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The Softchoice Blog: Innovation Executive Forum

Featured Article
Innovation Executive Forum | November 19, 2019 by Disha Shah
Softchoice’s Innovation Executive Forum (IEF) is touring North American cities once again – learning first-hand how IT leaders are driving transformation and delivering outcomes in their organizations. In this second post of the Digital Transformation Trends series, we bring you the key insights from our events in Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Featured Article
Innovation Executive Forum | November 19, 2019 by Disha Shah
When the leadership of Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company, wanted to improve collaboration between sales and the rest of the company, they went for an unconventional solution: Coffee.
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 23, 2019 by Disha Shah
The situation facing restaurant operators is the same with all industries in the middle of digital disruption. They need to “evolve or die.” At least, that’s how the financial analysts at Morningstar put it in a recent report.
Featured Article
Innovation Executive Forum | September 13, 2019 by Karen Bader
Enterprises today understand the requirement to combat slow and low end-user adoption, especially when the solutions are intended to transform the way people work, as with new communications and collaboration tools. For years, Softchoice has been offering end-to-end, turnkey adoption services, helping businesses across North America unlock more value, quickly, from their key collaboration investments. […]
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There are two kinds of cloud enterprises. Those that are “born in the cloud” — have come into being without ever owning a data center. And those that are migrating to the cloud, piece by piece, with varying senses of urgency and speed.
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There is no doubt artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most hyped technology trends of the past few years. From automating repetitive tasks to supporting better business decisions with machine learning, 80 percent of businesses are already using AI. But just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s easy to pull off.
Featured Article
In 2019, Softchoice’s Innovation Executive Forum (IEF) is touring North American cities once again – learning first-hand how IT leaders are driving transformation and delivering outcomes in their organizations. To share these insights with you, we’re launching a new blog series. We will be posting regular summaries of the discussions that take place during these […]
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There are few topics that seem more crucial to digital transformation than filling the IT skills gap. From investing in internal education and training programs to battling for fresh talent with perks, paychecks, and more purposeful work, IT leaders are tuned into the need for top talent. But recent studies reveal an alarming trend: The […]
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“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey
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When we talk about Digital Transformation, three key topics always come to the fore: optimizing IT investments, enabling end users, and IT agility. On a granular level, these three factors form an axis of issues companies must deal with when making the digital leap. At our recent roundtable dinner in Boston, we sat down with […]
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During a recent IEF roundtable dinner in New York City, we met with a number of IT professionals for a wide-ranging discussion about the changing nature of human resources in the digital era. The evening started off with a robust discussion about the competitive nature of today’s workplaces, and the subsequent “war for talent” organizations […]
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Put people first. If there’s one thing we learned over the course of our IEF dinner in Halifax, that would be it. As part of our ongoing series into the what’s new in IT, we invited IT professionals from Nova Scotia’s capital to discuss where they’re at, where they see things going, and what they […]
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Digital Transformation. At its base, we know what the term means. What isn’t always as clear, is what Digital Transformation actually means in practice, to the companies making the transition. It isn’t enough for the C-suite executives at the top of the tower to say, “We need to be digital”, or, “We need to be […]
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There’s nothing like Digital Transformation to separate those in the digital “know”, from those whose who simply, well, don’t know. As companies make the leap, closing the gap on legacy assets, (think: long-standing employees, cumbersome old IT, analog data storage systems, etc.) can pose a massive challenge. A recent IEF dinner in Washington DC, the […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 14, 2019 by Karen Bader
Remember when only “tech” companies sold or dealt with, technology? Thanks to digital transformation, those days are long in the past. Today, it doesn’t matter if you’re selling healthcare, laptops, oil & gas or blue jeans, every company can be considered a tech company. Recently, we gathered a group of Seattle-based senior IT leaders for an in-depth […]
Featured Article
Innovation Executive Forum | December 4, 2018 by Karen Bader
It’s a fact: the speed of business isn’t set to slow down anytime soon. As recent tech history has shown us, the digital transformation of business continues to move apace, as companies in virtually all sectors react to changing consumer demand and technological advancement. At our recent IEF event in Calgary, we gathered a group […]
Featured Article
Innovation Executive Forum | November 13, 2018 by Karen Bader
