More than 80 tech marketers came together last month for the third annual IDG ENGAGE Menlo Park, CA event to discuss the evolving technology landscape and how to forge successful relationships with tech decision-makers. Similar to past ENGAGE events, one highlight on the agenda was the Tech Executive panel. During this hour-long conversation, technology leaders shared a glimpse into their world on what initiatives they are working on and how tech marketers could be a stronger resource for them.
The Tech Executive Perspective Panel, moderated by Adam Dennison, SVP/GM IDG Events and CIO Executive Council and Publisher, CIO included:
- Shamyo Chatterjee, CIO at Satellite Healthcare
- Aaron Gette, CIO at The Bay Club Company
- Kash Hathi, Director of Networking and Network Security at PayPal
- Jag Randhawa, VP of Information Technology and E-Commerce at CAMICO Mutual Insurance Company
- Bill Schlough, SVP and CIO for the San Francisco Giants.
Key insights from their discussions are recapped below.
This session maintained a common theme from the event, customer centricity. This group of tech leaders are very customer focused and eager to become (or stay) modern and digital. This mindset is clearly linked to the technologies that these tech leaders are currently implementing at their organizations – IoT, cloud, video, and analytics. However, new technologies do not integrate into organizations without hiccups and frustrations. Timeline delays due to resources, integration issues, and security concerns are all factors that lead to technology adoption headaches. Fortunately, these headaches are not all unresolved, in fact, our tech leaders shared some solutions to these problems.
- First, the business side should always be on the same page as the IT department – they should be aware of the pain points certain technologies aim to solve, the initial risk of the technology, etc., before it is implemented. With this transparency, trust is formed and departments feel they all share the same goal.
- Second, be sure to utilize innovation teams to brainstorm and share ideas. IT departments do not want to come across as slow to new technologies, therefore it is important to collaborate, be able to sell ideas, and move forward with an open mind.
- Third, separate out your technology goals by category. For example, organizations will most likely have different technology goals for their IT department than they would for their customers. By keeping these separate, technology use cases can be better communicated to the business.
Technology is not just about the right now, but also a focus on future innovation. When sharing strategies and tactics for the next 18 months, these tech leaders are focused on augmented and virtual reality, thought leadership, IoT, artificial intelligence, and integration tools. And one “future” tech they are hearing buzz about is the potential to charge mobile devices “without walls,” meaning charging will take place anywhere without cords or other charging devices.
Fortunately, CIOs are not alone on this innovation journey. Tech marketers can play a role by educating tech leaders throughout the purchase process so they can stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and their benefits. In order to become a valued partner throughout an organization’s innovation journey, it is important to understand how IT decision-makers consumer content. Our tech panelists are strong believers that if there is a need, they will find you. And once they find your content, your staff needs to communicate value, be personable, and offer specific information to their business. Once those qualities are addressed, tech executives are much more likely to read your content, listen to your pitch, and further engage.
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Want to learn more about the tech buyer’s journey? View the 2017 Customer Engagement white paper.