IDG ENGAGE 2018 Recap: What’s Next for CIOs?

At our most recent IDG ENGAGE event on August 23rd in Menlo Park, CA – tech marketers had the pleasure of hearing from top CIOs in Silicon Valley about their organizations’ structure and focus during this exciting time of digital transformation. The tech executive panel, hosted by CIO’s Adam Dennison, featured VP & CIO of Maxim Integrated Products, Walter Curd; CIO of Santa Clara County, Ann Dunkin; and CIO of El Camino Hospital, Deb Muro. Bringing a variety of industry perspectives, this lively panel thoroughly engaged the audience and provided candid insights.

Key Theme
The panelists spoke about the ongoing IT projects in each of their organizations, detailing both opportunities and challenges surrounding these important initiatives. There was a consensus among the group that they are open to new and emerging technologies, as long as the timing is right, and the benefit is there for the organization. Many of the technologies are being implemented for security reasons, or to benefit customers and/or employees. Some key initiatives include:

  • Update or transfer out traditional technologies (say that are over 30 years old). The CIOs recognize that in order to be compliant and secure, organizations must be current.
  • Enhance technologies and applications to deliver a better customer experience. For example, organizations provide mobile apps to customers and tablets to employees, so everyone involved has access to real-time knowledge and activity.

For more insights and information on how CIOs are shifting digital transformation efforts into high gear, access the 2018 State of the CIO white paper.

Company Culture Guiding Tech Adoptions
An additional discussion point was how does company culture play a role in these technology implementations? With so many moving parts, it can be difficult to determine who truly is involved in the purchase process to help bring these initiatives to life. The business side of the organization may be the group to drive decision-making, but it is clear that every project is technically an IT project, therefore CIOs and the IT department have a large influence on the end result. One panelist noted their organization utilizes decision committees, where line of business executives bring their needs to a committee, and this specialized group then evaluates the value and benefit of the proposed initiative.

It is also important to consider timing and the current environment within the organization. Are there other upgrades or implementations taking place that are more valuable than the proposed initiative? Regardless, LOB and IT should be on the same page so there never becomes a time when the business adopts a technology that IT already has in place, leading to more time, resources and money spent for these two solutions to become one.

CIOs Innovation Playbook
When it comes to what’s next for CIOs, the panelists agreed that continuing to make strides towards innovation is critical. CIOs continue to walk the innovation and operations tight rope as much of their time is still spent on functional tasks such as realigning job titles and managing IT costs. However, they are hopeful that their “free time” will soon be spent on more innovative, strategy sessions. But of course, there’s only so much “free time” in a day.

That being said, it can be difficult for tech marketers to connect with CIO these days and effectively capture their attention. Though that may be the case, it is definitely worthwhile to form relationships with their highly regarded mix of colleagues. Today’s CIOs are adamant that their staff is highly educated on the latest tech trends and organizational needs, meaning these individuals may ultimately prove to be your sweet spot as a marketer.

Thank you again for such an engaging, candor and lively panel! To learn more about the insights heard at IDG’s ENGAGE Menlo Park event, visit Twitter.


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