Last week I had the opportunity to attend the CIOSynergy event in Toronto at the Trump Hotel & Tower. It was an interesting day of interacting with key IT decision makers within various organizations and learning about some of the trials and tribulations they face day-to-day.
Throughout the day there were many different presentations and panels focused on different trends and challenges within IT including things like Social Media, Security, traditional leadership challenges and it was all wrapped up with a presentation by Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity.com and Chairman of Kayak.com.
There were a number of key themes that kept reoccurring and are clearly on the radar for the executives in attendance, namely:
- Cloud solutions and how to deal with things like Big Data/Unstructured Data
- How to balance the CIO role vs. that of a CFO
- How Mobile is changing the behavior of not only employees, but customers
- Virtualization and how to properly address within the enterprise
An interesting comment came out during the Secure CIO panel in which an executive from TD Bank stated that while security is important, it’s not necessarily a central focus nor is it an afterthought. It was a strange statement and the discussion around how financial institutions have to deal with security was definitely eye-opening. The threats and variables that financial organizations have to face provides a very diverse set of challenges from the security of customer data, to dealing with internal threats – which are more of a risk than the external ones in many cases.
So while they’re focused on Cloud, virtualization and BYOD, their focus is constantly shifting – the main issue for him that day was the fact TD Bank was facing a DDOS attack. It was very clear that security threats can come from anywhere and trying to juggle priorities to address the multiple challenges they face on a daily basis is no small task.
Overall, the highlight of the event, aside from meeting the various executives in attendance, was the presentation keynote by Terry Jones. While not focused on security, it was a great presentation about the importance of Innovation. These kinds of discussions are always inspiring and reminded me a lot of ex-HP CTO Phil McKinney and what he used to talk about and still does today.
The focus on innovation really resonates with WinMagic. Our ability to innovate means we’ve been able to introduce key technologies to customers that they may not have realized, things like PBConnex, SecureDoc OSA and Removable Media Container Encryption to name a few.
We’ve been innovating for the past 15 years and continue to do so today. As a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, it means we take risks in strategic R&D and realize competitive benefits as a result of those risks.