CIO/CISO Montreal Summit Recap

Thank you to all who attended CDM Media’s CIO and CISO Montreal Summits last week in Montreal, QC. Sticking to the theme – digital transformation is a journey, not a destination – it is suffice to say, our attendees made excellent progress last week. We are confident that each attendee was able to walk away from the summits with 2-3 helpful ideas on how to better embrace digital technologies to improve your company or organization. In addition, we are also confident that the attendees left with 2-3 new connections within their peer-to-peer community in efforts to collaborate until we all meet again.

It is difficult to summarize the myriad discussions, presentations and meetings, but if there is a summary it would be this :

  • Digital technologies are driving changes in both the expectations and habits of employees and customers.
  • Companies and organizations are needing to transform how they operate to meet these new expectations and habits.
  • Data is truly the fuel for the journeys we are on.
  • However, this data is under an increasing attack and we need to secure it through remediation, vulnerability assessments, threat intelligence and deception techniques.
  • We need to increase our speed and agility as organizations.
  • We also need to hone our communication skills to be the best story tellers within our companies or organizations such that we are driving digital transformation instead of sitting in the back seat.

If you are interested in attending upcoming summits, please check out our summit calendar. In the meantime, we encourage you to keep our community together by joining our CIO/CISO Montreal LinkedIn Group. Please contact Bryce Sack to learn more.

Highlights from the summits:

A Good Samaritan at CDM Media

During the middle of December, Marvin Smith, Senior Relationship Manager at CDM Media, was riding the Chicago subway into work when he noticed an argument between a teenage boy and an adult woman. Once the argument escalated to violence, the 23-year old woman pepper sprayed the 16-year old.

As confusion ensued with passengers covering their faces from the spray, the boy fled from the scene and Smith jumped into action. As he made for the exit at the North and Clybourn Red Line stop, the boy retaliated by shoving Marvin, causing him to hit his head on a nearby wall and nearly black out. Marvin later reported that the collision lead to a brain bleed as well as facial and teeth fractures.

The teen was apprehended and charged with two counts of aggravated battery.

Marvin is more than just a hard-working member of the sales team. Through his courage, Smith mitigated a dangerous situation that could have become much worse. Though the road to recovery has been painful and arduous, he says that he doesn’t regret getting involved.

Marvin has had an expensive and onerous road to recovery and, to combat the bills, a Go Fund Me Page has been created to help with the payment. Thanks in advance to all for their thoughtful and charitable donations.

CBS Chicago covered the full story. Watch full video and story at

CIO/CISO Atlanta Summit Recap

February 8, 2018 — Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina

First off, we want to extend another “thank you” to those who attended CDM Media’s CIO and CISO Summits on February 8th in Atlanta.

The theme for the summit was Digital Transformation: A Journey Not a Destination, and was very fitting for our day together. We journeyed through many important topics regarding how to move from the WHAT of digital transformation to the HOW.

From the opening keynote presentations, to the engaging lunchtime panel, to the ending Governing Board discussion as well as all the great presentations in between, we discussed important topics facing IT leaders today. These topics concluded that digital transformation is about more than technology. It is about how companies can reinvent themselves to be more competitive, more nimble and more secure. And there is no one better positioned to tell the story of what is possible than from the CIOs and CISOs at the CIO and CISO Atlanta Summit.

We hope that those who attended the summit left with solid ideas on how to move your companies forward. We also hope that you built even stronger bonds with your peers in your community. If you were unable to attend and would like to learn more about future Atlanta events, email to stay connected.

Photos from the summits:


CIO/CISO New York Summit Recap

February 6, 2018 — Grand Hyatt New York, New York City, NY.

First off, we want to extend another “thank you” to those who attended CDM Media’s CIO and CISO Summits on February 6th in New York City.

The theme for the summit was Digital Transformation: A Journey Not a Destination, and was very fitting for our day together. We journeyed through many important topics regarding how to move from the WHAT of digital transformation to the HOW.

