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2016 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: The digital CIO has arrived

How do you become a digital CIO? Our comprehensive coverage of the 2016 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium gives you the roadmap.


What does it take to thrive in the digital economy? That's the question leading CIOs, IT leaders and academics tackled at this year's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium in Cambridge, Mass. But don't expect any easy answers.

Success in today's cutthroat, digital economy hinges on demonstrating keen leadership in digital innovation. Panelists and speakers emphasized that if CIOs and their organizations want to be heavy hitters in this realm, they'll have to let go of traditional methodologies and legacy technologies and embrace the new IT: the internet of things, blockchain, augmented reality. The digital CIO will also need to educate their business peers on the new business models -- technology-enabled platforms that connect consumers and producers, nimble startups -- that are fueling the digital economy.

This CIO Essential Guide rounds up SearchCIO's coverage of the 2016 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. Read on, learn and enjoy.

1The digitally adept-

Best practices, case studies and strategy advice from digital CIOs

Today's enterprise winners are the organizations that can exploit digital technology to make money and grow. For many companies that will require major changes to their IT systems and corporate cultures. How can the digital CIO achieve this transformation? This section dives into best practices for moving away from traditional IT and business approaches and making your organization more digitally adept.


Cooperation and competition in the digital economy

This year's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium was all about the "digital ecosystem." To compete, companies need to play by a new directive: Share or be left out. Continue Reading


CDM Smith CIO brings HoloLens to the enterprise

David Neitz said collaboration was key to bringing the cutting-edge technology to his engineering firm. Continue Reading


MIT CIO panel debates blockchain use cases, value of private vs. public

The blockchain industry is figuring out what makes a good blockchain use case, debating the usefulness of private blockchains and mapping out how regulators might benefit. Continue Reading


Startup culture is seeping into traditional financial services

IT executives suggest financial services organizations looking to make a digital transformation should integrate elements of startup business culture. Continue Reading


Key digital metrics of success from McKinsey & Company

McKinsey's Christopher Paquette spoke to SearchCIO at the MIT CIO event about important digital metrics and a range of enterprise digitization skills. Continue Reading


Best practices for getting into the data business

Making the decision to get into the data business isn't an easy one, an MIT CIO panel concluded, but it's an increasingly enticing one. The panel considered some best practices for doing so. Continue Reading


Mobile app brings comic relief to managing 401(k)s

The CIO at Principal Financial Group details the company's digitization efforts, including a customer-facing app that injects comedy into managing retirement savings. Continue Reading

2New questions for IT-

Thorny issues in digital transformation

The digital economy brings a host of new questions for CIOs and IT executives to address. In this section, experts from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium tackle some of the biggest concerns facing today's digital CIO.

Blog Post

It's time to rethink the CISO reporting structure

The traditional security and risk officers reporting structure doesn't work in the age of internet-connected things, they said. Continue Reading

Blog Post

New security questions arise in face of IoT, big data proliferation

As the focus of the attackers continues to shift in the face of IoT proliferation, the challenge will be how to mitigate attacks beforehand, an MIT CIO panel said. Continue Reading


Experts seek to shed light on blockchain security amid hype

With all the hype around blockchain technology also comes plenty of questions, particularly regarding blockchain security. A panel of experts takes on these concerns. Continue Reading


IT pros address issues of blockchain privacy and digital identity

The decentralized nature of blockchain has some industry gurus questioning how privacy will be balanced with the digitization of user identity. Continue Reading


Time to upgrade traditional data governance plans

In this SearchCIO video, IBM Analytics' VP of product development Rob Thomas explains why an advanced data governance plan is a critical part of next-gen security. Continue Reading


Digital transformation: How to scale, where to start

In this SearchCIO video, McKinsey & Company's Christopher Paquette addresses questions about enterprise digitization. Continue Reading


Tapping channel expertise sooner

Startup tech companies see the value of channel partners, but they have some unique requests. Continue Reading

3On the scene-

The social network

Along with interviewing IT executives and sitting in on sessions, SearchCIO staffers were also busy snapping photos and recording video snippets for our Instagram account.