Digital transformation is doing more than putting Information Technology departments front and center – its turning companies, virtually all of them, into technology companies. Regardless of product, service or market, changing consumer demand and an evolved business landscape means smart companies are recognizing that technology has moved from a business support tool to a business […]
Featured Article
Innovation Executive Forum | November 13, 2018 by Karen Bader
Sometimes it’s tough to be a CIO. On one hand, the business wants transformative initiatives that speed-up time-to-market, automate core processes and improve connections with the customer. On the other, they insist that IT continue to “keep the lights on” at maximum efficiency. The IT leader must be dynamic – steering the organization’s adaptation to […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | September 10, 2018 by Karen Bader
The IT department of the past was like a hardware store. The business devised a new initiative. That initiative required tools and IT would provide them. Today, things have changed. Technology does much more than support the business in generating revenue – it’s a key part of the equation. In this world, the speed of […]
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The words “innovation” and “technology” form a natural combination. And so, many organizations leave the business of innovating at the feet of the IT department. It often falls on IT leaders keep the “technology watch,” remaining ever on the lookout for the next best thing in digital transformation.
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Today’s ideal “IT person” is somewhat of a unicorn. To excel, they must be good with technology and with people. Their business skills are just as important as their technical prowess. For them, selling the vision of digital transformation is as important as delivering technical projects. It’s challenging to find someone with the right blend of […]
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Digital transformation is about making life easier. The IT leader strives to make getting things done as easy as possible, whether it’s for customers, internal users or the IT team itself. But this is a challenge on its own. Every day, security threats grow more sophisticated. The cloud seems less like an option and more […]
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Making a Better Business Once upon a time, IT was worlds apart from the business. Today, the two are inseparable. The IT leader no longer fulfils their role by responding to requirements and reacting to problems. Instead, they look at the state of the business to determine how to bring more value from a technology […]
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We’ve enjoyed some wide-ranging and insightful discussions on all of our conference calls for the Innovation Executive Forum in 2017. To wrap up the year, we hosted a group of experts from public and private sectors who discussed the challenges they faced this year and opportunities they believe lay ahead for 2018. This group of […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 3, 2018
Across the business landscape, digital transformation is underway. While some industries may be slower to adapt than others, organizations in every vertical are embracing digitization. The move toward digital presents IT executives with a watershed moment to transform the perception of the IT function from cost center to competitive advantage. From an internal perspective, this […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 3, 2018
No matter how fast as tools, trends and technologies change, IT will still be about people. The CIO’s first concern is to provide people with the technology they need to do their jobs. But, the technology-driven workplace is changing fast. Numbering more than one-in-three, the largest cohort in the American workforce are those under 35, […]
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The performance criteria for IT leaders is changing. IT is responsible for installing and maintaining the “plumbing” – the technical infrastructure that keeps the organization running. It also involves embedding that infrastructure into a process that makes the organization more productive.
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In the past, we thought of IT as two broad categories: software development and infrastructure. Today, our thinking is a little different. Technology rolls out to users across the organization faster than ever. Every line of business thinks they understand it. Corporate finance and senior management expect more value from it. Meanwhile, the news warns of new threats to its integrity every day.
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The job of an IT executive is sometimes a thankless one. The pace of change in the business ecosystem puts pressure on the IT department to implement better technology faster. Meanwhile, line-of-business (LOB) managers procure their own unauthorized software. Management delays investment in back-end infrastructure. A single email attachment could expose the entire organization to the latest ransomware – or worse.
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Even as a 13-year-old boy, Dell EMC’s John Byrne knew the secret to business that would one day help drive the largest technology merger of all time: put people first. “I started my first business at 13, selling bread buns to the people of Scotland — people who were suffering from, let’s say, being ‘over-served’ on a Saturday evening,” said Byrne, President of Dell EMC’s multi-billion-dollar channel business.
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In this era, the role of the IT department is much more than keeping the lights on. From machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to cybersecurity and customer engagement, technology is reshaping the way we do business.
