So there was a crisis at Cannes. In fact there were two: the weather and the credit crunch.
When the weather turned sour, roads were closed, and there was a power outage the lasted all Monday morning, and worst of all, most of the beach was gone. Of course Gartner was there, the Expo was open, thanks to their own power-supply, but to be truthful that is not what we came for. Our aim was the Double Dutch presence in Cannes: social networking with Dutch colleagues and friends. And an event it was. Due to the weather the Golden Earring gig had to be moved to the Carlton hotel, which caused some logistical challenges, but otherwise it was everything we could have expected. You pick up more trends talking to three CIOs over diner than during four days running around an Expo hall.
The themes that Gartner announced are not new to us, in fact in most of them we have been building up capabilities over the past year:
Green IT, Unified Communications, Business Process Modeling, Metadata Management, Virtualization 2.0, Mashup & Composite Apps, Web Platform & WOA.
Another theme of course is what IT can do in a period of more difficult economic circumstances. Or could something have been done to prevent this crisis? Nothing much other than not giving risk manager the tools that suggested they understood the world. What went wrong? Money was too cheap thanks to the Central banks, there was so much money around that banks changed there risk profiles, and people became so greedy that they designed products that no one understood or needed, but still they were sold. It looked a bit like the Dubai real estate market: houses are ill-constructed on an artificial strip of land, with borrowed money, and they are sold and sold and sold for ever higher prices. But who wants to live in them? The answer of course is: no one, they will be forever empty, or converted to tourist resorts.
So what about all that: only one thing: keep it simple, listen to what is really happening, and use your brainpower for innovation, not for making straight forward matters complex.