Thursday, October 22, 2009

CIO conference to focus on 'preparing for the future'

CENTRAL OHIO SOURCE - The Daily Reporter, Inc.

Daily Reporter Staff Writer
October 22, 2009

Approximately 300 information technology leaders are expected to descend on Columbus in two weeks to discuss many of the hot topics in their industry at the 2008 CIOhio Conference.

The conference is targeted toward information officers, chief operating officers and other leaders from the technology field.

"This is designed by CIOs for CIOs," said Tim Haynes, vice president of member services and marketing with TechColumbus.

TechColumbus is a Columbus-based organization that promotes the area's technology development efforts and is the host of CIOhio 2009, which is scheduled for Nov. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.

The theme of this year's event is "Facing Challenge - Emerging Stronger Tomorrow."

Among the highlights of the conference is a strong field of keynote speakers, including Gary Hamel, an author and speaker whom the Wall Street Journal recently named as the "world's most influential business thinker."

"He's going to be fantastic," said Haynes. "He's going to talk about reinventing management and reinventing work."

Haynes said Hamel's philosophy revolves around an individual employee's production and contributions and that performance, rather than the traditional business hierarchy, will determine a company's structure.

"It's going to be more toward the way social media operates ... how much you contribute," said Haynes.

Among his books are "Leading the Revolution" and "Competing for the Future." His latest book is "The Future of Management."

Another keynote speaker is Steve Steinour, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Huntington National Bank. He is expected to talk about the state of the financial industry and the role that technology will play in the future of that industry.

The third keynote speaker is Gerry McNamara, managing partner for Heidrick & Stuggles. He is expected to discuss the changing roles of the chief information officer. McNamara has worked in a variety of industries, including financial services, insurance, industrial, higher education and health care.

Not only does he have a strong background in information technology, but McNamara was also a passenger on the U.S. Airways plane that crash landed in the Hudson River in January, Haynes said.

Meanwhile, Haynes said one of the unique aspects of the event is its focus on chief information officers and other IT leaders.

"It's about 9-to-1 as far as users to vendors or suppliers," he said. "It's very different from a typical trade conference. We target it to the users of technology and limit the number of providers of technology. These guys are with their peers and not talking to people giving them a sales pitch."

There are four primary themes running through the work sessions that will be available at the event.

The first is application development, where sessions will focus on maximizing effectiveness in a tough economy.

"There's a lot going on with virtual. That's a technology that's moving quite rapidly," Haynes said.

The application development sessions are about "innovative alternatives to securing application development resources" and "exploring the latest trends in application development methodologies."

Another track focuses on talent and leadership during challenging economic times. Those sessions feature information on "growing talent for a stronger tomorrow" and "leaders matter most in challenging times."

Technology and environmentally-friendly strategies is also scheduled as one of the tracks.

"There's an afternoon session on how to better manage costs by using green concepts," said Haynes.

There is also a track on strategic alignment, that, for example, discusses the role that IT needs to play in business.

The conference is open to CIOs and other IT leaders; more information can be found at

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