In this preview conversation, Aaron Back and Tony Uphoff discuss Acceleration Economy’s upcoming Digital CIO Summit, which takes place April 4-6. Not surprisingly, one of the essential topics at this free, three-day event, as reflected in its name, is the role of the chief information officer (CIO). However, the job today encompasses so much more than just the person who holds the title. The event will explore the entire office of the CIO, including peers and supporting roles, as well as how the job has evolved over the years, which is the topic of today’s Road to Digital CIO Summit discussion.
00:11 — Aaron introduces Tony and asks him how he sees the role of the CIO today, compared to five or ten years ago, and especially given the massive evolution of technologies such as cybersecurity, data, AI, hyperautomation, and cloud, as well as current economic pressures.
01:22 — Tony says two significant shifts come to mind. The first is the move from a back-office to a front-office focus. In today’s business landscape, technology plays a crucial role in every aspect of operations. Every company has become a tech company, and the CIO’s role has transformed to reflect this shift. Secondly, the decision-making process has become more collaborative, with a broader group of stakeholders involved in the process. The traditional model of a centralized group making technology decisions has given way to a more inclusive group of not only C-level executives but also line-of-business (LOB) managers.
03:56 — The technology purchasing and procurement process is more complex today, but increasingly finding the right solutions involves hearing not only from customer experiences of a particular solution, but also the vendor or tech company’s story. What does Tony think of this process?
04:12 — In today’s world, Tony says, the best way for a tech company to sell its products is through the voice of a customer who has actually experienced the implementation and use of the technology in their business. Hearing about their successes, challenges, and learnings is much more powerful and relatable than a sales pitch from a tech company.
05:26 — Tony refers to a recent conversation he had with SAXX CEO Wendy Bennison, and how hearing about the underwear company’s complicated and transformative ERP rollout was incredibly illuminating. Benison will be among the featured speakers at the upcoming CIO Digital Summit. Hearing directly from the practitioners who have bet their careers on their technology decisions is invaluable.
06:29 — Aaron adds that hearing about the challenges and obstacles that were faced, and how they were overcome, is just as important as hearing about the successes. It helps to provide a more realistic and well-rounded understanding of what it takes to implement and utilize technology effectively, while also helping other practitioners learn from those experiences and avoid making similar mistakes.
07:18 — “As human beings, we learn by hearing stories,” Tony says. “We don’t actually learn by hearing bullet points on a PowerPoint slide.”
To hear more data modernization, AI/hyperautomation, cybersecurity, and growth strategies from CIO practitioners, tune into Acceleration Economy’s Digital CIO Summit, which takes place April 4-6. Register for the free event here.