AdobeStock_103809698CEOs increasingly recognize how technology can provide the enterprise with a competitive edge in creating differentiated business models and distinctive customer experiences that can position their companies for future success.

As such, CEOs fully expect CIOs to come armed with fresh ideas for leveraging technology to deliver new waves of business value and to nurture future growth for their companies.

“My leadership style in recent years has focused more and more on increasing growth and reducing risk.  Discussions today tend to center around whether a specific technology can provide a sustained strategic advantage,” says Dave Henderson, CIO at Millennium Health. Henderson was one of the speakers at HMG Strategy’s 2019 San Diego Technology Executive Leadership Summit on November 5.

Tony Costa, SVP & CIO at Bumble Bee Foods, says he and his team are also focused on the business value and growth that they can deliver to the seafood company.

For instance, Bumble Bee is using SAP’s Cloud Platform blockchain service to track the yellowfin tuna it sells from where it is caught in Indonesia to the dinner table. The service enables Bumble Bee’s customers to track the fish-to-market journey of the tuna they’ve purchased by scanning a QR code on the product package with their smartphones.

“Our blockchain project has provided us with a huge competitive advantage through transparency which resonates with our customers,” says Costa, who was also a featured speaker at the San Diego summit.

Connecting with consumers across different demographics is also a top priority for CIOs and for companies that are intent on meeting rising customer expectations. “Millennials and Gen Z occupy about two-thirds of the world’s population. They’ve grown up in a world where they expect to connect to resources now and get the answer now,” says Harry Moseley, Global CIO at Zoom who was a keynote speaker at the San Diego summit.

Addressing Strategic Priorities

Now more than ever, it’s essential for CIOs and technology executives to ensure that the recommendations for applying technology are directly aimed at addressing the organization’s top strategic goals.

“For companies headed on their automation journey, it’s critical to identify the key executive stakeholder who can champion the project, the strategic priorities for the organization and to select relevant proof-of-concept and pilot processes,” recommends Chris Colwell, Customer Success Director at UiPath who also gave a morning keynote at the San Diego Summit.

Before joining UiPath in April 2019, Colwell was Assistant Vice President and Intelligent Process Automation Manager at Capital Funds where he helped spearhead a major robotic process automation (RPA) initiative.

“When I was at Capital Group, we put 70 bots into production across 6 business units, delivering more than 35,000 hours saved annually,” says Colwell.

Meanwhile, as companies look to access data closer to where it is being generated, this is leading a growing number of companies to strive to access insights from that data as quickly as possible in order to respond quickly to emerging market and customer trends.

“Many companies are investing heavily in data and analytics as a result of Smart IoT, edge computing along with core IT operations,” says Ben Martin, Executive Director & General Manager, Professional & TruScale Services at Lenovo DCG, who shared his insights on digital transformation in a complex and dynamic world at the San Diego summit.

 Of course, with digital data now being populated across all corners of the organization, it’s imperative for CIOs, CISOs and security leaders to properly protect that information.

“The breadcrumbs for a cyber-attack can be anywhere in the digital infrastructure,” says David Masson, Director of Enterprise Cyber Security at Darktrace.

The dramatic pace of disruption in business combined with the adoption of a slew of new digital technologies is causing other concerns for technology executives. “We’re all trying to keep pace with the rate of change with technology. I’m concerned that it’s causing CIOs to be very specific in their talent recruitment efforts,” says Colonel Pete Dillon, Director of Information Technology at San Diego Zoo Global.

In the ever-changing geo-political landscape, it’s vital for CIOs and technology executives to work with senior leadership at their companies to adjust their organization’s business strategies amid shifting dynamics.

“Our executive team continuously updates our strategy to predict and mitigate geo-political developments and their impact to the regions Cubic conducts business in,” says Dan Hedstrom, VP & CIO at Cubic Corporation.

To learn more about the insightful and timely thought leadership that’s shared at HMG Strategy’s Executive Leadership Summits, click here.