What CIOs Are Talking About in 2022

Community Blog
Written by Liz Ramey

JUNE 22, 2022

The first six months of 2022 have been busy and packed full of valuable gatherings for the Evanta CIO Community. With the opportunity to join local, intimate executive summits, CIOs around the world have gathered within their communities to tackle universal business challenges and create meaningful networking experiences. 

We have held 44 CIO gatherings this year, including nine executive summits, nine inner circle dinners, 15 virtual town halls, and 11 virtual boardrooms. 

The most popular sessions within our in-person CIO Executive Summits focused on value, outcomes and strategic decision-making. Here are a few highlights from top-rated sessions:

Topic: Relationships and Resources - Building a Healthy Cybersecurity Strategy

Speakers: Lauren Zabierek, Executive Director, Cyber Project, Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center, Harvard; Arthur Harvey, SVP & CIO, Boston Medical Center; Lee Cullivan, Chief Information Security Officer, Boston Medical Center; William McDermott, Supervisor, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Woody Groton, CIO, Draper

Session overview: Public and private organizations of all sizes are feeling the impact of increased cyberattacks. Instead of letting these circumstances overwhelm you, it’s time to lean on the people and resources around you to reinforce your own team and strategy.

CIOs in this session discussed: 

  • Where to find resources that enable proactive behavior rather than reactive behavior
  • How the FBI views the global threat environment, and what they are doing to combat it
  • How CIOs can build partnerships with both the government and their CISOs

Topic: Business Transformation in Market Redefinition

Speaker: Marianne McPeak-Johnson, Chief Product Officer, Cox Automotive

Session overview: Tomorrow's CIO understands the need to identify new optimized opportunities in an evolving market. The pressure to make decisions rapidly while focusing on driving growth and balancing legacy ambitions will create a unique opportunity for business transformation.

Marianne spoke about: 

  • Capitalizing on new business opportunities during market redefinition
  • Creating a strategic vision to drive growth
  • Balancing optimization and transformation

Topic: Enterprise Cloud: Patterns of Success

Speaker: Jake Burns, Enterprise Strategist, Amazon Web Services

Session overview: What do enterprises who’ve adopted cloud successfully have in common? In this session, Jake Burns of AWS shared what he’s learned in the past 3 years advising executives from over 500 of AWS’s largest customers, in addition to his first-hand experience planning, leading, and executing a successful all-in migration to AWS in his former role. He discussed strategies based on real-world experience for how to motivate and re-skill existing employees, do more with less, and organize teams to be as successful as possible, as quickly as possible.

Jake reviewed how to:

  • Turn nay-sayers and doubters into allies
  • Build momentum in your transformation through small wins that deliver big results
  • Create an environment that encourages calculated risk-taking and growth

CIOs also requested guest speakers at their Executive Summits this season. Here are three standout guest speakers from the first half:

  • Strengths 2.0 — Applying Design Thinking to Your Strengths and Weaknesses
    John K. Coyle, CEO and Founder of "Speaking Design Thinking," Guest Speaker
  • Competing in the New World of Work with Keith Ferrazzi
    Keith Ferrazzi, Author of "Never Eat Alone," Guest Speaker
  • Creating a Company of Owners
    Daren Martin, Culture Architect and Best-Selling Author of "A Company of Owners," Guest Speaker

The most notable session across all summits was a talent workshop. As talent issues have become more and more complex for organizations, CIOs are using this platform to discuss how to overcome universal challenges.

The topic of ‘talent’ has increasingly become popular among IT leaders over the last four years. The Evanta Leadership Perspective Survey has shown the rise of this interest:

‘Talent’ Rating: 

  • 2022 – Rated #5
  • 2021– Rated #8
  • 2020 – Rated #8
  • 2019 – Rated #11

This workshop was designed for CIOs to collaborate and tackle the expansive talent gap. 

Topic: Let's Brainstorm! Solving the Talent Gap 

Session overview: Navigating the talent pool in a post-pandemic work environment has CIOs seeking out solutions to engage their teams and build up new talent. With employee expectations at an all-time high, CIOs are finding that now is the time to get creative.

This interactive session included insights on: 

  • Keeping the right people – thinking beyond just retention 
  • Mentoring a multigenerational workforce – creating operational excellence
  • Exploring employee potential – diversifying skill sets

Providing continuous insights throughout the year has also been important to CIOs in the Evanta communities. Here’s what they are reading:

  1. The CIO in 2021 — A Year in Review. In 2021, CIOs gained their footing as strategic partners and impacted investments in data and technology to propel enterprises into the digital age. Here is a recap of the peer-led content that CIOs felt was most compelling and relevant for their role in 2021.

  1. 2022 CIO Leadership Perspectives. As digital business accelerated, digital strategies became part of the overall business strategy – meaning CIOs’ priorities are front and center for the business. This infographic shares what CIOs cite as their most important priorities in 2022.

  1. 10 CIO Trends in 2022. As the results of our Leadership Perspective Survey came in, there were some clear trends across our communities. This highlights 10 trends in enterprise priorities and planned investments for CIOs in our communities.

Evanta Executive Summits expanded Peer-to-Peer meetings across all markets this season. This is an opportunity for IT leaders to connect one-on-one and discuss their most pressing objectives and obstacles. CIOs have consistently seen value from these meetings, stating:

Good to talk to a peer on similar issues.”

Great connections with like interests!”
- Toronto CIO 

Great conversation! Very helpful insights.
- Southern California CIO 

Thoroughly enjoyed my conversation!”
- Atlanta CIO 

Overall, CIOs have experienced another amazing first half of the year, filled with networking, insights and community. Many have provided wonderful feedback and are looking forward to more gatherings ahead. 

The Evanta CIO Summit is by far the best event – the balance with vendors and sponsors is just right, and the size of the event makes it feel genuinely like a community that we are a part of.”
- UK CIO Governing Body Member

Having not attended an in person conference for quite some time, I found this Evanta event highly valuable. I was able to connect with many like-minded peers and challenged my thoughts related to key topics. The thought leadership and debate was excellent!”
- Toronto CIO Governing Body Member

This was my first in-person event since COVID. Felt great! I connected with 4-5 new CIO peers that I'll leverage in the future.”
- Boston CIO Governing Body Member

Well-balanced with compelling content, and the breakouts allowed very focused interactive discussion. A great day!”
- Atlanta CIO Governing Body Member

Evanta CIO Communities have already begun to build agendas and gatherings for the second half of the year. Please check out your community page or the calendar for upcoming activities.


Liz Ramey headshot

Liz Ramey

Director, Content at Evanta, a Gartner Company

by CIOs, for CIOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CIO community.