WELCOME TO THE 18TH SYMPOSIUM, FIRST DIGITAL EDITION!
The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is a community of CEOs, CIOs and senior IT executives who connect with academic thought leaders, their practicing peers and IT partners. Traditionally held as an annual one-day conference, held on the MIT campus, this year introduces the first Digital Edition. These CIOs and other senior business executives from around the world gather to explore how leading-edge academic research and innovative technologies can help address the practical challenges faced in today's volatile business environment and economy.
After opening remarks by David Schmittlein, we will explain logistics for the new virtual MIT Sloan CIO Community, review the agenda, establish expectations for a typical week and answer questions.
In the spring of 2018, MIT President Rafael Reif commissioned an MIT-wide task force on the Future of Work to address what may well be the most critical question of the digital economy: as emerging technologies raise aggregate economic output and the wealth of nations, will they also enable people to attain higher living standards, better working conditions, greater economic security, and improved health and longevity? This question is even more important now, as we struggle to understand the impact of the pandemic on the future of work. This past November the task force released its final report. Dr. Elisabeth Reynolds and Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger will discuss the report's key findings and recommendations.
There is little doubt that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation. But should companies double down on AI and automation to navigate through uncertain times? What approaches, technologies and tools hold the most promise to ensure long term success? This panel of experts will explore different techniques including collective intelligence and re-skilling, that can enhance your strategy.
Digital innovations offer great promises for enhanced productivity and profitability, but they rely on new technologies vulnerable to cyber-attack. Panelists from leading companies will share their expertise and insights on creating and executing a cybersecurity strategy to protect these digital innovations.
The pandemic forced people to work and learn in new ways and these changes may be here to stay. Will the ability for people to work from anywhere help in attracting talent that would otherwise not want to or be able to move? How will advances in online learning help in the continuous reskilling of talent? What new ways of obtaining talent are emerging, such as talent marketplaces for premium expertise or crowdsourcing platforms for innovation?
It is not a question whether digital transformation will come, but when and how. For many companies, the pandemic was a wake up call. In the new digital economy, many enterprises won’t succeed by merely tweaking the management practices that led to past success. To thrive in a digitized universe, businesses of all sizes need to reinvent themselves. Yet leaders often lack a common language to assess the degree of threat digital disruption poses to their business, and—more importantly—the language to create a compelling vision for their enterprise’s success.
In April Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” as companies adapt to stay open for business “in a world of remote everything.” What did your company do to adapt to the pandemic and how well has it worked? Will these accelerated changes remain in place in 2021 and beyond?
The “new normal” of user experience is the virtual one, be it working, shopping, learning, exercising, meeting with people, getting entertained or receiving healthcare. What technology innovations do you consider the most promising for enhancing the customer experience?
In many enterprises, ‘legacy IT’ and ‘digital natives’ bring different cultures, perspectives and capabilities to data, cloud & platforms. Innovation can be orchestrated from the stewards of legacy systems or it can be spearheaded by the next-gen digerati who will supplement, surround and supplant yesteryear’s code. How do you disrupt something without breaking what works? Perhaps CIOs and CDOs must blend these approaches. In this panel we will clarify and discuss the real-world trade-offs as companies confront ‘software is eating the world’ realities.
As recently reported by MIT CISR, companies with ‘digitally savvy’ leadership – both at the board level, and across the top management team – outperform peer groups against net margin, revenue growth and business valuation measures. Despite this, most companies lack sufficient digitally-savvy leadership, making strategy, planning and executing digital transformation programs difficult (if not impossible). This panel will discuss best practices to help bridge these communication gaps and some practical, proven solutions for helping enterprises progress with technology modernization agendas.
Before the pandemic, only 12% of executives strongly agree their organization’s leaders have the right mindset to embrace the changes needed to thrive in the digital economy, and a sobering 9% strongly agree that their organization has leaders with the skills to thrive in the digital economy. Ready or not, the pandemic forced enterprises to quickly adapt. This panel will discuss practical and specific recommendations to help CIOs settle into the next normal by increasing transparency and demonstrating authenticity.
The MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award honors executives who lead their organizations to deliver exemplary levels of business value through innovative use of IT. The Award, established in 2008, draws applicants from a wide diversity of industries, countries, and backgrounds. Recipients, and their organizations, receive broad recognition for their accomplishments.
In his new book, The New (Ab)Normal, Professor Yossi Sheffi studied how businesses grappled with the chaos of the pandemic and which ones are likely to survive and thrive after the pandemic subsides. He shows how the virus accelerated preexisting trends in technology adoption and predicts long term benefits for business performance. Fundamentally, businesses must create a better future in a time of extreme uncertainty. Professor Yossi Sheffi will provide his insights on how to achieve that.
CIOs are increasingly being asked to advise the board, lead change, and drive growth. As they look to the future, how are CIOs preparing and prioritizing? Working with the Symposium Team, Genpact surveyed 500 CIOs and technology leaders to find out. They will explore strategies diverse CIOs are adopting to enhance their business impact.
Sanjay Srivastava will give a keynote, "Digital is Easy, Transformation is Hard", which will summarize the findings of the report.
Moderators, Tom Davenport and Vikram Mahidhar, will then continue the discussion about the report with CIOs who participated in the study, including past MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award finalists.
Enterprises and their CIOs have been tested over the past year. Many have risen to the challenges of these times by evolving their culture and embracing digital technologies while at the same time striving for shared prosperity and security. We will explore what it means to be a true leader in the world ahead.