From the opening keynote presentations, to the engaging lunchtime panel, to the ending Governing Board discussion as well as all the great presentations in between, we discussed important topics facing IT leaders today. These topics concluded that digital transformation is about more than technology. It is about how companies can reinvent themselves to be more competitive, more nimble and more secure. And there is no one better positioned to tell the story of what is possible than from the CIOs and CISOs at the CIO and CISO New York Summit.

We hope that those who attended the summit left with solid ideas on how to move your companies forward. We also hope that you built even stronger bonds with your peers in your community. If you were unable to attend and would like to learn more about future New York events, email to stay connected.

Photos from the summits:


Cloud Is Not a Digital Transformation Strategy (Unless You Are Amazon)

How did an online bookstore eat the cloud?

In 2002, Jeff Bezos did an odd, remarkable thing. He applied an IT architecture (SOA) to the culture, processes, and organizational structure at Amazon. Bezos sent an internal mandate demanding that Amazon teams communicate with each other by exposing “their data and functionality through services interfaces.” Anyone who disobeyed the mandate would be fired. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Bezos had quietly refactored Amazon into a platform company.

And it worked. A few years later, Amazon’s transformation gave rise to S3, the first of Amazon’s web services, which we now know collectively as the cloud.

A year after the Bezos mandate, Nicholas Carr published an article in the Harvard Business Review titled, “IT Doesn’t Matter.” Carr argued that IT had already transformed nearly every industry, and the lack of opportunity for differentiation meant companies should be focused on playing defense: risk management and cost containment.

IT organizations became incredibly cost conscious, creating layers of decision making and architectural review for every new technology considered — all in a battle to increase standardization and minimize costs. However, information technology cannot be compared to the transition from steam engines to railroads or from telegraphs to telephones — technologies that became commoditized utilities that drive little differentiation to businesses today.

Information technology builds upon itself, each layer of innovation opening up new avenues to transform the world. Smartphones proliferated, GPS and mapping technologies matured, and startups began building on the infinite capacity of the cloud. These layered innovations enabled Netflix, Airbnb, Spotify, and even Amazon itself to break across legacy industries like tidal waves.

The Bezos mandate changed the world. He turned a tactical technology stack into one of the most strategic products of all time—AWS.

It was time to play offense, not defense.

Today, you’ll be hard pressed to find a company that does not have a cloud strategy. “Cloud First” and “Cloud Shift” are the popular mantras espoused by Gartner analysts and IT executives, all fueling the trillion dollars forecasted in cloud spending over the next four years. In fact, if you ask many companies about their most innovative programs for the year, cloud migration is likely to be near the top of the list.

On the surface, the narrative is clear and compelling. If you’re not in the cloud business, managing data centers and IT systems isn’t a core competency. Instead, pay for what you use from a superior service at lower costs due to shared economies of scale. In addition, you can take advantage of an ecosystem of tools and services designed to accelerate development.

But enterprises can’t compete with leaner, faster startups by migrating to the cloud. Following the herd is not a survival strategy for the digital era.

  • First, migrating to the cloud (private, public, or hybrid) is a big IT undertaking. If IT is under delivering for application development and the goal is to improve time to market, then adding yet another big IT program only pushes the goal farther away.
  • Second, even if companies do get to the cloud, they often find themselves releasing software at legacy speeds. Releasing software faster requires changes in architecture (e.g. micro services), processes (e.g. Agile, CI/CD), tools (e.g. DevOps), and new skillsets. In addition, if you want high quality releases, you need fast, representative environments (e.g. Docker) and datasets (e.g. Delphix).
  • Third, most enterprises invest in incremental, marginal innovation, building more features for their largest existing customers.

But there’s a fundamental equation at work in the world today:

Legacy Industry + Digital Era = Digitally Refactored Industry

You can’t increment your way into the future. You can’t survive by playing defense from a legacy position. You have to play offense to win the future.