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Disruption from external and internal forces puts pressure on a business to adapt. An “IT leader” has become a hybrid sales role. Its mandate: Championing the IT department as a partner for transformative change. In response, many organizations are integrating technology into every facet of their operations. At our IEF dinner in San Diego, we asked attendees to discuss disruption in their industries and the ways it helps and hinders their organizations.
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At our recent IEF dinner in Los Angeles, West Coast IT leaders met to discuss transformative changes they faced in their industries and the strategies they’re using to disrupt rather than be disrupted.
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In our recent IEF Spotlight Interview, we had a conversation with Jeremiah Grossman, founder of WhiteHat Security and the current chief of security strategy at endpoint protection provider SentinelOne.  Grossman discussed his transition from the head of a “professional hacker army” to his new role in the escalating fight against malware.
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WannaCry. Petya. CryptoLocker. Millions of machines across thousands of corporations have been infected with ransomware over the last two years. At its core, ransomware is a type of malware, typically started via clicking a phishing link in an email, which then encrypts critical files and systems on the infected machines, while attempting to spread to other connected systems. Some variants target industries like healthcare, some target companies connected to a country, like the Ukraine, and some try and spread as wide as possible. All are designed to cripple the infected company by demanding bitcoin in return for the decryption keys. Without those keys it is effectively impossible to get back to full functionality in any reasonable period of time. Knowing that much of an organizations risk sits between the keyboard and the chair – yes, your people. There are some solid options to explore before, during, and after an attack to protect your organization and your worker’s productivity.
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I have my eyes closed. I’m imagining an executive meeting in the boardroom of a large international logistics company that moves things around the world.  It’s 1999, and the head of IT is about to provide an update on their preparedness for Y2K.  So much is riding on everything being up-and-running at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, 2000, and it falls to her and her team.  At the end of her update, she also mentions reading that Amazon, “you know, the company that started selling books online,” just announced their move beyond books.  She regards this as an indicator that her company needs to step up its shipping and logistics game to scale to potential demand.  Maybe it’s time to revisit a partnership?  A few looks pass between the other team members. She suggests connecting with the SVP of Sales offline to discuss further. He agrees. The meeting concludes. But, the follow-up meeting never gets the attention it deserves.
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I believe we have become a society of accumulators.  Think about the last time you were in a Costco. How many items were in your cart when you left compared with the list you entered with?  Costco spends a lot of time researching our wants and buying patterns. Then they use that data to determine the items they place on the “power wall” as you enter the store.  I often refer to this as “wall of things you have to have, but never knew you needed.”  On average, Costco turns over their entire inventory in fewer than thirty days. They must be getting something right.
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I never thought I would begin a blog article by quoting Vladimir Putin.  But, in early September, the Russian president was speaking to a group of students and shared the following: “Artificial Intelligence is the future, but for all humankind.” He went on to say “It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. 
