The 5th Tenet of Retail Digital Transformation

Guest Blog Post By E.G. Nadhan

Walking into the Executive Exchange Session at the CDM Media CIO Retail Summit in New York, I had formulated five fundamental tenets of digital transformation in the retail industry. The session was about the Race to Retail Digital Transformation between business and IT – who will get there first? After all, retail is all about transforming the consumer experience, provided technology can enable this continuous journey. The room had more than 25 leaders from global enterprises that are living these challenges across the manufacturing and retail industries. I quickly set the context and suggested that there were five tenets of digital transformation in retail. Join me as I walk you through what came out of this thought-provoking session.

Business racing with IT? Yes! A resounding phrase I still remember from the NRF Conference is that the retail industry will go through as much transformation in the next five years as it did in the past 50 years. However, for such transformation to be effective, let us take a closer look at what matters and what doesn’t!

Tenet One: Channel Does Not Matter
Whether it be online, over the mobile phone, or walking into the store, the channel does not matter to the retail customer. Omnichannel is streamlining the overall customer experience. However, there are other factors to this as was asserted during the session. The online and mobile channels do not readily support the in-person handshake and emotional interaction. Customers are more likely to dismiss a pop-up window than negate an offer from one human to another. One representative of a leading construction equipment manufacturer indicated that the omnichannel options opened up opportunities for their equipment with other online retailers that did not exist before. Thus, even though the channel may not matter to the end customers, it forces the manufacturers and retailers to think differently about the retail business.

Tenet Two: Location Should Not Matter
We are now able to ship and receive any item to and from nearly any location. Say, for instance, my spouse is vacationing in Hawaii or just walking the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and she finds an item of her liking. She is then able to order it in the store or online and have it shipped to a location of her choice as well as the ability for it to be received by the person of her choice.

Tenet Three: Automation – and People – Matter
Let us not lose sight of the human element. Whether the greeter at the front of the store or the clerk wishing you a nice day, the human element matters! Automation done right is all about increasing the overall efficiency of the end-to-end retail process while redirecting the brainpower to more innovative applications. Next-generation technologies open up options for new business models and newer ways of enhanced customer experience.

Tenet Four: Innovation Matters
Such enablement requires an ecosystem of passionate members to collaborate by bringing together diverse perspectives and embrace innovation. Whether it is between retail enterprises or individuals with expertise in the business of retail, collaboration is the most effective mechanism to sustain innovation. When I referenced Gartner Fellow, Darryl Plummer advocating Connect – Don’t Collect for data sources in the Gartner Symposium last year, Boeing Fellow Brian Laughlin chimed in with a different take on it. Laughlin interpreted the concept of “Collect” being more about siloed teams that do not collaborate with each other and “Connect” being more about unity driven by collaboration and exchange of information. Cognitive diversity through collaboration is fundamental to innovation – which brings me to the fifth tenet.

Tenet Five: Context Is Queen
Laughlin explained that for years, retail used to be about location, location, location. With retail’s online presence, this mantra evolved to be content, content, content – what is presented to the customer online. Well, now it is about context, context, context. When the customer is at the store looking for a product, the retailer must have all the relevant information about the customer’s purchasing patterns and within easy reach to make appropriate suggestions. However, this is true for all retail channels. Context with relevant information defines the business moment for the customer. Moreover, it is not just about the data itself, but about the combination of perspectives applied to the synthesized data. Diversity of thought results from the diversity in gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc. The manner in which a male sales associate processes the data about a customer could be very different from his female counterpart. The retailer wants a diverse array of perspectives to better serve the customer and ensure the right context is provided. Context, augmented by diverse perspectives, is the new mantra! Thus, if Content was King yesterday, Context is Queen today!

What say you?

How is your enterprise doing in the race to digital transformation? Are there other tenets that matter for retail digital transformation? Please let me know.

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CDM Media Announces Partnership with Workforce Opportunity Forces

Next-Generation Nonprofit Joins CIO Summit Series

Chicago – July 12, 2017: CDM Media has announced Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) as a featured partner of the CIO New York Summit (September 12, 2017), CIO Atlanta Summit (October 3, 2017), CIO New Jersey Summit (October 10, 2017) and CIO Dallas Summit (October 12, 2017).

