CIO Summit Planned For IBM i Executives
August 30, 2017 Dan Burger
Many CIOs and IT directors, regardless of industry or geography, have the same problem. They go it alone, figuring their business problem, their company, and everything about their situation is unique. Or maybe it doesn’t dawn on them that another CIO has faced a similar problem and learned a few lessons — good and bad ones — along the way.
It’s not that lone wolf CIOs deliberately set out to reinvent the wheel. But setting priorities and goals and making decisions without getting outside your silo is a pretty good way to not only know the wheel’s been invented, but also to miss out on how others have used the wheel for different purposes. If you could talk with a person who had the same responsibilities and concerns as you, and who worked on the IBM i platform with experience doing what you hoped to do, wouldn’t that be valuable?
Bringing together CIOs from IBM i shops to discuss challenges and trade experiences, is the purpose of the CIO Summit, a concept set in motion by consultant Alan Seiden, an IBM i advocate who sees value in sharing information and learning from the experiences of others. Seiden’s first CIO gathering was in April in New York City.
“That CIO event was an experiment to see if CIOs would be interested in meeting, discussing solutions and seeing some presentations that would spark conversations,” Seiden said. “Would they take time out of their day to do this? We didn’t know if they would take time to do this, but I felt it would be something people could appreciate and it turned out to be received very positively.”
The CIO Summit is scheduled for October 16 and 17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in collaboration with the RPG & DB2 Summit, an IBM i developer-oriented technical conference with an 11-year history of success. The collaboration of the two conferences is easily seen as a natural combo.
In either case, there are people attending who are motivated, interested in learning, and preparing to make an impact on their organizations. And there are reasonable expectations that CIOs and IT directors who attend the CIO Summit share a belief that developer education vital to a healthy IT organization and will be sending developers to the RPG & DB2 Summit.
“Many CIOs don’t have a network of peers who fully understand the nature of the decisions they must make related to IBM i. They want to nurture IT innovation, but they face hurdles,” Seiden said. “The purpose of the CIO Summit is to give IT leaders insight into how others have already addressed the issues they face and, for the longer term, to help create a community of peer advisors.”
Implementing technology, as all IT managers learn, is not the same as understanding technology. And integration of the digital and physical goes well beyond the purchase of the technology piece. A CIO needs to take into account the entire organization. The highest priority for some members of the organization will be matching the systems of records with his systems of engagement. Other stake holders will be focused on the supply chain data integration with the sales systems. Using customer information to shape the workforce might be the reason human resources has an interest.
“We’ve found that no matter what the topic there are at least a few CIOs with interesting and insightful strategies. Some CIOs are more business oriented and others are more technical. Some work with large packaged ERP and some work with home-grown systems,” Seiden said while describing the value of talking things over with your peers.
There’s no registration fee for the CIO Summit, which has a one-day agenda consisting of open discussions — facilitated by Seiden — on hot button topics that keep CIOs awake at night. The discourse will be supplemented by brief talks on select topics such as staffing and how to attract young developers to IBM i environments.
An optional second day for CIOs includes sessions on such topics as IBM i development strategies; a roundtable discussion on “Future-Proofing Your IBM i Investment” led by Jon Paris, Susan Gantner and Paul Tuohy (hosts of the RPG & DB2 Summit); time to network with other CIOs; and opportunities to socialize and brainstorm with their developers in an environment where leading development experts can answer questions.
Applications for the CIO Summit attendance can be made online at http://www.seidengroup.com/ibmi-cio-summit. Participation will be limited to approximately 15 individuals. The only barrier is that CIOs (or IT directors) must be managing a staff of at least three developers. A waiting list will be compiled to fill in where cancelations occur.
According to System i Developer partner Paul Tuohy, collaborating on Seiden Group’s second CIO Summit helped fill a need expressed by RPG & DB2 Summit Alumni.
“One of the recurring themes we hear at the RPG & DB2 Summit is that development teams are looking for permission to innovate, but they need the support of their IT executives,” he said. “By inviting CIOs to join their developers at the RPG & DB2 Summit for a day, we hope to inspire discussions on the best opportunities to add value to the business through IT.”