News a month ago that research firm Gartner was canceling two of its showcase conferences hit the IT community like a bomb. Sure, things are tough out there, but the Gartner conferences have always been well attended and were thought to be a key moneymaker for the research firm.
The Gartner news was still front in center in my mind when I spoke with SHARE president Pamela Taylor last week on the results of a survey the IBM user group had conducted on virtualization adoption. SHARE has its annual Winter conference coming up in Austin from March 1 to 6 and I wondered how registrations were going.
The economy was clearly having some impact, says Taylor, but overall attendance will be good. “We are certainly seeing some people who would normally attend having challenges with travel budgets,” she says. “But we are also seeing registration trends that indicate we are going to have a healthy conference.”
The SHARE conference will have two major themes this year. The first being Total Enterprise Virtualization and the second being Service Orientation – The Foundation for IT Modernization. Sessions in the virtualization track include Data Centers of the Future, Microsoft Windows Virtualization in the Enterprise and Server Virtualization Technical and Total Cost Analysis. Such organizations as John Deere, the State of Texas, and Nationwide Insurance are on tap to share their experiences.
Taylor says the conference and sessions will very much be focused on moving the business forward, but she admits the state of the economy will be hard to avoid. “The conversations in the halls will be interesting,” she said. “I’m sure there will be a lot discussion around the different approaches organizations are taking to optimizing the budget and doing more with what they have available.”
“I think also there’s a recognition within the business world that they are dependent on these IT systems not only for keeping the business going, but also that as the business climate stabilizes and turns around, they’re going to be dependent more than ever on IT to gain competitive advantage and move back into a growth mindset.”
More information on the SHARE conference can be found at the organization’s Web site.
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