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On our most recent conference call, IEF chair Erika Van Noort hosted Devon Wright, co-founder of Turnstyle and current General Manager of Yelp WiFi. Wright spoke to the IEF members about using technology to “close the feedback loop” between businesses and the customers who love them. In this article, we’ll delve into his thoughts on […]
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A group of IT executives joined us in Toronto to discuss the major innovation trends and challenges facing them today. What follows is a breakdown of their most useful, enlightened advice, including: 3 easy ways IT can improve user experience Staying paranoid — and other surprising innovation techniques Why security pros shouldn’t bank on protection alone […]
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Introduction: IT leaders are positioned to transform their business and with that, create a ripple effect, that can change the world — but they can’t do it all on their own. Knowing when to focus, and on what, is crucial for any business hoping to succeed in its digital transformation. What follows are five big […]
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Introduction: It’s time IT leaders got their act together and started planning for the “known unknowns” as well as the “unknown unknowns” coming their way. This was the message that emerged at our annual IEF stop in Calgary, a city rich with oil and energetic ideas. From taking steps to prepare your workers for the […]
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How IT Leaders are Using Change to Their Advantage Everything comes down to change. How well can you transform your data into a valuable business asset?  How will your business handle an evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats? How will your retail business adapt to new customer interfaces? How fast and how flexible will you make […]
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Everything comes down to change Bask Iyer, officially titled Executive Vice President and CIO for Dell Technologies and VMware, has an impressive resume of past positions spanning 25 years in Fortune 100 companies and Silicon Valley high-tech firms, such as Johnson & Johnson and Juniper Networks. Luckily for our members, he found the time to […]
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How IT leaders identify, convert and monetize untapped resources The job of IT is sometimes akin to alchemy. You take a seemingly innocuous, non-valuable material and turn it into metaphorical gold. This idea was on full display during the recent Innovation Executive Forum (IEF) stop in Halifax. Leaders from multiple industries came together to share […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | June 15, 2017
  Doing the impossible… Tackling the new and impossible was a theme emerging from our first CIO Table Talk event of 2017. From the magic trick of transforming data into a precious new revenue stream to defeating the unstoppable threat of ransomware – and everything in between – the IEF members had lots to share. […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | April 11, 2017
As we gear up for our 2017 Innovation Executive Forum (IEF) tour we are pulling together the discussion theme which builds on the topic of Exponential Organizations a book published by Salim Ismail. The book explores: How fast-moving, low-cost companies are taking advantage of information to rapidly dominate the economy How established firms should respond How you can […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 9, 2016
Everyone wants to innovate. But who has the time? A group of high-level IT leaders gathered in San Diego for an exclusive round-table dinner. Lack of time was repeatedly pointed to as the biggest factor standing in the way of innovation. If one thing sucks all the power out of change and innovation, it’s being […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 31, 2016
No resource planning software. No product development strategy. No IT. Add to that a household brand, millions of dollars of sales and exponential growth across the globe, and what do you get?
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 21, 2016
You didn’t read that headline wrong. Getting hacked can be good. For CIO’s and Security Officers, suffering an attack, like a phishing or whaling scam, can actually be a good thing. Take for example the story of one IT leader, who joined us as a panelist on our last Innovation Executive Forum (IEF) conference call. […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | September 15, 2016
With over $3 billion in damages over three years, not only are whaling attacks on the rise — they are evolving in new and nefarious ways to do more damage to your enterprise. This is the warning coming from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a new public service announcement released this summer.
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Innovation Executive Forum | September 15, 2016
Fruitful relationships at the C-Level are crucial for IT leaders to drive change and innovation across the business. But there is often push back from the powers that be, who don’t see your technology vision in the same light as you. Sometimes you can address these issues head on – other times you need to take a less direct route.
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Innovation Executive Forum | August 24, 2016
If only securing your business was like killing werewolves. All you’d need is a trusty silver bullet and your problems would be solved. As we saw at our first ever IEF Security Council conference call, such thinking about information security is naïve. Not only is there no “silver bullet,” no magic box to do away with all your risks and obstacles, but the stakes have never been higher. Threats are climbing, while the pool for good talent is shrinking.
