This was a very different conference for me, I was a delegate there to learn, and I certainly did.
Every session was thought provoking and full of rich content. I particularly liked the panel sessions where a group of thought leaders shared their ideas on topics, and I loved some of the questions. I think Holger Mueller has set the standard for the future with his question to a panel of Cloud Vendors ‘What would you steal from your competitors’ products?’
I think the most personal session was from On the Friday talking about the employer / employee relationship. He talked about it being an Alliance, a Tour of Duty. Where both sides invest in each other and the employee sees the ‘tour’ as a career accelerator, not a parking lot. A tour should be between 3-5 years, and an employee could have several tours in the same organisation doing different things, and at the end of a tour if it was right for the employee to go elsewhere, or the employer doesn’t have the right tour for them, that is not failure. An employer should have an alumni of employees, a network to talk to and as a source of future employment.
The event kicked off with Ray Wang talking about where technology is today. When the Fortune 500 started the average age of those in it was 50 years, today it is 15 and predicted to be just 12 by 2020. There is a need to connect technology with user experience and story tellers to humanise digital.
The general messages were about the fact we can’t stop digitisation, but not at all costs. The ECJ Safeharbor ruling about it being invalid this a hurdle we have to overcome. Organisations need to stop being caught out, and rulings like The Right to be Forgotten is counter intuitive to technology.
Holger talked about 20% of staff in the US will retire in the next 10 years, in 20 years there will only be 2 workers to each retiree. This is a big change and the impact is something we as business need to understand.
The first keynote was from Ram Charan, it was based on his book The Attacker's Advantage which we were all given a signed copy off. He talked about us being the distruptees, and we need to be standing up and telling our organisations what is needed. I tweeted in jest about this to my boss, but actually my own CEO, Mark Sweeny wrote about the people adopting Cloud with us having made that bold, brave stand in their organisation in his recent cloud blog, the Elephant in the Room.
Ram talked about how we as the value makers need to reach the value multipliers. He talked about this being a skill that can be taught, he urged against using jargon and just using plain common sense when talking to the CEO, getting the CFO on side by properly articulating both the cost and the benefits, especially in a spend to save scenario. He talked about big organisations with multiple layers being the hardest to penetrate but don’t be afraid to try.
Dr Natalie Petouhoff is a CX analyst and although that isn't normally my area we had a great discussion on the customer experience of being a cloud customer.
Day two started with Don Tapscott looking back at the Digital Economy over 20 years, another author who shared their work with us. I love looking back at how far we have come, those who were brave to go first and those who are still holding back. It also made me think of this video Oracle released at OOW on where we have come from.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPiOCK0JOlU
Really interesting for me was the panel session ,Visionaries: The Robots Are Here!, The Future of HR Tech, The panelists were from Ceridian, SuccessFactors and Oracle (Chris Leone). One of the things that attracted me to the event was to hear how all the different cloud vendors were approaching digital disruption.
There was a sports panel and what digital means to them, Daniel Brusilovsky, the talked about how it isn't always the answer. He would love totally digital tickets, but fans want physical ones, souvenirs of each game.
There was so much more discussed and these were just my highlights. I came away with so many new ideas, a wider perspective and even more sure that I am doing the right things, with the right company at the right time.
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