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2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: A SearchCIO guide

The 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium was all about making good on an enterprise digital transformation strategy. Explore the strategic advice, emerging technologies and big ideas from this year’s roster of CIOs, MIT faculty and experts.


Today's enterprise can be divided into two groups: the departments that are acquiring advanced digital capabilities and those that are lagging behind. This bifurcation of digital prowess was evident at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, where we asked CIOs and digital experts to expound on the factors driving digitalization at enterprises and the barriers holding them back. Not surprisingly, the departments that are customer-facing, such as marketing, are leading the digital transformation charge.

While the transition to a digitalized enterprise is happening at varied speeds for most companies, the need to develop a viable digital business model is universally recognized. Indeed, this year's event was all about taking action -- it is no longer enough just to have a vision for digital transformation, and the conference underscored that: sessions featured leading CIOs, IT practitioners, consultants and academics from across the globe dispensing hard-won advice on methods for planning and executing a future-forward digital transformation strategy.

In this SearchCIO conference guide, experience the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium by delving into our comprehensive coverage. Topics include building an intelligent enterprise, talent recruitment, the expanding CIO role and integration of emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, cloud and more.

To view our complete collection of video interviews filmed at this year's event, please see our video guide: "MIT CIO 2018 videos: Honing a digital leadership strategy."

1Thriving in a digital economy-

Digital transformation strategy and advice

Implementing a digital transformation strategy requires a clear set of objectives, IT-business alignment, recruitment of the right talent, self-disruption and building what experts call an "intelligent enterprise," among other things. In this section, the pros discuss the intricacies of leading the digital transformation charge.


The enterprise's urgent need to create a digital culture

Digital transformation masters from MIT, Liberty Mutual, and DBS Bank laid out why companies need to create a digital culture, along with a digital infrastructure, to succeed. Continue Reading


IT-business alignment key to digital transformation process

At the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, consultant Cathy Horst Forsyth explained which factors make for a successful digital transformation process and what slows companies down. Continue Reading


Six questions for honing digital business models

Old-school companies must find ways to generate digital revenue. Researchers at MIT Sloan laid out six questions that will help organizations refine their digital business models. Continue Reading


Do these things when building an intelligent enterprise, experts say

At the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, four IT executives shared hard-won lessons they've learned from building an intelligent enterprise and paid homage to the tech that helped them do it. Continue Reading


Cloud, AI, machine learning fuel the modern data center -- and digital transformation

To keep up with the ever-quickening pace of enterprise tech development, companies need the right combination of technological brains and brawn, says Equinix exec Ryan Mallory in this Q&A. Continue Reading


McKinsey, Korn Ferry offer tips for recruiting digital talent

The C-suite's penchant for hiring in its own image prevents companies from creating a digital culture. Another barrier: assuming HR can find the right people. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Airtel CIO urges businesses to 'disrupt themselves'

CIO Harmeen Mehta talks about Bharti Airtel's aggressive plan to digitize its internal operations and why all companies need to take bold action today or be put out of business. Continue Reading


A SearchCIO photo roundup of the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

Explore the major sessions and themes of the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium through the lens of the SearchCIO team. Continue Reading

2Technology transformation-

Utilizing emergent tech like AI, machine learning and cloud

Every digital transformation requires a future-forward vision that takes advantage of up-and-coming tools and technologies. In this section, academics and IT executives discuss the enterprise challenges, benefits, questions and wide-ranging potential that AI, machine learning, edge computing, big data and more bring to the enterprise.


Can legacy companies compete with digital natives on AI?

The CIO of DBS Bank and CTO of Kayak square off at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium on how to use AI for business success. Continue Reading


Predicting the unpredictable, overcoming bias are big challenges in AI

A difficult test for companies wanting to capitalize on huge amounts of data and the AI-driven insights it can provide is keeping up with reality, says MIT's Iyad Rahwan. Continue Reading


Human-machine 'complementarity' crucial in AI-laden future workplaces

What exactly AI and machine learning mean for the future of work prompts vigorous debate and gloomy headlines, but MIT researchers see brighter, more collaborative prospects on the horizon. Continue Reading


Startups on tech's bleeding edge reach out to channel partners

Bigleaf, CloudZero, Rescale are among the early stage companies investigating alliances with channel partners as they seek help with sales and support. Continue Reading

Blog Post

CIO: Is it AI or BI? 'Intelligent computing' needs to solve problems

David Gledhill, group CIO at DBS Bank, urged CIOs at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium to focus less on the AI and machine learning technology labels and more on the applications. Continue Reading


Edge computing is becoming essential to managing large data sets

Four IT practitioners at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium said edge computing, real-time analysis and Lambda architecture help them in managing large data sets. Continue Reading


A flourishing data center services market driving growth at Equinix

Mallory discusses his company's moves to meet growing demand for data center services and interconnectivity. Continue Reading

3Evolving CIO role-

The CIO's ever-expanding role in a digital world

Digital transformation not only brings with it new technologies and processes, it also brings new dimensions and responsibilities to the CIO role. In this section, CIOs and IT executives detail the CIO's place in an increasingly digital, threat-laden and customer-driven world and offer timely advice for staying on top of it all.


Digital customer experience is becoming the CIO's responsibility

As more business is done digitally, customer experience is becoming a key obligation for IT leaders, according to technology executives at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. Continue Reading

Blog Post

CIOs and IT startups are learning from each other

Participants in the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium's Innovation Showcase discuss the evolving relationship between early stage company execs and the C-suite. Continue Reading


CIO: 'The world of generalization is dead'

When it comes to developing IT skills, is it better to be the jack-of-all-trades or master of one? Airtel's Mehta shares her perspective in this piece. Continue Reading


Bank CIO's job expands to ensure 'safe and sound' systems

Digital transformation is changing the scope of the CIO role. For one CIO, responsibilities now include developing new protocols for building enterprise systems. Continue Reading


The CIO's role in an enterprise cybersecurity strategy

Digital transformation is leaving businesses exposed to more cyberattacks. At the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, panelists explain how much cybersecurity expertise is expected of CIOs. Continue Reading

Blog Post

The dual CIO-CDO role is becoming more common -- why?

McKinsey &Company's Naufal Khan explains why more IT leaders are taking on the CIO-CDO dual role in the enterprise. Continue Reading


Interviews filmed on site

During the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, SearchCIO staff had the pleasure of conducting several one-on-one video interviews with consultants and IT executives on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass. Below is a sampling of the videos.

A link to our full collection of videos filmed at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium can be found at the top of this guide.


How to scale your digital journey: Digital transformation tips

Wolfgang Bauriedel shares digital transformation tips for CIOs looking to scale their digital initiatives.


Driving digital transformation success with Agile

In this SearchCIO video, Bharti Airtel's CIO Mehta, MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award winner, explains why implementing Agile methodologies can help organizations scale their digital transformation projects.


Finance, HR ripe targets for digital transformation

At the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, consultant Khan said digital transformation programs need to go beyond e-commerce and mobile initiatives to include more enterprise support functions and operations.


Modern risk management must factor in the dangers of playing it safe

Bill Kracunas of RSM US LLP discusses the need for clear digital leadership and explains why modern risk management should not only factor in IT security and fraud detection, but also the risk of not innovating.


Pilot projects keep IT at fore of digital transformation at Land O'Lakes

CIO Michael Macrie talks about how digital technologies have reinvented marketing and about IT's role in pushing innovation.

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