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Digital Platform Conductor Tools – A New Term For What I&O Leaders Need Now

By Roger Williams | April 07, 2021 | 2 Comments

Infrastructure and Operations LeadersInfrastructure, Operations and Cloud Management

I’m happy to announce that our Innovation Insight for Digital Platform Conductor Tools has published! You may be wondering what a Digital Platform Conductor (DPC) tool is and why I am excited about it. I’m bullish on this innovation because it addresses a neglected but critical digital business issue. Here’s the dilemma. Digital business makes enterprises more dependent on infrastructure than ever. At the same time, though, it has never been more difficult for I&O leaders to see what hybrid digital infrastructure they have and ensure it delivers value.

“Digital Platform Conductor tool” is the term Gartner is using to describe the rise of tools that enable I&O leaders to strategically manage across their infrastructure, regardless of environment or location. This is a trend we are seeing emerge from many different markets. Vendors in segments/subsegments such Cloud Infrastructure & Service Providers, Experience Management, Performance Analysis Tools, Data Center Technologies and Managed Service Providers, and Delivery Automation are all adding features for managing infrastructure outside of their traditional scope. While many of these vendors may want to become the “one tool to rule them all”, the breadth and depth required to play this role for all infrastructure now and in the future makes this impossible. Furthermore, the I&O leaders we talk to have heard those promises before, and they also realize a “magic tool” can’t save them.

What I&O leaders do need are tools that will work with what they already have, can meet them at their current level of maturity, and are flexible enough to adapt as they improve and as their needs change. I&O leaders need a coherent view of infrastructure across all lifecycle stages. They need to enable workloads to flow to the right environments to meet business needs with minimal costs and risks. Finally, they need to demonstrate the value of infrastructure investments and have a fact base for guiding future improvement efforts (see figure below). While this is a lot to ask, digital business is demanding this of I&O leaders, and vendors that can best answer the call will be richly rewarded.

While no vendor can deliver the full scope of DPC tools in a single product today, the capabilities needed do exist in various forms across different markets. We expect this vision to become reality as strategic technology trends like Distributed Cloud and Anywhere Operations put more pressure on I&O teams to respond quickly at scale to digital business needs. I&O leaders are already trying to get all the different players in the digital business orchestra to create beautiful music in the form of compelling customer experiences. DPC tools will play an important role in helping them do so. Please do not hesitate to set up an inquiry with myself or my coauthors, Dave Cappuccio and Dennis Smith, to explore this emerging space further.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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  • Andrew Sweeney says:

    Hey Roger,

    You are 100% correct that this is what is needed. You could call our platform a DPC (shameless plug: and we have seen staggering results with our clients – often reducing the cost of an IT infrastructure program by 50% or more (And that’s not a made up number.) Any infrastructure person facing a large transformation (i.e. all of us) should really consider evaluating these tools – there are several out there not mentioned in the article. I can’t imagine the future of infrastructure without them.

  • Linda King says:

    On behalf of everyone at Cloudsoft (, we are delighted to see this new term coming to light and excited to be name checked in this new report as a representative DPC vendor. Thanks Roger!