Inside the Minds of Seattle’s Tech Leaders

This past March, we had the pleasure of hosting our 5th IDG Enterprise Engage event in Seattle, WA – a city known as a new center of the tech boom and home to tech visionaries like Microsoft and Amazon. As with previous Engage summits, IDG Enterprise experts, tech marketers, and industry leaders came together to discuss trends impacting tech marketing, such as digital transformation, marketing and sales alignment, and new and exciting tech updates within organizations.


Our final session of the day, was a panel of tech and security leaders, moderated by John Gallant, Chief Content Officer of IDG US Media. During this candid conversation, we received insights into how Seattle’s tech leaders are implementing technologies and cultivating innovative environments in their workplace. To allow a free and open exchange the conversation was off the record, but below are some of the key takeaways (sorry, we can’t give away all their secrets!).

  • How are tech leaders gaining value out of existing investments?
    • Many are leveraging the cloud to enhance the tech they currently have, and increase the value of their as-a-service models.
    • Integrate Internet of Things methodology into established devices and programs in order to stay relevant with the fast paced mindset of technology users.
    • Keep up to speed with security – existing investments need to be reevaluated as hackers evolve quickly.
    • Create an analytics and data-driven culture that ultimately provides more insight into the technologies our employees currently use.
  • What keeps them up at night?
    • Shocker – security. However, it is not just a focus on if the business suffers an attack and “goes down,” but how quickly the business can get back up when it happens.
    • Educating employees on security practices and ultimately changing end-user behavior
    • Transforming employees into leaders to ensure safe practices in all organizations within the business.
  • What are ways tech leaders create innovation at their organizations?
    • The panelists shared the best way to learn is from your mistakes. Working in a test and learn culture enables a do-it-yourself and willingness to grow mindset.
    • Innovation takes designated time, it doesn’t just happen. Building in days to solely focus on innovation – structured with problem solving, brainstorming and more– allows the team to see the value in advancing the company through tech.
  • Advice for becoming a strategic partner:
    • The tech panelists felt that strategic partners are invested in their use of the tool, ensure it is being used to the best of its ability, and help them to demonstrate the value once it is integrated.
    • It’s like being a best friend or coach; vendors must be available to offer services, feedback and advice.
    • Don’t just sell the product/service – start content and conversations with a comprehensive understanding of the industry issue. Explaining the issue and then how a specific solution aligns shows an understanding of what a customer is trying to do and that you can help. In order to reach them, provide a problem vs. product lead approach and you will win them over just by showing you have done your research and value the outcome of their organization.

Interested in learning what your marketing peers had to say at our other Engage events? Check out our “Peer Learning Sheds Light on Paths to Tech Engagement” blog which highlights marketing insights from our Austin, TX event. Until the next event, join the conversation at #IDGEngage.

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