WOS is a next-generation nonprofit organization that transforms early career professionals by cultivating their talents. By connecting leading companies with thousands of ready-to-work professionals who reflect diverse communities and customers, WOS sponsors upward mobility, professional success, financial independence, and lifelong learning. Their individualistic approach to training and educating potential employees provide veterans and underserved jobseekers with the tools they need to succeed, not only in their career path, but in life.

Launched at Columbia University in New York City, their scientifically-based program offers cutting-edge research and analytics in partnership with top-tier academic institutions. Since being founded in 2005, they have partnered with more than 50 corporations in 35+ locations across the U.S.

CDM Media is thrilled to partner with such a dedicated and all-encompassing organization.

To learn more about the WOS and their mission and services, visit

To learn more about the summits WOS will be attending, visit:

CIO New York Summit:

CIO Atlanta Summit:

CIO New Jersey Summit:

CIO Dallas Summit:

CDM Media Turns 10!


As we gear up for CDM Media’s 10 year anniversary as a company this July, our video editors sit down with Founder and CEO, Glenn Willis, to look at how focusing on creating an exciting and evolving company culture has shaped CDM media into what we have become today.

Watch the full video here.

To learn more about careers with CDM Media, visit our Careers page: 

Digital Transformation from TechTarget

As always, it has been a busy and exciting few months at CDM Media filled with new developments and a packed summit schedule! One such rousing event was the CIO Boston Summit that took place on April 25th at the Westin Copley Place. The concept of digital transformation and a CIO’s place in helping to facilitate and navigate their company through necessary changes and innovations in IT is a particularly relevant topic for any tech company. To give a deeper insight into this topic, one of our partners at the CIO Boston Summit, TechTarget sat down with Matt Griffiths, CIO at Stanley Black & Decker at the Boston Summit to discuss the challenges and advantages of the digital transformation journey.

Read the full article here:

Thiel Advisors, Inc. Chairman and Chief Advisor to MC CIO Manufacturing Summit

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAUkAAAAJDQ3NTcxYjA5LTBmMGQtNGNkYS04YTA1LTc0Zjc3ODU5MDdkYw Fred Thiel to MC and Speak at Vertical Summit

CDM Media is pleased to announce Fred Thiel, Chairman and Chief Advisor at Thiel Advisors, Inc. as MC and speaker for the CIO Manufacturing Summit on June 20th in New York, NY. The event will run alongside the CIO Retail Summit and the CMO Summit Series at Convene Conference Center (730 Third Avenue).

Thiel is a senior advisor to management teams, boards of directors, private equity and venture capital firms, and sits on private and public company boards. He is a respected expert and frequent speaker on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the digital transformations of companies and industries, providing deep technology industry expertise and strategic advice on transformational value creation – the process of generating growth and shareholder value.

Thiel has over 25 years of operating experience leading companies in the technology, data communications, Internet, M2M, automation, Big Data, digital media and software industries. He has repeatedly driven rapid growth and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder value. As a CEO, Thiel led companies through rapid growth to IPO, repositioned companies for high value exits to strategic and financial acquirers, led M&A and roll-up strategies, as well as successfully executed corporate turn-arounds and wind downs. Thiel is a frequent speaker and futurist in the areas of IoT, smart systems, collaborative and autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, inference engines, predictive analytics and Big Data.

Thiel attended classes at the Stockholm School of Economics and executive classes at Harvard Business School and is fluent in English, Spanish, Swedish and French. Thiel is a current member of WPO and former chapter chairman of the YPO California Coast chapter.

At the CIO Manufacturing Summit, Thiel will MC the event and lead a think tank on The Business Value of RFID Every Day. Takeaways from Thiel’s presentation will include:

  • The goal is to create an integrated data collection system that makes the most of your present business.
  • Check and double-check your information before many any critical business decisions.
  • Companies in all segments of the supply chain are proving the business value of RFID every day. A company can wisely use the capabilities of RFID to improve the accuracy, speed, and responsiveness of your entire business operation.