Offense looks like Amazon and Jeff Bezos buying Whole Foods to instantly acquire a critical mass of customers and physical stores as local distribution hubs to disrupt the grocery business. Defense looks like yet another bank adding mobile check deposit to their iPhone or Android app.

More than ever, enterprises need to focus on what really drives revolutionary innovation: the few great ideas inside or outside a company that will refactor an industry for the digital era.

Take the biggest, best idea from all of your programs, and ask yourself a simple, honest question:

Will this program define the future of your industry?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to revisit your strategy for the future.

Cloud doesn’t matter. It wasn’t even the goal for Amazon — just a byproduct of cost-effectively scaling retail operations. If you ask your teams about innovation, and their best idea is migrating to the cloud, then you know you’re on the path to obsolescence.

Instead, focus and execute on the great ideas that will win the future. Or you’ll end up just another legacy company, lost in the clouds.


About the Author
Jedidiah Yueh is the bestselling author of Disrupt or Die. He has spent two decades decoding innovation, collecting the hidden frameworks that drive many of the most successful entrepreneurs in technology today. He has personally implemented these frameworks, inventing software products that have driven more than $4 billion in sales. As founder and executive chairman of Delphix, he works with industry giants from Apple to Walmart to drive faster internal innovation through radical improvements in datamanagement. Previously, he was the founding CEO of Avamar, which pioneered the data deduplication market. In 2013, he was named CEO of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times.

Augmenting your ABM efforts with Tradeshows: Possible or Fool’s Gold?

Written by Dawn Mentzer, Contributing Writer for Straight North

For those B2B companies needing to reach the “hard-to-reach” in the enterprise space, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become the norm.

Marketers needs to use different approaches and different tools to reach a few thousand people versus reaching hundreds of thousands. Digital marketing strategies including personalized content, narrowly focused SEM and social media are just a few examples. I was asked recently though what role, if any, can tradeshows play in a company’s ABM efforts. Can tradeshows reach the “hard-to-reach”?

Let’s explore this question. I am imagining the hustle and bustle of the tradeshow floor. For exhibitors, there is the rush of hope and promise that they will boost awareness of their brands, connect with key decision-makers and facilitate sales.

In an ideal world, all of that can happen, but it does not always work out that way. Some trade shows end up being a bust. And after all the time, money and effort involved, shouldn’t you expect more than disappointment?

Exhibiting at a tradeshow may deliver a respectable ROI for some companies, but there are good reasons to realistically evaluate the potential before you go all in.

Exhibiting in tradeshows is:

  1. A significant marketing investment
    In addition to paying for the booth space, you’ll also face the costs of your display. Even modest tabletop solutions can burden a business’s budget. Depending on the show, you may need something much larger in scale and more elaborate to stand out from your competition. Also, if the tradeshow is out of town, you will have travel, meals and accommodation expenses as well. ABM marketing efforts are often measured in terms of Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and tradeshows that may only drive leads and not sales can drive your CAC beyond acceptable levels.
  2. A freebie free-for-all
    Most of the people who stop by your booth will do so to pick up the free pen or coffee mug you have up for grabs and to register for the free Amazon gift card that you are giving away as a door prize. Sure, you might collect hundreds of business cards with names, phone numbers and email addresses in your fish bowl for the drawing, but you have no control over who visits you. It is almost the antithesis of ABM. You will reach whomever you reach, not necessarily who you want to reach.
  3. Not conducive to quality face-to-face time with prospects
    Even if someone from a company on your ABM list drops by your booth, staffing a tradeshow booth requires divvying up your time among the many visitors to your booth. If you focus your attention too intently on one person, you will fail at welcoming others who may or may not be viable leads. And so, rather than engaging in meaningful conversations and opportunity exploration, you will find yourself superficially making small talk.

