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Vic's thoughts on the CIO Summit and Awards

Victoria MacLennan. 02 December 2022, 5:17 pm

The CIO Summit was held in the beautiful Te Pae convention centre in Ōtautahi Christchurch this week. First up I have to declare that my ticket was given to me by the lovely team at IDC and Brightstar as I won the Outstanding Individual award earlier in the year (for the 2021 year) when there was no summit or awards event - so very kind of them to do this.

Highlights

Venue - The venue really is beautiful, large spaces, lots of places to sit and take a call or chat with a friend, great bathrooms and centrally located, right across the road from that gorgeous library with it's wonderful cafe.

Seeing people in person - it was great to catchup with many people in person again.

Vendors were all enthusiastic - as one of the first larger technology focused in person events I found the vendor community was really engaged, chatty and just happy to see people in the exhibition hall.

2023 will be a mixed year

Opening Keynote Tony Olvet from IDC regaled us with IDC's global predictions for 2023. In short the notes I took included:

  • 2023 is the beginning of what IDC are calling the digital business era
  • Digital technology investment will be 8 x that of the wider economy
  • 95% of CEO's will have a digital first strategy in place
  • 41% of businesses (all sectors) will increase digital revenue streams in 2023
  • Automation through digital will bring a 40% increase in productivity by 2025
  • 45% of businesses (all sectors) say there is a general shortage of skills
  • CIO's will no longer be able to focus inwards

One thing he did talk about was the looming recession saying previous recession playbooks will not be as effective in this digital business era, for instance

  • where previous recessions resulted in delaying capital expenditure, the current investment model in saas and digital services means capital is a much smaller element of budget
  • where cutting contract staff was a previous tactic taken, this recession leveraging contract staff to address labour shortages will be necessary
  • where new projects would be delayed in the past, only projects with low digital business impact will be delayed this time.

Finally the most interesting insight from the keynote for me was - only 12% of organisations said all of their digital projects were successful AND 64% of organisations had failure rates of 10% to over 54% (or were unmeasurable).

Lower Lights

In this era where cultural inclusion is important the CIO summit did a half way good job, engaging local Māori to welcome us to the summit and provide entertainment at the awards dinner. There were however embarrassing attempts at Te Reo Māori from many speakers and we all waited for the Karakia Kai (as is normal custom at these types of events now) which never came so waiters were trying to remove plates from many of us who hadn't yet eaten their first course. Not insurmountable to overcome but a real area for improvement.

The other low light was the mixed vibe. I've attended these events before as a speaker and delegate and this was definitely smaller, less attendees which meant the vibe was flatter than pre-Covid years, there was virtually no presence from Wellington or Government agencies. There were more women at the awards dinner than the summit itself and as I said above plenty of people for me to catchup with during the day. Perhaps when it returns to Auckland next year and we are well post Covid era wise it will pick up?

I guess the final lowish light was that my fabulous charity Digital Future Aotearoa didn't win the Community Impact award but we were thrilled (honestly thrilled) to have been beaten by Tōnui Collab who we partner with and so deserving of the recognition. Love this mahi.

This is a picture of myself with Jan Nicol from Sharp who presented me with my award last year virtually, we thoroughly enjoyed catching up in person. Thanks to our wonderful photographer Delphine.

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