To learn more about the event and register today visit:

CIO Manufacturing Summit:

Cresa Vice President IT to Speak at CIO Boston Summit



Gene Glekel to Lead Think Tank Discussion at Regional Summit


CDM Media is pleased to announce Gene Glekel, VP of IT at Cresa as our think tank speaker for the CIO Boston Summit on April 25 in Boston, MA. The event will run alongside the CISO Boston Summit and will take place at the Westin Copley Place.

As the national Director of Information Technology, Glekel is responsible for shaping and executing Cresa’s long-term strategy of applying a technology mix to maximize competitive advantages among 55 Cresa offices and over 850 employees. His direct responsibilities include overseeing formulation, planning, and daily operations of all network, messaging, telecommunications, datacenter operations, network security, and business continuity nationally.

Glekel has over 15 years of experience in the corporate IT operations field, having worked in prominent Boston area firms such as Putnam Investments, Boston Properties, and Eaton Vance.

In addition, he has co-founded several Technology Advisory and Strategic Consulting startups. Most recently, Glekel managed the Northeast Infrastructure Consulting group at RSM McGladrey, where he led a team of consultants specializing in advising mid-size firms on formulating, planning, and executing technology innovation strategies. Outside of his direct responsibilities at Cresa, Glekel is the Entrepreneur in Residence at RTP Ventures, a New York based technology Venture Capital fund. Gene holds a B.S. in Economics, and an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Babson College.

At the CIO Boston Summit, Glekel will lead a think tank discussion on “Avoiding ERM for the Sake of ERM”. During this discussion Glekel will look at:

  • ERM is a way of life, not a one-time effort and the only way to value is to come to that realization early.
  • To be successful, an ERM deployment must be sponsored from the top and have the involvement of every level and every department.
  • Even though ERM initiatives are all-encompassing it’s best to start small; trying to boil the ocean is the surest way to failure and loss of good will and buy-in.

To learn more about the event and register today visit:

CIO Boston Summit:

Stanley Black & Decker Chief Information Officer to Keynote at CIO Boston Summit

 Matt Griffiths to Lead as Keynote Presenter at Regional Summit

CDM Media is pleased to announce Matt Griffiths, CIO at Stanley Black & Decker as a keynote speaker for the CIO Boston Summit on April 25 in Boston, MA. The event will run alongside the CISO Boston Summit and will take place at the Westin Copley Place.

An innovative, results-focused technology leader with a track record of driving enterprise-wide transformational business processes, systems and cultural change across diverse groups and geographies, Griffiths has 18 years of enterprise experience in leading Software Development, Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Management, Infrastructure Operations Data Center, and Cloud Engineering organizations to enable technology solutions that facilitate disruptive business change.

Griffiths builds rewarding work environments for global teams to grow, thrive and deliver transformational results in support of organizational goals. Throughout his impressive career, he has implemented rigorous project management discipline to improve on-time project delivery by 70% across a $45M project portfolio, a 20% reduction in production incidents with 98% resolved within SLA, along with a 10% reduction in baseline resources through automation and environment clean-up. He was also honored by in the 2016 CIO 100 Awards.

At the CIO Boston Summit, Griffiths will lead a keynote presentation on “The Future of the CIO in the Coming Digital Economy”. During this presentation, he will discuss:

  • Change is, if not already here, certainly coming and the CIOs who don’t prepare for the change may not like the results when it arrives.
  • Digital transformation is all about connecting enterprise systems to information technology to drive productivity and performance improvements.
  • Be prepared to tackle the tasks that no-one wants to do, but everyone needs done; establish relevance to cultivate importance

To learn more about the event and register today visit:

CIO Boston Summit:

Costco EVP & CIO to Keynote at Seattle Summit

 paul_moulton_477Paul Moulton to Lead as Keynote Presenter at Regional Summit

CDM Media is pleased to announce Paul Moulton, EVP & CIO of Costco Wholesale, as a keynote speaker for the CIO Seattle Summit on June 13th in Seattle, Washington. The event will run alongside our CISO Seattle Summit. Moulton is the executive vice president, CIO of Costco Wholesale where he directs all technology and information systems for Costco worldwide. He has been with Costco for over 25 years and has served on the company’s executive committee for 18 years.

