Gartner PPM Summit Recap

4 minute read

Sara Whitwer

I recently attended the Gartner PPM Summit in Washington DC, and I came home with many new ideas and concepts around digital business transformation. That is the great thing about a technology conference -you learn so much in such a short time, sometimes it takes a bit to process everything.

I have been reviewing my notes (you do take notes during conferences, don’t you?) and I thought I would recap some of the interesting sessions I attended.

Digital Business. Maximum Value

This opening keynote session reviewed the growth of Digital Business Transformation initiatives and the impact on cultural changes. Digital business is increasing the pace of change and making decision making more difficult, often due to the number of strategic choices. The session outlined the shift from a project to a product mindset, and to view investments similar to a venture portfolio, with a focus on value and benefits realization.

Project and Financial Management – an Integrated Approach

Upland Software was well represented at the Gartner Summit. Our session, “Project and Financial Management – an Integrated Approach” was presented by Philippe Ducas, General Manager, Enterprise IT Solutions, and Jonathan Fitzgerald, Solutions Consultant Manager. They illustrated the shift from traditional Project Portfolio Management that focuses on a project lifecycle towards Project and Financial Management that focuses on the customer lifecycle.

This topic resonated so well with the conference attendees, we broke all records for attendees. We actually had 5 times the number of people standing as did seats in the theater!

Winning in a World of Digital Dragons

This session’s key point was that every industry is becoming a digital industry. It reviewed three “digital dragons,” Alibaba Group, Amazon, and Tencent, and how these three grew through creating digital platforms, and an ecosystem of interconnected products. I found the Amazon story most interesting. From its original roots of a bookstore, it quickly created a huge eCommerce platform. From there, they leveraged the infrastructure they created in the cloud to execute on digital commerce and created a new digital business. Amazon Web Services now has revenue of over $25 billion, growing at more than 45% per year. More recently, Amazon has created a Digital Media Business with production studios and Amazon Prime Video, great examples of digital business transformation.

Enabling Innovation with Portfolio Management

This reviewed how organizations are enabling innovation through their technology portfolios. This is seen through a shift in focus from technology and process, to business enabling technology. Along with this is a corresponding change in capabilities, from system and service management, towards resourced product management. To be successful, however, organizations need to rebalance their technology investments towards digital transformation. An example of these investments are artificial intelligence / machine learning, customer and user experience management, cloud services, and business intelligence and analytics.

Deploying PPM Solutions to Optimize the Expanding Stakeholder Ecosystem

This session focused on people. The “stakeholder ecosystem” includes development, security, marketing, business development, finance, and legal, to name a few, and reflects the different roles throughout an organization who collaborate across multiple disciplines. Also, PPM leaders can become change agents. Leveraging a PPM solution, they can help stakeholders improve transparency, manage demand, improve workflow, and better align strategy.

In closing, let me give you three key takeaways from the Gartner PPM Summit:

  • Products are becoming platforms
  • Digital services are differentiators
  • Industry boundaries are blurring

Want to see an example of how to transform your project team and empower digital business? Then view our webinar “Extend Your PPM through Innovation” where we will review some key innovations from Upland Software that can help your digital transformation efforts. This webinar is On-Demand and you can view this valuable information at your own pace.


About Eric Feldman

Eric Feldman is the Senior Marketing Strategist for Enterprise IT Solutions at Upland Software. He has over 20 year’s experience working with IT Financial Management, IT Service Management and Project and Portfolio Management solutions.

Eric has an MBA from the LIU Post Campus of Long Island University.

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