Huge thanks to everyone who attended the CIO Strategy Meeting this week! We were more than happy to welcome such an engaging group of influential IT leaders and dedicated sponsors to the first Strategy Meeting of the year in sunny Los Angeles.

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Plenty of hot topics were covered throughout this one-day/one-evening event. After a solid networking hour filled with cocktails and conversation on the terrace, Co-Host Sponsor Qlik kicked-off the first night with a presentation from Alfonso Franklin, Senior Manager, Solution Architects, on using data and business analytics to its full potential.


Large group of people listening to keynote speaker


The next morning, after all delegates and sponsors were presented with their personalized schedules, attendees set off on participating in discussion groups and talking strategy one-on-one with vendors.


small board room meeting


Lead Sponsor SAP’s Joyce Swanke, Senior Director, Customer Innovation and Enterprise Platform, gave the keynote lunch presentation, sharing insight on harnessing important and new data capabilities in the innovative, digitally transformative world. Then post-lunch, it was back to sharing first-hand experiences and tactics amid the afternoon’s discussion group sessions and vendor meetings.


Audience listening to keynote speaker


Finally, to close out the conversation, five facilitators assembled to lead a panel and incite debate among attendees on the future of the CIO, the prevalent obstacles, and how to seamlessly adjust and adapt. The panel consisted of:



Robin Bienfait
Valor Ventures

Former Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer-Senior Advisor
Samsung Electronics


Debating Team

Mike Benson
Former Chief Information Officer

Haseen Alam
Chief Information Officer
Johnson Brothers Wholesale Liquor Co.

Juan Fontanes
Vice President of IT & Chief Information Officer
NEC Corporation of America (NECAM)

Thomas Cowan
Associate Director, The Center for Technology Management
Columbia University


Executives smiling and standing in a line


Ultimately, input from delegates on the biggest takeaways from the event centered on grasping the data in front of you and rethinking the ways your organizational culture and IT community is created and nurtured.

That said, here’s a quick breakdown on key conversation highlights to draw from the CIO Strategy Meeting in LA:

“Figure out and start to create a brand that appeals to the workforce that you’re after, the strategically use technology to make people know that brand exists and to further the building of that brand.”

– Thomas Cowan, Assistant Director for The Center for Technology Management at Columbia University, on addressing the perpetual difficulties of talent acquisition, retention, growth, and development in IT and business.

“In complex organizations…it’s important to have a big data strategy that’s flexible and allows for multiple platforms…or a combination of solutions that can enable access to that high-quality, real-time data. ”

– Lilian Coral, Chief Data Officer for City of Los Angeles, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, on discussing with peers the want and need for getting real-time, quality big data quickly.

“We need the data to generate more revenue. Can we do research and understand/identify new opportunities by introducing new, unique products that others do not offer? Or can we start the new business lines? That’s the importance of data, that’s how people are planning to monetize.”

– Assad Shaik, Chief Data Scientist for Cuna Mutual Group, on the impacts that the monetization of data has had across the business world.

Have a takeaway to add? Share with us by tagging NCS Madison and using #CIOLA2017 on Twitter and Linkedin.


Big thank you again to all who attended this year’s CIO Strategy Meeting in LA! Stay tuned for more insights on topics discussed at the CIO Strategy Meeting featured throughout our NCS Madison blog and monthly newsletter.

Interested in joining us and/or sponsoring the next CIO Strategy Meeting on April 24-25 in New York? Simply click here to request more info or email us at to begin your registration.

Also, view our full calendar of 2017 Strategy Meetings here on our website!