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A Moderator’s View of the Minneapolis CIO Summit

On December 11, CIOs gathered in Minneapolis for a one-day regional conference featuring keynotes and executive boardroom sessions from leaders in IT. These CIO Executive Summits, hosted by Evanta, offer executive leadership the opportunity to spend a day exchanging insights with peers, gaining exposure to best practices, and creating new partnerships.

Each event is led by a Governing Body of more than 40 CIOs from Fortune 500 companies. In 2018, Evanta held 39 events that reached 2,000 CIOs in 14 different cities. This is the third Evanta event we sponsored in 2019.

In partnership with Red Hat, we sponsored a boardroom session entitled “Let’s Clear the Air – A Continued Cloud Conversation”. We have a strong portfolio of successful cloud deployments and demonstrate thought leadership in this area.

I had the pleasure of moderating our session of 15 attendees and two discussion leaders – Kathryn Freytag, Donaldson VP & CIO, and Mark Vaupel, Hormel Foods Corporation VP of IT services.

A Boardroom Discussion

Our boardroom discussion aimed to enable CIOs pursuing a cloud strategy to explore the benefits and challenges of the cloud. Particularly buying vs. building and the differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud options.

My key takeaways from the session include:

  • Understand the business strategy and capabilities
  • Stay within boundaries of what is needed (e.g. IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
  • Fit for purpose – move the workloads that make sense
  • Define the what, why, and how of the cloud strategy
  • Governance can’t be ignored
  • Start with a decommissioning plan

“This event holds great value, and provided me the opportunity to network with other IT leaders,” said Adam Gruenke, Perficient account developer.

Unlike traditional conference sessions, the boardroom style allowed for valuable face time with the session leaders and provided a platform for engagement and networking.

We hope to continue to sponsor and attend Evanta events in the future. To view the 2020 calendar of events, click here.

About Evanta

Evanta is a global community of C-level executives from the world’s leading organizations. Evanta facilitates peer-to-peer collaboration and knowledge sharing for C-level executives. They operate across every region, function, and market sector to help them share innovative ideas and solve today’s business-critical leadership challenges.



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Anandh Asokan

Experienced IT professional in digital and consulting services, technology to help clients deliver values for their customers, defined and developed integration products (API, Event streams, and bulk load assets), Data (Data ingestion to analytics pipeline, MDM). A thought leader in defining a strategy with a pragmatic approach for the organization transformation. He has delivered high-quality products in various technologies and industry domains with a reputation in execution and mentorship. Passionate engineering professional with a Bachelor's degree focused in Computer science and a Master's degree in Software Engineering !.

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