What C-Level Executives in Europe Are Talking About in Early 2022

Community Blog
Written by Georgia Moore

JULY 28, 2022

It’s been a jam-packed first half of the year for Evanta’s European communities. Virtual engagement remained strong, showing that our executives continue to value being able to connect more frequently. We rounded off the first six months of 2022 hosting many of our communities in-person, through Executive Summits and Inner Circle Dinners. 

Amongst our 11 communities that span CIO, CISO, CDAO and CHRO roles across 5 regions in Europe, we held 42 gatherings that brought together over 2,000 C-level executives. These gatherings included 5 Executive Summits, 8 Inner Circle Dinners, 17 Virtual Town Halls and 12 Virtual Boardrooms. 

Notably, 2022 brought the launch of the France CIO & CISO communities; 32 new Governing Body members have lent their voices to drive the agendas of their first gatherings. CIO community members highlighted that the following priorities are top of mind for them this year:

  1. Cybersecurity strategies 
  2. IT strategy, governance and operating models 
  3. Digital talent

Whereas CISOs ranked their top three priorities as:

  1. Cloud security, strategy and architecture
  2. Measuring and communicating risk
  3. Third-party risk management

Whilst topics were wide-ranging due to the breadth of roles represented in our European communities, the most popular sessions of the first half focused on strategic decision-making, leadership, professional development and cultural change. Below you’ll see a few of our best-rated sessions: 

Topic: CISOs, How Are You Feeling Today?
UK & Ireland CISO Executive Summit
Speakers: Deborah Saffer, Global Deputy CISO, Cushman & Wakefield; Steven Trippier, Group CISO, Anglian Water Services; Simon Hodgkinson, Board Advisor
Feedback: “Outstanding – thank you for your vulnerability, openness and honesty. Be kind!”

Topic: Security Through a Data Breach Lens - Utilising the DBIR
Nordic CIO & CISO Executive Summit
Speakers: Phillip Larbey, Managing Principal, Verizon
Feedback: “Excellent presentation, worth attending for this alone.”

Topic: How Organisations Can Support Employee Wellbeing Through Technology
UK & Ireland CIO Executive Summit
Speakers: Ceri Stokoe, CIO European Operations, QBE; Alice Hendy, Cyber Safety Specialist, QBE
Feedback: “The most powerful and emotive session of the day. Everyone should get access to this topic.” 

Many communities requested speakers outside their peer group to bring a fresh perspective to their Executive Summits, including the following standout guest speakers: 

  • Cyber Crime – Staying Resilient in Uncertain Times
    Jan Olsson, Police Superintendent, Swedish CyberCrime Center
  • A Future World of Work - What Happens Next?
    Christine Armstrong, Author, Guest Speaker
  • Getting New Voices into Security
    Amanda Finch, CEO, Chartered Institute of Information Security
  • Data Transformation Is Not a One-off Project
    Priya Lakhani, OBE, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Century Tech

Not only have our communities been contributing through participating in virtual and in-person gatherings, but they’ve also been providing insights throughout the year for their peers to read, including:

  1. How CISOs & CIOs Can Collaborate to Effectively Communicate Risk. A peer practice highlighting how Group CISO & CTO and Group CIO of Compass Group improved the effectiveness of their communications about risk over the last three years.
  2. Three Ways CIOs Are Tackling Talent Shortages. Bringing together four CIO perspectives from the UK & Ireland CIO community, this piece dives into three priorities for CIOs that are vital for recruiting and retaining top IT talent.
  3. The World of Work in 2022 – What’s Next? Taken from a Nordic CHRO Virtual Town Hall earlier this year, this article delves into thoughts around employing a holistic people strategy and shifting workplace culture, giving practical advice and achievable goals for the CHRO community.
  4. How Data Mesh Can Unlock Value Through Hyperconnectivity. Written off the back of a fascinating Virtual Town Hall for the UK & Ireland CDAO community led by Sanjeevan Bala, Group Chief Data & AI Officer at ITV, and Andy Mott, Data Mesh Lead at Starburst, where they discussed nuances and challenges encountered while implementing data mesh across ITV. 

All in all, community members in Europe are happier than ever to engage, share insights, network and learn from each other at Evanta gatherings. Many have provided marvellous feedback, especially after attending in-person events this year: 

What a wonderful day - fabulous to connect with peers new and known in an extremely safe and great space.” 
- UK & Ireland CHRO Community Member

I chose Evanta because I thoroughly liked the concept and the attitude, and simply because the community is very good. There are so many incredibly skilled people in this group, and there is so much to learn from them!"
- Nordic CISO Community Member

Fantastic. Probably the best event I have been to in a while (including pre-Covid).” 
- UK & Ireland CIO Community Member

I’ve heard others reflecting not only on how nice it was to be back together in person again, but also how much they appreciated being part of a community where we can all share ideas and thoughts, lean on each other for support and also engage with the sponsor companies without being hit with the hard-sell at every step.” 
- UK & Ireland CISO Community Member 

As we look forward, communities are beginning to build agendas for the second half of the year. Please check out what is coming up next here.