Monday, December 5, 2011

Midmarket CIO Summit 2011

Good morning from the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale Arizona. Now, I know what you are thinking but there are no bathing suits or golf clubs involved here (at least not for me.)  I am attending the 2011 Midmarket CIO Summit hosted by CDM Media.

This three day event is designed to enable senior business and technology professionals to interact, discuss and learn about key issues and developments across a variety of industries. While there are a few keynote speakers scheduled, the majority of the sessions will be smaller, intimate meetings including discussions with thought leaders, round tables and think tanks. There are also some scheduled one on one sessions with the sponsoring vendors.

I was invited to attend this event and asked to conduct one of the think tank sessions. My focus will be on the topic of cloud computing and, in particular, the security concerns and issues around its use. I was recommended by my good friend Larry Bonfonte, CIO at the US Tennis Association. Larry knows about my work with the Cloud Computing Consortium at Stevens and that I have written and presented on this topic several times. He suggested I do one here and the fine folks at CDM agreed. I am scheduled to conduct my session early Tuesday morning just after the morning speaker.

I arrived at the resort early enough to participate in the Executive CIO think tank conducted by Nick Eshkenazi, CIO of SanMar Corp. The moderator did a terrific job seeding the discussion with a few broad questions which led quickly to a litany of common concerns among the large group of people around the table. While we didn't solve many problems, the group did go deeper on a few topics including governance, demand management, and business intelligence.

The conference officially opened in the evening with a welcome reception and terrific dinner.

As always, throughout the conference, I try to capture anything of interest that can be conveyed in 140 characters or less. If possible, I will tweet during the session, starting with the topic and session leader so any comments will be in context. Since the groups are small it may not always be possible to contribute and tweet at the same time. Moreover, participants may object.

The event is sponsored by loads of hardware, software and service providers, some familiar and others new to me. If I encounter anything extraordinary there I will pass that along as well, although more likely in the form of a column and not a tweet. I really enjoy conversations with vendors in these more relaxed settings when they are in information exchange mode, and they are not trying to close a deal.

Naturally, the event is sprinkled with plenty of short breaks and networking sessions where some of the most interesting and unique exchanges usually take place. I won't be tweeting out what the folks are talking about in the halls between sessions. I tend keep most of those juicy tidbits to myself.

Captain Joe

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