Prior to his current role with Costco, Moulton held the following positions at the company: Executive Vice President, Real Estate Development, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Membership and Ecommerce, Senior Vice President, Information Technology, Senior Vice President, COO Costco Asia, Senior Vice President, COO Costco Europe, and Vice President, Finance and Corporate Treasurer. Moulton has also worked in operations for Target Stores, Fed Mart Stores and Safeway Stores. He is currently the chairman of the board of directors of Heritage University, and University of Washington Mr. Moulton received a business degree from the University of San Diego.

At the Seattle Summit, Moulton will lead a keynote presentation on “Retail Readiness for Blockchain Adoption.” Takeaways from the presentation will include:

  • Blockchain adoption is still nascent but growing, can you afford to wait to be late to the game?
  • Blockchain is about far more than simply adopting Bitcoin as a payment mechanism but any blockchain conversation must include a Bitcoin discussion.
  • Understanding use cases for distributed ledger, as well as their technical limitations, is the key to making educated adoption decisions.

To learn more about the event and register today visit:




Borderless Cyber USA Conference

CDM Media iAd-CDMs pleased to invite you to attend the Borderless Cyber USA Conference, which will bring together senior level security executives across many domains to explore ways to change the economics of computer network defense. The conference will take place at the historic U.S. Customs House in lower Manhattan on 21-22 June.

Receive an extra $100 off the corporate rate. Use the discount code “CDM” when registering. Special government rates and Early Bird savings are also available.

Registration fee for readers using the code:  $295 before 28 April; $495 after.

This will be the fourth in the international series of Borderless Cyber conferences hosted by the OASIS nonprofit standards consortium (home of STIX and TAXII). Previous Borderless Cyber events were held in partnership with The World Bank in Washington, D.C., with the European Parliament in Brussels, and with Keio University in Tokyo.

C-level executives and directors of threat intelligence, incident response, risk, and audit will come away from Borderless Cyber with actionable insights on how to better evaluate and defend their cyber practices. Speakers include C-level executives from Wells Fargo, Aetna, DHS, U.S. Bank, ITU, and KPN Telecom, as well as U.S Presidential Advisors, industry analysts, and other experts.

The event will also reveal high-level updates on the STIX, TAXII, and CSAF standards initiatives through live use case studies and demos from Anomali, IBM, NC4, EclecticIQ, LookingGlass, and others.

For more information or to register for the conference, please visit the conference website.

This post comes courtesy from one of CDM Media’s trusted partners. Whether it be an industry association or a news outlet, our partners provide a fresh perspective on trending topics in innovation. The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is a nonprofit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for security, Internet of Things, cloud computing, energy, content technologies, emergency management, and other areas. For more information, visit

Three Network CIO to Keynote at CIO Europe Summit

ReidyStephen Reidy to Lead as Keynote Presenter at Regional Summit

We are pleased to announce Stephen Reidy, CIO of Three Network, as a keynote speaker for the CIO Summit May 14-16 in Dublin, Ireland.

Stephen Reidy is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Three Network, Ireland’s second largest mobile operator, with over two million subscribers as of June 2016. Three has invested nearly two billion euros into their 2, 3, and 4G networks.

Stephen has a proven record of leadership in managing complex, multivendor IT strategies. Stephen has spearheaded Three Network’s transformation of their IT department enabling them to deliver a fully integrated and comprehensive product to all their customers.

“We’re delighted to have Stephen keynote our event in Dublin.” Says Oliver Stebbings, Vice President EMEA at CDM Media “Dublin has become a real tech and engineering hub for many IT companies, and we believe this is the perfect location to host our annual European Summit where the biggest leaders and shakers will gather to discuss the most pressing challenges that face the IT and Security landscape. We’re all looking forward to a very successful few days.”

At the Europe Summit, Stephen will lead a keynote presentation on “The Future of the CIO in the Coming Digital Economy.” Takeaways from the presentation will include:

  • Change is, if not already here, certainly coming and CIOs who don’t prepare for the change may not like the results when it arrives
  • Digital transformation is all about connecting enterprise systems to information technology to drive productivity and performance improvements
  • Be prepared to tackle the tasks that no-one wants to do, but everyone needs done; establish relevance to cultivate importance

To view all of our upcoming events, visit CDM Media’s Summit Calendar.