In a world first, Gartner is giving local IT students the opportunity to engage with its global analysts in the closing panel discussion of this year's Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2007. 

Students from universities across the country have been invited to submit research notes based on the closing panel's theme: "Key Issues in the Consumerisation of IT: From Commoditisation to Socialisation". A Gartner selection panel will then judge the research and the top three entrants will join the analysts on stage to discuss their findings.
"This is the perfect topic for young minds who have grown up with technology and have embraced Web 2.0 as naturally as they breathe," says Debra Logan, Gartner research vice-president and conference chair. "They also have a special insight into its possibilities and we are hoping to hear some of these."
Consumerisation in IT has been a hot topic for Gartner internationally and has elicited a strong response from IT executives, many of whom are struggling with the challenges of integrating new appliances and applications into the corporate network.
"This is the first time Gartner has ever done something like this and we hope to draw on the social and technical experience of our youth.  These are the folk who are using the technology freely, but are not, as yet, constrained by the business world," Logan explains.
The competition is open to any student, or post graduate student under 30, studying IT at a South African university. The three selected authors will be flown to Cape Town to attend the Symposium and will be hosted by Gartner Africa for the duration of the symposium.
Students wishing to enter can contact Bronwen Kausch at bronwen@sentientcommunications.co.za. The Symposium takes place from 27 to 29 August. Entries close on 23 July.