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Innovation Executive Forum | July 15, 2016
The IEF held its annual touchdown in Halifax, for what one attendee later wrote was the the “best group yet” of innovative technology leaders from across industries. Indeed, for all who attended, several stimulating ideas were shared that are relevant and useful to all executives leading the charge of a modern digital business. All of […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | July 15, 2016
Thousands of IT specialists are about to go extinct. Good ideas are worthless unless they help drive the business forward. Be bold and focus – that’s how you will succeed. These are just three slivers of insight generated at the lively discussion we hosted in Toronto, May 17, 2016. Home to Softchoice’s headquarters, we had […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | July 11, 2016
There is no silver bullet when it comes to successful innovation. But there are quite a few best practices, and inspiring case studies, which can help you get there, no matter what industry you are in. At the IEF roundtable in Toronto, for example, technology leaders provided ample pieces of advice that can inform and […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | July 11, 2016
From schools to restaurants, and every industry in between, IEF members in Vancouver had a lot to say about the future of their roles in IT. We saw a school board arming its students for a digital future; a smart kitchen powered by machine learning; and a paper producer relying on Big Data to carve […]
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As the oil economy continued its tumble and the fires endured in Fort McMurray, Alberta’s IT elite got together for an intimate chat with their peers hosted by the IEF. What emerged was a clear picture that, despite of hard-knock times, the innovation engines continue to pump in Calgary. From dissenting views on where innovation […]
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Innovation knows no bounds. Consider, for example, the tech leadership of St John’s, Newfoundland. A bustling city miles away from the Canadian coast, St John’s is best known for its gorgeous scenery and historic fishing industry. More recently, it is a land where leveraging the cloud was thought to be unfeasible, if only because the […]
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It’s a modern day truism that in order to be successful, the IT department has to listen to the needs of stakeholders, whether it be employees or customers or the CEO. But what about that old Henry Ford story, the one where he said if all he did was listen to customers he’d have built […]
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Hundreds of top level technology leaders joined together for over 20 events in 2015, to discuss their industries, their fears and their successes. Top on the list of themes for these leaders were the transformational topics of Big Data and the Cloud. These are two buzzed technologies that everyone has heard of one way or […]
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Hundreds of top level technology leaders joined together for over 20 IEF events in 2015, to discuss their industries, their fears and their successes. At each one of these events, we were constantly and pleasantly reminded of the true nature of IT’s job. At the root, technology today isn’t about technology. It’s about people, and […]
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Hundreds of top level technology leaders joined together for over 20 IEF events in 2015, to discuss their industries, their fears and their successes. And during that time, security maintained its place as a key IT focus. But it was different than how it’s traditionally been discussed. Security is no longer simply about building up […]
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After skimming through the findings of over 20 IEF events held last year, one point stands out from the rest. IT leaders are smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis, one where the traditional values of IT no longer apply, and the expectations for a new kind of technology-led strategy are at times […]
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In April 2016, the City of Seattle released a treasure trove of archival photographs, documenting the erection of one of its most timeless icons: The Space Needle. The tech news website Geekwire took the opportunity to share stomach-dropping photos of the tower’s construction, declaring them as a testament to the technological visionaries who built the […]
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It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, if you don’t have a digital culture, you won’t be able to innovate. This was perhaps the one theme that tied together our discussions at the first Innovation Executive Forum of the year in San Francisco. We saw how technology leaders need to actively work to create […]
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CIO’s know their most important responsibility is helping guide the overall business strategy and digital transformation. But for many of them, holding this type of influence is still a distant dream. For others, they don’t even know where to begin – nor believe it will ever happen. This topic was the focus during our second […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 22, 2016
5 Unstoppable Changes in IT: The Extreme Nature of Disruption Here’s a story from a recent Innovation Executive Forum, one we think everyone should hear: One day, a CIO told his team to meet in the board room. He drew a diagram on the board, illustrating the future of this major consumer publishing company – […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 6, 2016
The Big Change Up in IT: From Big Data, to Workplace, to Cloud  The IT industry has undergone massive changes in recent years, but we are only getting started. This was the key insight from our Innovation Executive Forum that took place in Washington, earlier in 2015. From Big Data, to the workplace, to the cloud, […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | December 22, 2015
