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CIO Summit 2016 – swinging for the fences

The CIO Summit is one of the largest technology conferences of the year in New Zealand and this year was no exception. The event attracts an impressive line-up of international speakers, 450+ delegates and a myriad of sponsors (yes we were one of them) with more freebies and competitions than connected devices. 

CIO Summit 2016

The event hummed over two floors at Auckland’s Skycity, on June 8th & 9th, as delegates and sponsors networked and created new relationships and partnerships.

Arguably the highlight of the two-day summit is the CIO awards ceremony, held at the Langham, where 6 winners are announced from a range of categories. Among these this year were CIO of the year Winston Fong, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and outstanding contribution to technology in New Zealand – Wayne Norrie. Click here to view the full list of winners and runners up.

There were too many sessions, roundtables and quick-fire programmes to reasonably touch on each but two sessions in particular stood out for me (more on these in a little bit).

Some notable themes emerging from the summit included:

  • Shifting from traditional processes to agile processes to embrace, integrate & support disruption and innovation in the workplace
  • Enhancing the organisation through digital transformation and how it can increase productivity - Intergen currently have a whitepaper on this subject which you can download for free here
  • The Internet of Things and how to gain value from the ever increasing amounts of information being generated and shared
  • Rethinking security strategies (more on this below)
  • Looking to the future role of the CIO
  • The talent shortage (and how other countries are confronting the issue)
  • Growing importance of partnering and collaborating internally and externally
  • Trying not to reference ‘Uber’ while referencing… Uber…

Of the two sessions that stood out for me the first was presented by Sean Duca, Vice President, Regional Chief Security Officer, Asia Pacific, Palo Alto Networks – Can there be success in cyber security & how do we know when we get there?

Security is front of mind for every CIO and not surprisingly when Sean asked the audience who felt prepared for a cyber-attack at that point in time, only 3% of the delegates held up their hand. A brave 3% as new security threats arise every minute of every day.

As I write this blog there are hackers around the world trying to infiltrate systems for a range of motives (Sean identifies seven unique hacker profiles). 

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet approach to cyber security. One of the sessions on day one explored one of the more well known cases of failing against the hacker - ‘Distribute IT’, an IT company with a solid reputation who was the target of an attack so severe the business could no longer operate and was forced into liquidation after a hacker managed to breach their systems.

Sean has a unique approach to reaching security success and believes answering five key questions (listed below) will clearly articulate the risks and costs associated with cyber security for your organisation and then you are ready to perform a gap analysis to see where you sit on the risk scale. It is also important to understand the attacker and their motivation to get inside your organisation

Every organisation should fundamentally be able to answer these five questions below and in doing so will help you on the path to quantifying the solution to protect your valuable data.

  1. What is the value of data that is at risk if it gets in the wrong hands?
  2. Who’s got access to the data? – not an easy one to answer but important to start the process of knowing who has access
  3. What is the nature of the information that makes it sensitive? – and ring fence the data that is sensitive
  4. When has the sensitive data been most recently been audited for obsolescence, necessity, access control and governance (ownership)? Not all information needs to be kept indefinitely
  5. How likely is it to be leaked, if it was hacked? – how easily could it fall into the wrong hands?

Security is an ongoing discussion at Intergen and we will be holding an event on this subject matter later in the year - contact us if you'd like to be added to the invitee list.

CIO Summit 2016 Intergen booth

The second session that stood out for me was because of my love of sport and especially innovation in sport. International keynote Bill Schlough, SVP & Chief Information Officer, San Francisco Giants won over the audience early on when he announced he would be doing a ‘first’ during his session and as he removed his tie on stage he began to tell a story. He explained how he always wears an orange tie (or item of clothing) to keep in line with the orange branding of the Giants – something that resonates well with Intergenites as we are very passionate about our yellow branding. Back to the story - during the awards dinner, the night before, Bill was speaking with Jeremy Burrows, head of ICT for New Zealand Rugby, and commented that he liked his All Blacks tie.

Jeremy, being the nice guy that he is, handed over the tie. Bill was so impressed by the gesture he decided ‘when in Rome’ and on stage exchanged his bright orange Giants tie for the All Blacks one!

He then spoke about how technology and innovation is at the core of the Giant’s mission statement, which is unique to a sporting organisation and a key contributor to their recent successes.

The Giants continuously have to ask themselves how they can ‘compete with the couch’ (a challenge for many sporting organisations in NZ) and their use of technology has been crucial to attracting fans to the stadium. They took a big leap of faith in 2004 and were the first stadium to put in fan-facing Wi-Fi for every seat. To this day they are considered one of the best (if not the best) connected sporting stadium in the world and with 334 Wi-Fi access points around the entire facility it is those devices that create one of the largest Wi-Fi networks in professional sports.

They have used technology to help optimise player performance by analysing the mass of pitch/hit/player tracking data they are accumulating on the field. The data has helped them with decisions such as positioning players better on the pitch and helping to predict what angle and speed the ball will go.

With 435 consecutive sold out games and three championship wins in five years it is not hard to understand why they call it the ‘Golden Age’ at the franchise and innovation is at the heart of this era.

Digital Transformation - Less Busyness, More Business

Posted by: Linda McConnell, Marketing Communications Specialist | 13 June 2016

Tags: CIO Summit

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