4The role of the digital CIO-

Opportunities abound for CIOs willing to get down and dirty with digitization

Digitization is giving CIOs a new lease on life. In our "Digitally adept" section, you learned how David Neitz, CIO at CDM Smith, helped launch cutting-edge technology to better serve customers. Here, read how he's finding the money to make projects like HoloLens happen. The digital CIO is also being tapped to play key roles outside of the IT department. At JetBlue, the CIO heads up the internal VC arm for the company. And boards are seeking out CIOs to serve as trusted tech advisers.


The evolution of the CIO

In this SearchCIO video, Korn Ferry's Craig Stephenson explains how the role of the CIO has changed in the last five years. Continue Reading


The power of the 'do-not-do' list

The do-not-do list can be an effective tool when aligning IT to the business, according to David Neitz, CIO at CDM Smith. Continue Reading


Lack of collaboration snares digitization efforts

Culture rather than technology is the biggest digital innovation challenge. Mendix CEO Derek Roos explains why in this SearchCIO video. Continue Reading


Boards seek out CIO skills

CIOs with deep technology knowledge are in high demand by boards of directors. Korn Ferry's Craig Stephenson explains why in this SearchCIO video. Continue Reading

Blog Post

The CIO as venture capitalist?

The boardroom isn't the only place companies are leveraging CIO skills. At JetBlue, Eash Sundaram serves as the CIO and as the chairman of JetBlue Technology Ventures. Continue Reading

5Skills and talent-

It's time to redo your recruitment strategy

Everyone talks 'innovation' these days, but IT recruitment remains stuck in its ways. That's a mistake, according to executives and academics at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. They suggest CIOs rely on data analytics during the hiring process and seek out alternative resources, such as the Year Up program, to bridge the tech skills gap.


Even recruiting tactics need innovating

Digitization is upending every corner of the business -- including talent searches. Executives have a few ideas on how CIOs can reimagine the process. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Are you hiring? Look outside the IT box

Experts offer pithy and pointed advice on how CIOs can find the necessary IT skills for the businesses of tomorrow. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Millennials and the future of work

The Millennial generation is adept at leveraging the gig economy. What kind of impact will that have on the workforce? Continue Reading

Blog Post

Tech skills still a must for the digital CIO

CIOs of the future: Don't overlook the importance of IT fundamentals. Continue Reading


A curated list from our symposium coverage

CIOs and IT experts talk about how they're taking on IT portfolio management, IT strategy and security in the face of digital threats and responsibilities.


CDM Smith's CIO, David Neitz, on three types of innovation

Creativity doesn't come in one flavor at CDM Smith. CIO David Neitz talks about the three types of innovation that keep this engineering firm moving forward. Continue Reading


A digital CIO talks IT portfolio management

CDM Smith CIO David Neitz describes how cost transparency and gamification can add up to business value. Continue Reading


Big data is changing this CIO's cyber strategy

Cyber strategy: Big data exposes more digital assets to threats, says Gary Scholten, CIO at Principal Financial Group, but it is also a key to better IT security. Continue Reading


How to use a bimodal strategy strategically

A bimodal IT strategy should be seen for what it is: a way to transition from the old to the new world of business, according to Derek Roos. Continue Reading


The evolution of digital

Digitization isn't a new topic for CIOs, as this look back on MIT CIO Symposiums gone by demonstrates. This year's theme? 'Thriving in a digital economy.' The theme way back in 2011? 'Beyond the crossroads: How will the CIO role evolve in the digital business world?' But make no mistake, the CIO's role in digital transformation has evolved and so has our coverage. See for yourself.


2015's theme: 'Inventing your future: Accelerating success through technology'

Our most popular story from 2015 featured Schindler Group CIO Michael Nilles who talked about the importance of a united front when building a digital business. Continue Reading


2014's theme: 'Lead your digital enterprise forward: Are you ready for the next digital revolution'

Our most popular story from 2014: The debate as to who should lead a company's digital efforts is a waste of time. The more important conversation is determining how to measure digital success. Continue Reading


2013's theme: 'The transformational CIO: Architecting the enterprise of the future'

Our most popular read from 2013: The big data revolution is real; CIOs need to step up. Continue Reading


2012's theme: 'Piloting the untethered enterprise'

Our most popular story from 2012: Will the role of the CIO survive in a world that worships agility? Continue Reading


2011's theme: 'Beyond the crossroads: How will the CIO role evolve in the digital business world?'

Our most popular story from 2011? Our data doesn't go back that far, but this piece, focused on cloud and mobile computing, came out of the annual CIO keynote panel. Continue Reading

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