2012 CIO Summit report by Mark Chillingworth

Today, we hand our blog over to Editor in Chief at CIO UK at IDG, Mark Chillingworth for his thoughts on the recent CIO Summit in October...

The third annual CIO Summit continued the growth pattern the event has exhibited since its launch and feedback from CIOs present was that the quality of speak and presentation has also improved.


Based on a series of meetings held with CIOs that attended the 2011 CIO Summit, this year's event aimed and achieved to have a balance of organisations presenting that reflected the true nature of the British economy. Thus there were organisations with around 1000 employees, such as law firm DWF LLP and engineers Buro Happold, as well as major global organisations such as Vodafone, JLT and then smaller organisations from the charitable and local government sectors.


A common theme throughout the day's conference was the CIO's role in leading, managing or reacting to transformation that is happening to organisation's as a result of the economy, legislation and of course technology. Speakers demonstrated how important it is for the CIO to be a board level role, how reacting rapidly to mergers and using off the shelf collaboration tools eases a merger, how the CIO can lead data analysis to discover new revenue streams and how they can challenge the organisation to do things differently.


As business strand sponsor Michel Van der Bel, Managing Director, Microsoft UK and Vice President Microsoft International continued the theme of transformation describing how the change in end user behaviour increased connectivity and flexible working is affecting their developments and products. Van der Bel demonstrated the power of the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system in response to the same challenges the CIOs were describing.


Post event discussions and the event feedback forms showed that the attendees gained the most value from those CIOs that are tackling major challenges or placing the ideals of technology at the heart of their organisations.


The CIOs from the Royal Mail and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired many for the size of the challenges they either faced or are facing. Many said the scale of the leadership, talent and technology challenges these CIOs faced was inspirational. While CIOs from JLT, Buro Happold and DWF LLP were well received for demonstrating how organisations that enable a CIO to influence the whole organisation through Agile methods, collaborative working methods and old fashioned listening were also well received.


Presentations that focused on driving down costs through large scale outsourcing were not well received when compared to those such as DWF, easyJet and Buro Happold that harnessed UK talent.




Although all present were honest about the economic difficulties, there was an under lying desire to do things differently by all who spoke and expressed by many in the audience. Companies want to work, procure and interact with customers differently. CIOs are changing because the world is changing.




For further information about the CIO Summit, please take a look at the article by Richard Sykes, CIO Columnist.




by Mark Chillingworth, Editor in Chief at CIO UK at IDG

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