IT leaders tackle disruption at the IEF in New York City In the face of disruption, IT leaders have a few options. Two of which are the following: they can sit around and do nothing, or they can jump in blindly and take on every single new technology gizmo and approach imaginable. Both approaches are […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | December 17, 2015
Colorado’s innovation hot-bed: IEF comes to Denver Denver is being overtaken by the Millennials – with younger generation workers outnumbering Baby Boomers in that city for the first time, ever. And if you are in IT, this is an amazing news. It means that more than ever, your business is about innovation. Whether it’s focussing […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | December 11, 2015
Changing it up: Doing IT differently in the new digital world For our most recent IEF event in Dallas, leaders from across industries gathered to discuss real and recent trends facing them in IT today. And while a common and frequent theme popped up – how the role of IT is changing in line with […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | December 9, 2015
Big Data vs. Car Thieves and Other Stories from San Diego What does a car thief and a veteran architect have in common? Each are under assault by digital disruption, finding that new technology and a new IT department are forever changing their way of life – at least that’s according to the CIOs gathered […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 24, 2015
5 Pieces of Advice for Cloud and Cyber Security Strategies As the new year looms, IT leaders gathered for a special conference call to discuss their pressing needs, challenges and strategies. And while the topics they focused on were old news – cloud and cyber security – the way in which they talked about them […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 17, 2015
IT Leaders “Face the Strange” of Change Management in Los Angeles It’s impossible to write a blog post all about changes without being struck by that old David Bowie song: “Ch-ch-ch-changes / Turn and face the strange.” Those are wise words for any technological leader in these modern times of total transformation. And as we saw at […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 6, 2015
Why IT leaders are putting people first: teachings in from Softchoice IEF roundtable in Chicago In the real-estate world, the saying goes: Location. Location. Location. But what about for IT? In our latest IEF whitepaper, we suggest that “People, People, People” is a promising way to build up your organization for maximum success. From keeping data […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 3, 2015
Getting on the same page: Aligning IT strategy with goals of the business The technology department has a brand new, strategic responsibility in the board room. But executing on this heightened role successfully comes down to how strong IT can build relationships with executive leaders, end users and the business as a whole. This was the core […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 15, 2015
The impact of major technological transformation on the lives and jobs of IT leaders The world is getting smarter, and the proof is everywhere. Cinemas are tracking your every purchase; retirement homes are leveraging predictive analytics to prevent injury; and self-driving cars are cruising down California streets. As IT leaders from across industries gathered to share […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 6, 2015
Back to School: IEF hits Mississauga for some important lessons As the autumn leaves changed color, top-level IT leaders gathered for the Innovation Executive Forum to discuss the drastic ways in which their own jobs were transforming. Discussions ranged from preparing our youngsters (and their teachers) for a digital world; straddling data to find its […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | September 8, 2015
Charles Dickens might not have been talking about Calgary in his famous opening lines, but things sure seem to be at a “best of times, worst of times” situation over in the Alberta town. At IEF’s latest stop in Calgary we brought together a swath of industry technology leaders to discuss recent trends in their […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | August 4, 2015
Summing up the Vancouver IEF event in one sentence would be an injustice to the rich and varied discussions our members shared. The evening was full of gems, and deeply interesting topics, covering all angles of the modern IT leader experience. Topics like: Best Practices for Bringing Social Networking to the Enterprise Engaging Millennials & […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | July 24, 2015
From Teddy Bears to Failing Fast: A take on technology trends from IT leaders It never ceases to amaze just how much you can learn when sit down to chat with an expert. And when over 20 senior level IT members got together this May to chat about technology trends, some incredible stories emerged. We covered every facet […]
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This May, the Innovation Executive Forum made a stop in Seattle to discuss pressing needs and priorities for tech leaders in this city, widely known for its innovation. From competing with the big players, to ensuring employee happiness, to strategies for driving adoption, the night was full of excellent, actionable take always for anyone in […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | June 23, 2015
Robots and Recognition When the IEF stopped in San Francisco, members had a few things on their minds. Security. Adoption. And hiring. But the takeaways that resulted from the evening’s conversation were varied and compelling — sometimes confirming what we’ve known for years, and sometimes surprising and delighting the table of senior IT leaders that […]
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ATTRACT TOP TALENT WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK As the war for talent raises the bar of competition to unprecedented heights, many firms are finding it impossible to win the battle on salary alone. Whether it’s working with local entertainment and government to build a rich and lively work-life ecosystem, or leveraging a sunny local climate to hook […]