However, if ABM is central to your marketing strategy, there are CAC friendly “conferences” that can be an extension of your ABM efforts. CDM Media, for example, hosts a series of CIO and CISO summits where marketers:

  • Help influence who is invited to the summits by providing an ideal customer profile or target accounts. This better ensures that you will meet with the people with whom you want to meet.
  • Provide their sales teams with face-to-face, one-on-one meetings with C-level executives instead of business cards.

Bottom line: Effective ABM marketing efforts should include a range of marketing strategies including targeted digital marketing (from a company like Straight North) and those C-Level conferences that also provide targeted audiences for face-to-face meetings (like CDM Media).

Author bio: Dawn Mentzer is a contributing writer for Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing agencies in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. Straight North can help you develop a comprehensive ABM Digital Marketing Strategy.  As a solopreneur and freelance writer, Dawn specializes in marketing content — and collaborates with clients nationally and globally.

CIO US, CISO US, CDO US, MidMarket US Summit Recap

November 12-14th, Scottsdale, AZ — CDM Media ran our CIO US, CISO US, CDO US, & MidMarket Summits at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, AZ.

Ken Spangler, SVP and CIO, FedEx Ground, kicking off our CIO Summit with a talk on Connectedness and Real Time Events

If there was a recurring theme throughout the CIO US, CISO US, CDO US and MidMarket Summits, it was the title of Jed Yueh’s book, Disrupt or Die. From the opening keynotes brought to us by FedEx Ground’s Ken Spangler, Scotiabank’s Robert Hofstatter, IBM’s Mickey Iqbal and RSA ‘s Ben Smith it became clear that standing still is not an option.

Day Two’s keynotes from Essilor’s Greg Ericson, Kroger’s Brian Lawhorn, IBM’s Scott Buckles and Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz continued the call to transform. Disruption is being caused by external forces and threats, competitive activities, technological changes as well as internal organizational pressures. We participated in great discussions about the importance of data:  Identifying it, gathering it, securing it, analyzing it and then consuming it in dashboards that help us not only respond to the disruption of Digital Transformation, but allows us to proactively help drive our respective companies business objectives.

Executive Exchange

We had excellent panel discussions about Digital Transformation including topics of RPA, diversity and STEM. Most importantly there were connections made between individuals and between companies that can help partner with you to achieve your transformation goals. We look forward to seeing you next year at the 2018 CIO US, CISO US, CDO US and MidMarket Summits.

CDM Media Announces Chanel Suggs as Keynote Speaker

Scottsdale, AZ – October 13, 2017: CDM Media is pleased to announce Chanel Suggs, Founder and CEO of Wyvern Security LLC as our keynote speaker for the CISO US Summit on November 12-14 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Dr. Chanel Suggs, or the Duchess of Cybersecurity has over 15 years of experience in cyber security. Her Research focus is host based systems and artificial intelligence. She has worked for large firms such as EMC, Cisco Systems, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. Suggs holds a Doctorate of Science in Cybersecurity, Masters in Project management, MBA, MS Information Assurance, MS Networking and Communication, and a BS in Computer Science.

Dr. Suggs academic education, degrees, and certification combined with her vast experience enables her to understand her clients’ issues and create the best possible solutions. She is a cyber security expert consultant who has authored two books on the subject that are predicted to become bestsellers. She founded Wyvern Security LLC and has lead it to become the market leader in providing top class solutions to combat cyber security hacks. Wyvern serves to educate organizations about cyber security, provide security consultation, and research solutions to stay ahead of data breaches. Dr. Suggs serves at the President and CEO of Wyvern Security and is also an adjunct professor and exam writer, and an Advisory Board Member of EC Council University.

