The Race to Innovate at CIO 100 Symposium

CIO 100 Symposium

photo-1461896836934-ffe607ba8211I recently had the pleasure of attending CIO Magazine’s 2016 CIO 100 Symposium where they celebrated the CIO 100 Winners and Hall of Fame Inductees from around the nation. The theme of this year’s conference was “Customers in Control: The Race to Innovate”. There were over 300 CIO and Senior IT leaders in one place and it was amazing to be a part of the discussions. As a former CIO (AAA Allied Group, 10 years), it was great to talk to everyone at the conference and understand what new challenges are facing their companies.

Mike Walsh – Futurist

The keynote for the CIO 100 was given by Mike Walsh, author of the book “The Dictionary of Dangerous Ideas”. Mike captivated the audience with his thoughts on building a “21st Century Business,” and challenged everyone in the room to begin thinking like an 8 year-old. The reason is simple: everyone under the age of 8 will have been partially raised by Artificial Intelligence. The rise of Siri (Apple), Alexa (Amazon Echo), and Cortana (Microsoft), are creating an environment in our homes, cars, mobile devices, and on our Desktops where the expectation will be that you will talk rather than type to get what you need from your electronic devices. The difference is that if you’re under 8, this will be your primary method of interfacing. That, in turn, will create in our children an expectation that the transactions they conduct (watching a movie, sending a message, writing a book, learning about their world) will be almost, or totally, frictionless. If you’ve ever used an Amazon Echo to order more toothpaste you understand what frictionless means: “Alexa, order more toothpaste,” and it shows up the next day. This expectation will create a demand for retail companies to quickly innovate and find ways to provide a richer, faster, and more frictionless experience in order to placate this new demographic. What he’s talking about is the rapid innovation that is occurring in our consumer lives. That’s certainly cause for alarm if you provide retail services. However, all of us will have people with these same expectations working for our companies within the next 15 years. How are you keeping pace with consumerized experiences and bringing them into your enterprise now? If your Service Management platform isn’t delivering on the promise of a Single System of Engagement and enabling a richer, faster, and more frictionless experience for your enterprise, then you should be looking to someone like ServiceNow to create these experiences for your customers.


Stephen Gold, CIO at CVS Health, talked at length about the spirit of innovation present within his company, and offered some sage leadership advice: “Requirements aren’t late, people deliver requirements late. You need to hold your people accountable.” This is something we know a lot about at ServiceNow, not only are we held accountable within our business, but we enable our customers to have amazing visibility into their business processes and the work being conducted by their teams. This visibility provides the basis on which you can build an accountable organization. The use of Service Level Agreements, a rich Connect experience keeping everyone on the same page, notifications, and workflows providing escalations create the platform that provides information on the performance of your team. ServiceNow then provides Visual Task Boards, reporting, Performance Analytics, and dashboards to surface that information and enable accountability throughout the enterprise.


The highlight of the event was getting to meet and introduce Dave Schecklman, SVP/CIO of Oshkosh, the heavy equipment manufacturer. Dave explained to the audience at CIO 100 about his “multi-million dollar mistake” and the fact that he took accountability for the error and then set about fixing it. What was the error? Trying to integrate 16 different IT groups throughout Oshkosh Corporation into a cohesive whole through custom integrations. Once he saw how long and complex the efforts were going to be, he put a stop to it and sought a different path forward: ServiceNow. He wrote off the previous investments and then asked for additional funding to implement a Single System of Engagement that enabled his team to “Set the tone and expectations for change, attracting a highly capable leadership team, which established a vision, which sparked hope, which inspired faith, and delivered through works.” The result? Dave and his team were able to condense the prior ITSM 5-year roadmap and accomplish it in 9 months. They launched globally to 8,500 users and eliminated 36,000 non-value add approvals per year. The process culminated in being able to pass the account termination audit for the first time in 10 years! He’s not done yet either, as he plans for Oshkosh Corporation to continue to grow the use of ServiceNow within IT. More importantly, he’s going to take those IT best practices and turn them into enterprise best practices as he moves outside of IT into Legal, Finance, Marketing, HR, and Facilities. We can’t wait to see this next phase at Oshkosh realized!

Want to learn more? Hear Dave Schecklman’s interview with the CUBE at Knowledge16 and get his entire CIO 100 Symposium presentation here.

Learn more about how to drive the service revolution from your strategic seat in the C-Suite.

Rob Pickering

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