Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CIO Midmarket Summit - Day 2

If you followed me on twitter yesterday you already know the second day of the CDM Midmarket CIO Summit 2011 was packed with great information, insights and discussions. From the opening keynote by HP right through to the last CIO presentation before the evening reception and dinner, it was almost impossible to absorb all the information coming at you.

Every session was good, but three of them really stood out as exceptional.

Alma Barranco-Mendoza moved from a faculty position to become CIO at Trinity Western University. It was apparent that the IT function was highly distributed resulting in significant issues of overlap, redundancy and lack of coordination. Alma reconfigured the organization into a central IT function. Moreover, she instituted proper project management controls leading to better utilization of resources and the recognition by the administration when IT was underfunded or understaffed. Her case study was a clear illustration of the need for the proper organization and governance of limited IT resources.

In his presentation, Peter Forbes, EVP at WorldPay, covered the need for changes in the US credit card payment system. He made it very clear smart cards and mobile payment systems are coming and those of us responsible for the equipment and systems had better be prepared. The major players like Master Card and Visa will demand end to end data encryption and the ability to handle cards with chips. Moreover, the recent introduction of Google wallet is a watershed event suggesting mobile phone payment systems have come of age and we can expect to see more of these as well.

Lastly, Rick Arthur, SVP & CIO at The Brickman Group, presented his work in progress reorganizing the IT function at his company. Moving from the common technology based org chart to one more functionally in tune with the business, Rick is transforming IT and shifting their focus from servers and networks to a clear focus on the business, its key processes and how these are enabled and supported by the technology. In the six months he has been there, he has completely changed roles and responsibilities of the people in IT to make them more accountable for business outcomes. His guiding principles, IT supply value chain perspective and organizational strategies were among the more fascinating and valuable aspects of the session.

Of course there were other interesting sessions and plenty of time to schmooze with the other attendees during breaks and over lunch. In addition, I had two blocks of time for me to get the skinny from a couple of the sponsors. We'll discuss those another time.

At the end of the long and productive day, it was nice to relax with a glass of wine, have a few laughs and enjoy a nice meal.  This was all arranged with a reception, a comedian and dinner. I find  this usually guarantees a good night of sleep, and it did.

I needed it to make it through the third and final day (today) before heading home.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC