Insights Gleaned from CIO Perspectives Boston

It is rare to have a business conversation where digital transformation or innovation does not come up. This is probably because 89% of organizations have adopted, or have plans to adopt, a “digital-first” business strategy1. Becoming a digital-first business can take many paths and the speakers and attendees at CIO Perspectives Boston truly demonstrated how IT is taking responsibility for bringing these strategies from concept to reality.

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CIO Perspectives Boston was a one-day event with 100+ IT executive attendees, 7 sessions and countless conversations including both tech peers and tech vendors. While digital-first can take many forms, we often found conversations—both on and off the stage—discussing the use of cloud and security concern during adoption. Here are a few takeaways that caught our attention:

Cloud: The Platform of the Future

  • Cloud capabilities are almost endless, but that complexity can make the contract challenging. Tom Anfuso, CIO and senior vice president of National Life Group, suggests that CIOs need to negotiate contracts to make sure the tool meets their specific needs, their data is secure and overall their organization gets the most out of the deal.
  • Organizations are facing challenges on multiple fronts during their transition to become digitally focused, including outdated KPIs, siloed organizational structure and integrating new tools with legacy systems. Meredith Whalen, senior vice president and IT executive of Industry and Financial Research at IDC, shares steps companies can take to join the ranks of their digitally determined peers from develop a single roadmap tied to your new digital strategy; to demonstrate what financial returns your digital investments will earn; and narrow down the key elements of the digital platform you choose to host your data.
  • Cloud and artificial intelligence are two major trends that are shaping the future of business, but organizations may be unsure of how to successfully implement these into their strategies. Dan O’Connell, chief AI officer and head of voice AL product at Dialpad, recommends using intelligent assistants to help with personal productivity. The assistants will allow for real-time transcript’s and automated follow up. Additionally, real-time features will actively drive more efficient conversations including real-time recommendations and automated compliance and post call features that will pull analytics and insights from conversations including predictive insights and a targeted sentiment.

Building Security Strategies for Tech Transformation

  • Most organizations forget that their printers can become subject to a security threat. Ben Tims, print security technical consultant at HP Inc., advocates that some steps an IT department can take to secure their printers is to authenticate users, encrypt the data, and monitor for threats that will identify issues and self-heal.
  • It’s more important than ever to be prepared for a security attack. Douglas Graham, CSO at Nuance Communications, reminded IT leaders to install a shock absorber into their security strategies. This will give organizations a failsafe plan to prevent the start of a security breach.
  • Organizations don’t have to wait until a threat occurs to find out how security smart their employees are. Sue Bergamo, CIO and CISO of Episerver, shared that she periodically conducts table top exercises and surprise cyberattacks on her employees to find out which of them will rise to the occasion and lead the team.
  • Most businesses have systems in place to prevent security attacks but what can a company do once an attack has occurred? Vijay Ramanathan, senior vice president of product management at Code42, proposes that organizations invest in tools that will help shine a light on organizational blind spots whether it be people, technology or the network. This focus allows your team to building resiliency tactics into their operations so that they can rebound quickly from an attack.

The insights gleaned from these candid conversations are priceless for both CIO peers and solution provides. Fortunately, the CIO Perspectives series visits multiple cities each year to help CIOs keep up-to-date on transformation conversations for their organizations. To learn more about the series and how your company can get involved in the conversation, please visit our site or reach out to Adam Dennison, SVP/GM, IDG Events & Publisher, CIO.

Source: 12018 IDG Digital Business Survey


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