At the CISO US Summit, Dr. Suggs will lead a keynote presentation on: “Hacking to Prevent Data Breaches: The Art of Exploitation”. She will be joined by other speakers including:

  • Juan Gomez-Sanchez, Chief Security Officer, and Margarita Santiago, Senior Director, Risk & Compliance at Lennar Corp. – Security at the Speed of Business
  • Jim Castle, CISO, Conagra FoodsBuilding Dynamic Security Teams
  • Brian Lawhorn, CISO, Kroger Co.IT Integration in a Distributed World
  • Mark Van Holsbeck, CISO (Director of IT and IS), Avery DennisonSecurity and Compliance; Chicken and Egg or Chalk and Cheese
  • Robert Hofstatter, VP, Global Information Security Operation Services, ScotiabankWhat is the Future of Information Security?
  • Paul Black, VP Cyber Security Operations, McKessonThe Next Generation Security Operations Center
  • Hussein Mereby, Executive Information Security Director (CISO), VeritivArtificial Intelligence and the Rise of Advanced Machine Learning
  • John Whiting, CSO, DDB Worldwide (An Omnicom Co.)GDPR is Coming – Is Your Cyber Security Program Prepared

To learn more about the event and register today visit our Official CISO Summit Site


CDM Media Announces Partnership with Mark Chillingworth

London, UK – October 6, 2017: CDM Media, a leading B2B marketing and media firm, has announced Mark Chillingworth as Official Summit Partner and Master of Ceremonies at the CIO UK Summit on October 26, 2017 at the May Fair Hotel, London, UK.

Mark Chillingworth has been writing about and hosting CIO/CTO community events and podcasts since January 2008. Every week, Chillingworth interviews and hosts debates with leading CIOs from financial services, government, manufacturing, retail and health. In 2016, Chillingworth co-founded Horizon Business Innovation – a podcast, web and live events platform – to bring innovative CIOs and challenger suppliers together. Prior to editing Horizon, Chillingworth spent 8 years as the Editor of CIO UK and created CIO 100 formats in a tenure that took the title from failure to award winner.

The CIO UK Summit draws together 50 senior enterprise IT executives to benchmark and knowledge-share around key themes including AI & robotics, cloud, cybersecurity, digital transformation, GDPR, IoT, blockchain and many more hot industry topics.

Speakers Include:

  • Allison Nau, Managing Director of Data, Cox Automotive – Mobilizing Data from across the Organization
  • Mark Aikman, Group CIO, The North of England P&I Association – IT is dead. Long live IT
  • Michael Natusch, Global Head of AI, Prudential PLC – Making the Most of your Data in the Digital Transformation Journey
  • Richard Corbridge, CIO, HSE Ireland – Topic TBC

For further information please contact Program Director, Matt Rymon: or +44 7590 080 882.

CIO & CISO NYC Summit Recap

Fall is here and that means the start of summit season at CDM Media. The next few months will be jam-packed with exciting panels, discussions, and presentations at each of our thought leadership events.

We kicked off the season with the CIO & CISO New York Summits held at Convene Conference Center in the heart of downtown Manhattan. These two well established programs have a track record of success and, thanks to all the hard work and effort, that success continued this year.

We hosted an impressive group of delegates at both events as our Relationship Management team delivered delegate attendees from some of the most powerful and influential companies in the United States.

A highlight from these two summits was a panel discussion featuring Paul Wilner, CIO of Pall Corporation, Richard Entrup, Global CIO at Christie’s, Karl Schoen-Rene, Director of IT Security of Knights of Columbus, and David Van Skiver, Director of Information Risk Management and Security at Merck.

The discussion focused on Facilitating Technology-Enabled Business Transformation. This topic has never been more poignant and timely and the panelists did not disappoint with an engaging and interactive discussion.

Key points discussed included how transformations affects hiring and company culture followed by how companies need to adapt to the new technology landscape. Changes have not only altered company structure, but the IT department culture as well. Visibility and likability are two qualities needed to be successful in the new age” asserted one CIO panelist.

This was just one of the stirring and informative sessions at the summits that were already filled with guidance, stories, tools, and techniques from our great participants. When asking our panelists, attendees and sponsors why they attend CDM Media’s CIO and CISO summits, one executive noted that they “want their team to know what type of business solutions and what type of automation is currently available on the market.” There is no better place to gather that information than at a CDM Media event.





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