, but rather a sign that it’s time to pivot.

Motivated by Nyad’s successes, attendees converged on ballrooms throughout the resort to continue the discussion around AI implementation. Gartner Analyst Greg Leiter led a session about resetting the AI hype and sharing what’s necessary to successfully navigate the trough of disillusionment.

Esteban Garcia, CEO of Microsoft Services USA at Xebia, attended the presentation and had these three takeaways:

  1. The majority of GenAI will be delivered by application vendors, so leaders should be cautious not to overinvest in build as they descend the trough of disillusionment. Don’t rule it out completely, but spend judiciously.
  2. Preparation is important, especially in terms of data readiness and AI governance. To maximize value, focus on quick wins.
  3. Build your GenAI stack strategically and ensure that your applications align with business value.

In the evening, Xebia’s clients and partners gathered to continue the discussion over dinner. At Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas, the Xebia team led a conversation about the takeaways from day two and listened as Xebia’s clients shared what they felt was most valuable.

Tomorrow, Vipul Baijal, Chief of Strategic Accounts for Xebia, will take the Gartner stage for a fireside chat with top tech leaders from Sephora, AT&T, and Corporate One to discuss how they are navigating this new phase of digital transformation.

Esteban Garcia
Managing Director at Xebia Microsoft Services US and a recognized expert in DevOps, GitHub Advanced Security, and GitHub Copilot. As a Microsoft Regional Director (RD) and Most Valuable Professional (MVP), he leads his team in adopting cutting-edge Microsoft technologies to enhance client services across various industries. Esteemed for his contributions to the tech community, Esteban is a prominent speaker and advocate for innovative software development and security solutions.

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