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Observations from the Landmark CIO Summit 2014

Observations from the Landmark CIO Summit 2014

On Wednesday I attended the Landmark CIO Summit 2014 in New York City. With hundreds of attendees – including CEOs, CIOs, and other senior technology executives – and 49 speakers, there was certainly a lot to talk about.  And due to the private, invitation-only format of the summit, attendees were able to engage in candid discussions and debates.

Overall, it was a worthwhile event. Here are some of my key takeaways from the summit:

1. The traditional role of the CIO in an organization is evolving quickly. The rapid adoption of SaaS and cloud and the arrival of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) have radically transformed the demands placed upon the CIO. IT purchasing decisions have spread throughout the organization and the CIO is often charged with bringing order to the potential IT anarchy. Some spoke of CMOs spending more on IT than CIOs, which speaks to the general fragmentation of IT ownership occurring in the enterprise today.

2. Speaking of fragmenting IT ownership, several Chief Digital Officers, or CDOs, delivered presentations. While the responsibilities of these folks are still being defined, CDOs essentially are tasked with driving engagement with new digital technologies (social, mobile, etc.) across an organization. As technology becomes more ingrained within the core processes of the companies, will additional roles such as CDO emerge, or will a more traditional management structure return as all executives become more comfortable managing their own IT capabilities?

3. From a cultural perspective, there was real interest for corporate IT to take on a more startup-like identity. Corporations are realizing that they need to get away from the drone culture, and foster a more nimble, creative environment in order for them to deliver the products and services that their customers are demanding. And they need to be able to recruit talent in an extremely tight job market.

4. There was also an interesting common theme within security. Seemingly all speakers and other CIO’s I spoke with acknowledged APTs (advanced persistent threats) are present in their corporate networks, and probably always will be. These execs felt that trying to eradicate APTs was a battle they would never win, and instead they should focus on protecting and containing high value data by securing it in restricted areas. This may be a reasonable stop gap, but it’s certainly not an acceptable end game. And that means there is still a tremendous amount of opportunity for new startups to play in the white hot security sector.

 

 

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