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Notes from CIO Decisions 2008

I know this sounds like self-promotion, seeing as I work for TechTarget and all, but CIO Decisions is pretty freaking great.

For those that don’t know, the whole gist of this conference is that we get about 200 midmarket CIOs together for a three-day conference (four if you include golf as a conference activity). The presenters are almost all midmarket CIOs. There are plenty of networking opportunities. The whole thing is one big peer immersion exercise.

When you work in IT, that can be pretty refreshing. This is one of those great situations where you can complain about your boss and nobody thinks you’re whining. Everybody gets it. Everybody else deals with it.

In fact, one of the big topics of conversation at the show is how CIOs can put themselves “at the table,” as it were. Opening keynote speaker Susan Cramm argued that CIOs should delegate tasks away to business units, allowing IT to focus on truly transformational projects. I watched two great roundtable discussions about CIOs taking the lead on business continuity and disaster recovery.

Frankly, I don’t see how business continuity became a CIO’s job in the first place. It certainly isn’t just about keeping the computers running. Yet, to a man (and lets be honest, these are mostly men) the CIOs I’ve talked to aren’t just ready to revamp their business continuity plans. They’re practically demanding to. And they’re ticked that their bosses aren’t listening.

Last night was the Midmarket IT Leadership Awards dinner. My bosses had the mind to delay the awards until the end of Game 6. That worked out well because:

a) Celtics destroyed.
b) The game was shown on big screens in the ballroom at the La Costa Resort and Spa.
c) Everybody was in a good mood, unless they were Lakers fans, in which case we’re not really concerned about their mood.

Go to this page here to learn about the 10 CIOs whose vision and hard work earned them one of the awards.

And be sure to be checking SearchCIO-Midmarket.com over the next few weeks as we post content from the conference. I’m working on a few stories and have also filmed interviews with forward-thinking CIOs.

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