Highlights from CIO Year Ahead 2018

In case you missed the mega-IT gathering of the who’s who of tech, here is a snapshot of what happened at CIO Year Ahead 2018. 

The 11th edition of IDG’s prestigious tech conference, CIO Year Ahead, welcomed India’s top CIOs, and IT minds to decide the technology roadmap for 2018.

This year, the event was held in the Silicon Valley of India, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangalore.

The two-day conference attracted some of India’s best CIOs and technology experts who delved into the key aspects of doing business in a digital economy that’s changing at an unprecedented pace. CIO 18 The Year Ahead threw light on five important technologies that are changing the business of tech in India. The focus was on: Analytics, cloud, internet of things (IoT), mobility and security.  

Day 1: Lessons from failure, cyber vigilance, millennials at work, and the games CIOs played!

The conference kicked off with an engaging session from Meraj Ahmad of HP Inc, who spoke about the importance of embracing new business models in the digital era.

This was followed by a riveting talk by K Vaitheeswaran, known as the ‘father of e-commerce in India. A serial entrepreneur and the author of “Failing to succeed—the story of India’s first e-commerce company”, spilled the beans on 10 key traits of a successful digital leader.  

In a chat with the editor, Shantheri Mallaya spoke to Anurag Gupta and Meraj Ahmad of HP Inc, about millenials at work and experiencing digital in a new way.  

Following this, Monocept’s Gangadhar Heralgi shared insights on “Solving X” – The factor that decides the success or failure of a digital initiative.

Security snapshot

The second half of day 1 kept the CIOs immersed in the one topic that keeps the CIO, the IT head, and the CSO up at night – security.

Prashant Mali, Cyber Crime Expert Lawyer, shared real-life anecdotes about India’s cybersecurity scenario and what it entails for enterprises. He spoke about the challenges in implementation of data privacy laws and how to be safe before and after an attack.

His riveting talk was followed by another security session by industry veteran Vishak Raman. The Director of Security Business at CISCO India & SAARC told the CIOs it’s time to think ‘outside the box’ in enterprise security. “Don’t drown in the sea of alerts by using multiple security tools,” was his message to India’s tech leaders.

Cloud doubt

If security is keeping enterprises up at night, cloud sprawl is making them pace up. Dr. S. Raghunath, Professor - Corporate Strategy and Policy at IIM-Bangalore, cleared the doubts about cloud adoption.   

Following this, Ravi Jain took center stage to talk about infrastructure in the cognitive era, which is facing the heat of data explosion.

The last session of day 1 featured Accenture India’s Suvasish Mohapatra who spoke about the tipping point in the enterprise cloud journey.

But the fun did not end there.

In the evening, the CIOs gathered at Sky Deck of Shangri-La, for dinner and cocktails, with a twist. At the casino-themed party CIOs tried their luck at several games. But then they say, you win some, you lose some..

Day 2: SOTC 2018, CIO Task Force, Disruptive Analytics, and the India Stack

IDG Executive Editor Yogesh Gupta kickstarted the second day of CIO Year Ahead with the findings from the State of the CIO Survey 2018.

The session held the CIOs' attention as it decoded the changing role of the CIO, focus areas and the state of the industry.

CIO Task Force

Following the SOTC reveal, it was time for the CIO Task Force discussions. The delegates were divided into small groups to discuss five key themes: Analytics, cloud, IoT, mobility and security. Each 90-minute session was moderated by a CIO and was a powerful peer-to-peer exchange, which threw light on the state of the industry and where it’s headed next year.

Analytics - The differentiator

Post tea-break, Venu Reddy of IDC India spoke to the CIOs about analytics as a key differentiator in the organization. This was followed by Raghavendran Kandaswami of SAS India, who talked about leveraging analytics to truly understand customer journeys.

With data as the new oil of the digital era, Manmeet Singh Kahlon of IBM India spoke about the importance of compliance and governance to derive trusted insights.

His session was followed by an exciting talk by Imaginarium’s Guruprasad Rao who spoke about the evolution of 3D-Printing and where it’s headed.

India 2.0

The last session of the day was by Sharad Sharma of i-SPIRT Foundation, whose talk on India’s digital evolution had the CIOs nodding in agreement.

He spoke about the digital India Stack, powered by JAM - Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile. Sharad also shared several data points, which revealed that India will become data rich before it becomes economically rich.

It was a perfect sign off as it highlighted the opportunities that lie ahead for the IT industry as India shifts gears to become a digital economy.