Leading an Ever-Smarter Enterprise

IT executives take center stage at 2019 MIT symposium

Amid all the fascination and attention on tomorrow’s intelligent machines and the future of work, today’s enterprises — and the IT execs who lead them — may get short shrift.

Not on May 22.

At the 16th annual MIT Sloan CIO Symposium the emphasis will be squarely on the real-world technology, business transformation, and digital strategies that enterprises face right now. Future trends will be a big part of the event’s conversations, of course, along with first-hand, practical advice about designing IT infrastructures to support current digital business models. How are AI and robotics already impacting specific industries and workers? How should executives reskill, upskill, and rethink the organization accordingly? What can CIOs and other executives do as platforms encroach on traditional markets? How do they measure success?

These are some of the tactical topics that will frame the day’s panels and sessions. While IT experiences at JetBlue differ from Deutsche Bank or Eli Lilly, tech leaders from these and other companies will find common ground and exchange tips at the day-long conference. The agenda was crowdsourced by the senior IT executives who will attend the event.

UPDATE: Eash Sundaram was named the winner of the 2019 CIO award. Details can be found here.

Eash Sundaram

Symposium Chair Lindsey Anderson said that all CIOs have to “up their game as change agents” as AI and digital technologies gain ground. (Read his blog, here.) Panel discussions will be led by CIOs as well as MIT thought leaders, including Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson, Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, Tom Davenport, and Geoff Parker from the Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE); Jeanne Ross, Joe Peppard, Kristine Dery, Nils Fonstad, and Peter Weill from the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR).

The IDE sessions include:

  • Jumpstarting America — Have We Lost Our Technology Mojo? MIT IDE Director, Erik Brynjolfsson, will discuss the new book, Jump-starting America, with MIT co-authors Simon Johnson and Jon Gruber. It centers on the increasing concentration of geography-based wealth.
  • Platform strategy is top-of-mind on a panel hosted by Geoffrey Parker. The session, Get Ready for the Platform Transition, will include Adriana Karaboutis, National Grid; Mannu Lodha, Tetra Pak; Ryan Mallory, Equinix, and Markus Pertlwieser, Deutsche Bank.
  • Can AI to reinvent your org chart? Sandy Pentland will lead a high-level discussion on Human AI: Using AI to Optimize Your Business. Sandy will be joined by Joshua Feast, CEO, Cogito; Manas Fuloria, CEO, Nagarro; Sam Kapreilian, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP; and Kush Saxena, CTO, Mastercard.
  • Tom Davenport, MIT IDE Fellow, speaks about The Future of Process Automation: Leveraging RPA & AI.
  • What is The Second Enlightenment? Keynote speaker and IDE co-director, Andrew McAfee, will offer a sneak preview his new book, More from Less, raising provocative questions about the relationship between the human condition and the state of nature, and whether economic growth is always bad for the planet. The book will be published by Scribner in October.
  • George Westerman will lead a discussion with the 2019 Finalists for the MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award. The winner will be announced at a private event on May 21, and publicly during the Symposium. This year’s four Award finalists are:
  • Gail Evans, CDO, Mercer
  • Kris Rao, CIO, Ricoh USA, Inc.
  • Aarti Shah, Ph.D., SVP, CIO/CDO, Eli Lilly & Company
  • Eash Sundaram, EVP, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, JetBlue

UPDATE: Eash Sundaram was named the winner of the 2019 CIO award. Details can be found here.

From left, Gail Evans, Kris Rao, Aarti Shah, and Eash Sundaram

Additionally, the 10 Innovation Showcase finalists will highlight their cutting-edge, enterprise business solutions. The finalists are:

The Innovation Showcase will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the MIT Kresge courtyard tent. The full agenda for the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is available at www.mitcio.com/agenda

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