The 2015 CIO Summit was the biggest and best yet, with over 140 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and business technology leaders congregating at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall on Westminster Embankment, once home of the Ministry of Defence, MI5, MI6 and the British Secret Service at various points in the 1900s.
Also a set to James Bond films Octopussy and Skyfall, those attending - including Natural Resources Wales CIO Martin Britton and SThree CIO Lance Fisher, were more impressed by the speaker line-up and superfast WiFi connection, something glh.Hotels Chief Technology Officer Chris Hewertson knew would be able to withstand the networking demands of the audience.
Looking forward to #ciosummit today and speaking later— Lance Fisher (@CIOLance) September 23, 2015
Following Mark Chillingworth's preamble on the day's theme of the CIO as a customer-centric role, Cushman & Wakefield CIO Kelly Olsen was the opening speaker with an engaging talk about understanding user needs, something which resonated with CIO 100 leader Anna Barsby, who spoke at the 2014 CIO Summit.
Interim CTO at the Nursing & Midwifery Council Rachel Murphy-Cooper was up next to discuss customer-focused business change and coaching boards on the opportunities provided by digital change.
Home Office CTO Sarah Wilkinson spoke candidly about the challenges of running the technology estate behind of the largest government department's, which covers counter-terror, law enforcement, borders, immigration and citizenship. COO at Fitzroy Asset Management, Joanna Brown, and HS2's CIO/CTO Cloud Specialist Jon Ayre were piqued by the challenges facing the public sector, and differences from Wilkinson's previous posts in banking.
Fascinated by Sarah Wilkinson's view from the Home Office and adapting from other industries #CIOsummit— Joanna Brown (@JoannaSBrown) September 23, 2015
"Finance was used to a culture of debating. Meetings in the Home Office can be a festival of loveliness" says Home Office CTO #CIOsummit— Edward Qualtrough (@QedwardRobert) September 23, 2015
The government is 'bad at making light work of things' says Home Office CTO Sarah Wilkinson #ciosummit (this all sounds so familiar...)— Charlotte Jee (@charlottejee) September 23, 2015
Halfords CIO Barsby commented on the summit opening with three "strong female technology leaders".
Glyn Knaresborough from sponsors CSC discussed some of the learnings from the company's recent research of CIOs on digital transformation, but it was his comments on the point where you become a true digital business which struck a chord with the audience.
Darryl Salmons, CIO at infrastructure services group Amey, tickled the audience with quips about the past and the future. That you never needed a Bring Your Own Diary policy, but it might be good to start thinking about a Bring Your Own Robot policy at some stage was food for thought for Financial Times Chief Product and Information Officer Christina Scott. And that if you learn just one thing today, there is a practical difference between orange and yellow fluorescent jackets.
Orange fluorescent jacket = work on railway Yellow fluorescent jack = work on road Amazing what you learn at #CIOsummit— Joanna Brown (@JoannaSBrown) September 23, 2015
Domino's Pizza CIO Colin Rees spoke about reinventing the IT department, his close relationship with marketing, and highlighted the company's strong financial results.
Colin Rees of Dominos Pizza speaking now at #CIOSummit. Another reference to colocating IT with other functions. Definite trend emerging.— Ian Cox (@ij_cox) September 23, 2015
Belron CIO Nick Burton spoke about truly getting to know your customers, UX, customer journey mapping and multi-variant testing in an engaging presentation.
Great talk from Nick Burton. Business focused, customer centric with a hint of technology. Just what a CIO should sound like. #CIOSummit— Ian Cox (@ij_cox) September 23, 2015
National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan's talk on the CIO's role to sprinkle their magic dust, fill in the gaps, add value where they can, and constantly communicate the case for change went down an absolute storm and was lauded with praise on social channels - and even one job enquiry in a similar reaction to Barsby's 2014 presentation.
I think I'd have to give my team a lot of magic dust to get them to cover Uptown Funk.... #CIOsummit— Ben Denison (@ben_denison) September 23, 2015
Fantastic talk from National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan on unique position CIO has to colour in spaces and add value #CIOsummit— Edward Qualtrough (@QedwardRobert) September 23, 2015
Wow. Brilliant. Sarah Flannigan. National Trust. How to do tech enabled business transformation. Other CIOs take note. #CIOSummit— Ian Cox (@ij_cox) September 23, 2015
Brilliant presentation from Sarah Flanagan from the National Trust. Very powerful. #ciosummit— Dominic Howson (@DominicHowson) September 23, 2015
After Box offered their top tips on mobile content strategy, CIOs Trevor Attridge, Lance Fisher and Bill Wilkins from MEC, SThree and First Utility respectively gave the audience a lesson in getting value out of your data in the Innovation in Data Panel.
Three CIOs from MEC, SThree and First Utility sharing their thoughts on the Innovation with Data panel #CIOsummit— CIO UK (@ciouk) September 23, 2015
A humble lunch was served, its lack of executive pretence reminding Mitsui Sumitomo CIO Richard Williams, a speaker in the afternoon session, of a happier and more care-free time of life.
Great lunch, a reprise of the traditional school dinner! Well done #CIOSummit— rjwwilliams (@rjwwilliams) September 23, 2015
Rees and Flannigan were quizzed by CIO columnist Catherine Stagg-Macey, before the first CIO Masterclass took place with fellow columnist Dr Richard Sykes speaking to CIO 100 high-flyer David Jack about his cloud journeys at Betfair, thetrainline.com, Hyperion Insurance and MetaPack.
Good insights from David Jack on cloud in the first #CIOSummit masterclass. Fair to say he knows his stuff!— Ian Cox (@ij_cox) September 23, 2015
Chief Marketing Officer at sponsors xMatters, Randi Barshack, offered some fascinating insights from Silicon Valley and said that CIOs really are at the heart of the business - a popular view in a room full of CIOs!
A marketing exec telling how it is I think - marketing leaders have far bigger priorities than "technology headaches" #CIOsummit ^EQ— CIO UK (@ciouk) September 23, 2015
Matt Ballantine and Tony Philips gave the next Masterclass in how CIOs, IT departments and organisations can brand themselves, but Ballantine drew the wrath of the audience when his distribution of afternoon chocolates did not reach some of his columnist colleagues.
Before the briefest of summaries from Mark Chillingworth and Online Editor Edward Qualtrough suggesting a more informal digest was required to reflect on the day, DX Group CIO Mike Sturrock and Misui Sumitomo CIO Richard Williams spoke about the leadership challenges they encountered on recent trips, over sea and on skis respectively, to the unforgiving environment of the Arctic Circle in a fascinating exchange.
Williams: If a polar bear is coming towards you that's not the time to work out who's got the bullets. << good lesson for CIOs. #CIOSummit— Ian Cox (@ij_cox) September 23, 2015
"CIOs need a sense of adventure; going on an adventure can take you out of your comfort zone and offers a sense of perspective" #CIOsummit— CIO UK (@ciouk) September 23, 2015
Williams: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. << Good advice for anyone leading change.#CIOSummit— Ian Cox (@ij_cox) September 23, 2015
Thanks for all your positive feedback and sentiments - it's been truly humbling and look forward to seeing you all next time!