CMG kicked off its 2019 Executive Insights Series in Tampa, Florida. The event was held at The Tampa Club, a beautiful venue 42 floors up, overlooking downtown and the Bay. While the attendees gained information from the sessions, each attendee commented on the breathtaking panoramic view. The event was made possible by CMG partners DataCore and HelpSystems.
This year’s theme was Business Resiliency with speakers focusing on many of the challenges technology and business leaders face in the age of digital transformation. While we had set themes of cybersecurity, leadership, corporate infrastructure, and general resiliency, speakers covered challenges that are seemingly central to most industries and leaders: talent, implementation, and processes.
Whitney Brundage, VP of Digital Transformation Programming, welcomed everyone to the event. This event series is a new format for CMG, generating significant interest and engagement from 44 Tampa Bay area executives who registered—which meant that many of the attendees in the room were new to CMG. Whitney discussed the history of the organization and its future plans, focusing on all aspects of digital transformation and offering more specific content for the executive demographic.
The Conference commenced with a session on The New World Order of Cybersecurity. Bill Dunnion, an executive with Calian, discussed the IT talent shortage, controls, and the need for greater security measures. He informed us that Canada is considering a 14-character password as a requirement. He also began the discussion on what became the common theme of the day: people and processes.
Joel Beasley, author of Modern CTO and host of the Modern CTO podcast, talked about his journey and the premise behind Modern CTO—the largest tech podcast. His guests included the CTOs of Microsoft and NASA, the tech leaders sharing what they learned through their accomplishments, the habits that made them successful and that created successful leaders. Joel also said that leadership is about people and processes and continued with this reoccurring topic. He told us that he practices value leadership where people follow you because of the value you bring. Joel told us that next year he will have Elon Musk on the show and that is the upcoming interview he is most excited about.
Gerardo Dada, the CMO of CMG’s partner DataCore, joined us to talk about IT infrastructure and storage solutions. He talked about how IT is constantly changing and how people need to maintain continuity. Administrators and executives are making short-term decisions because of rapidly changing technology: Decisions that need to be made about the evolution of the organization’s infrastructure and how the plan from five years ago looks very different from the plan over the next two years. He also addressed the topic of people and processes by stating that when a business changes, the processes change with it.
Stacy Arruda, who is the Executive Director Florida ISAO (FL-ISAO) and a retired FBI Cybersecurity agent, discussed the dangers of social media. She talked about how criminals can find and use information from social media profiles against the individual or the organization. She gave us a demonstration showing how easy it is to affect the organization and how it happens regardless of network security.
Andrew Seely, Solution Director for Digital Transformation, wrapped up the event talking about redefining ingenuity and IT resiliency. His company focuses on work for the Department of Defense, various governments, and the aerospace industry. He discussed the definition of digital transformation and how it is different for each company or customer. Understanding that is what makes the business resilient and IT is defined by how their customer defines IT.
At the end of the event, Whitney thanked everyone for attending. Each attendee will receive a six-month membership to CMG and will be added to a private LinkedIn group for CMG executives. The feedback from the event was positive: a COO in attendance commented, “Typically, technology, HR, and operations are siloed but each speaker addressed in their own way how they factor in digital transformation processes.” A director of IT from a large retail brand commented, “The speakers were relevant and all the topics were interesting.”
We are looking forward to the next event in the series in Atlanta in July 2019.