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5 Lessons from Atlanta The best part of the IEF is that we never know exactly what our members will discuss each time we come together. In general, the topics are left wide open; the only hope is we uncover trends and challenges IT leaders face today, and share some advice from the pros that […]
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We all know just how hard it can be to find good people – but count yourself lucky if you happen to be located anywhere but the Atlantic Provinces. That’s because its remote location, frigid weather and an ongoing brain drain combine to make the war for good talent that much harder for the East […]
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It’s not every day you hear an IT leader tell you a story from his job and you think to yourself: “not in a million years could I do that!” This was the case as the Softchoice IEF gathered in Halifax for a round-table discussion on real and recent trends in the field of IT. […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | April 24, 2015
On February 26th IEF members joined from across North America to discuss and debate real and recent challenges within their organizations. The discussion included: Remote Work During Inclement Weather Strategies and best practices employed during major weather events The SaaS Strategy Exploring service providers and tools making seamless remote work possible Communications Needed to Facilitate […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 29, 2015
Senior IT leaders gathered in Manhattan to discuss and debate everything from staying ahead of the bring your own IT paradigm, implementing an IT advisory council, the shifting workforce and the expectations of millennials and the challenges with sourcing top talent. One IEF member shared his strategy for IT leadership and business integration by implementing an […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | January 29, 2015 by Karen Bader
Softchoice IEF Members gathered at the esteemed Fearing’s Restaurant in The Ritz-Carlton Dallas to discuss how the Changing Role of IT impact’s their roles within the business. Topics included: Unlearn Tech to Learn Business – To achieve a closer more relevant stance with the business, one member was forced to “unlearn his technical interactions and priorities” in order […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | December 9, 2014 by Karen Bader
Members joined from across North America to discuss and debate real and recent challenges within their organizations. The discussion included: Getting a Seat at the Executive Table  negotiate the seat before accepting the job Capital Expenditures & Justifying Every Penny simplify the budget requirements with categorization use language the business understands Unified Communications & Collaboration […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | December 2, 2014 by Karen Bader
Erika Van Noort is the North American Consulting Director at Softchoice. She meets with IT leaders daily, helping them accelerate their path to business and technology alignment. In between her packed schedule zipping around North America, I had the chance to speak with her about ways for IT Leaders to bridge the divide between IT and the […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 24, 2014 by Karen Bader
Softchoice welcomed returning members and new members in the downtown area of Seattle at Canlis restaurant to discuss the impacts of the Changing Role of IT. The discussion flowed throughout the evening and some topics included: Talent as Part of the Brand – The marketing of IT requires Senior IT leaders to build relationships with […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 24, 2014 by Karen Bader
Softchoice was joined by new members and existing members to participate in the second Innovation Executive Forum, San Diego. A few topics for the evening included: IT Should Monitor SaaS Behavior – There is a distinct difference between control and enablement. When evaluating and managing Shadow IT, knowledge is powerful and understanding the current state is critical. […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 11, 2014 by Karen Bader
Softchoice IEF members joined together to discuss topics ranging from wrangling social media to implementing change management processes. Highlights included: Wrangling social media and IT brand management – managing the brand image of the company through collaboration with IT and identifying social media policies Managing content sprawl and governance – uncovering content sprawl and working with internal users to […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 4, 2014 by Karen Bader
The first inaugural Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum – Halifax welcomed some of the top organizations and leaders in the area at the esteemed daMaurizio Fine Dining restaurant in the heart of Halifax. Discussion focused on the area of Collaboration and Erika opened the topic for the evening as she shared her experience within Softchoice indicating that, […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | November 4, 2014 by Karen Bader
Here is the report from the roundtable dinner at our Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum held  in Atlanta, Georgia. Cloud Barriers: SaaS Lock-in – CIOs need to evaluate the lifecycle of data in the cloud considering not just data ownership but also integration in scenarios such as acquisition. Shadow IT Isn’t Always a Bad Thing – IT leaders […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 27, 2014 by Karen Bader
The second Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum in Toronto, Ontario welcomed some of the top organizations and leaders in the area, as both new and returning members gathered at Momofuku Nikai, at the famous Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of the city. Here is an excerpt from the report, when our SVP Services Kevin Wright addressed how Softchoice […]
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Innovation Executive Forum | October 22, 2014 by Karen Bader
I recently came across this article and thought it would be great to share with the IEF group. Developing IT talent is a topic that often surfaces during roundtable discussions and quarterly conference calls. McKinsey & Company completed a study called Developing Talent for Large IT Projects. This report explores three steps IT leaders can take to develop […]