The CIO in 2021 — A Year in Review

Community Blog
Written by Liz Ramey

DECEMBER 14, 2021

CIOs stepped into 2021 with the wind behind their backs. They had been elevated to hero status among the C-suite, saving many organizations from decline during the pandemic. During the past year, CIOs have gained their footing as strategic partners and are really making an impact on the important investments in data and technology to propel enterprises into the digital age. Here is a recap of the peer-led content that CIOs felt was most compelling and relevant for their role today.

Most enjoyed in-person presentations at CIO Executive Summits:

Keynote: The Business Value of SASE, Zero-Trust Journey — Hosted by Netskope

In this engaging presentation, Netskope discussed the economics and business case for a SASE journey, best practices for implementing Zero Trust within a SASE architecture, and the importance of granular Cloud and SaaS visibility in a SASE architecture.

Keynote: The CIO’s Next Trick — Changing the Paradigm with Gertrude Van Horn

During her session, Gertrude Van Horn shared her thoughts and experiences on building relationships and telling IT’s story - capturing key funding, designing IT strategy for the evolving ecosystem - making an impact, and taking back your sanity - resetting expectations across the enterprise. 

Keynote: The ROI of Creativity with Noah Scalin

In this keynote, Artist/Author Noah Scalin pulls back the curtain on his own creative practice to explain the real ROI of creativity. He explored why creativity is a crucial skill for fostering innovation at your organization, how to use creativity strategically for long-term impact, and simple strategies that anyone can use to innovate, grow and inspire others.

Breakout Presentation: Realizing Value - The Road to Data and Analytics Success with Neelu Sethi

During her session, Neelu Sethi discussed how data is the true oil of the enterprise – without it your engine cannot run, but with it the outcome can become unstoppable. She told her journey about setting the tone from the top by creating consistent and meaningful messaging, defining an inclusive mission and vision for value creation, and looking ahead – predicting patterns by understanding customer behavior.


Most enjoyed virtual CIO gatherings:

Washington DC CIO Virtual Town Hall: Optimizing Operational Efficiencies, Productivity & Protection

Global CIO Virtual Town Hall: Nurturing an Agile and Innovative Culture Across Globally Distributed Teams


Most read articles:

Building Culture, Building Skills – A Case Study for Thriving Technology Teams

How an Agile Approach Delivers Value to Product Development

Technology at Sea -- How MSC Cruises is Leveraging AI and Automation to Enhance Guest Experience

CIOs Must Defend Their 2020 Hero Status


Most listened to podcasts:

How Are Organizations Tuning Out Noise to Create an Effective Technology Ecosystem?

Guest: Kurt John,Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Siemens USA

How Can Leaders Crack the Change-Management Code?
Guest: Rob Zelinka, CIO, Jack Henry & Associates


Moving into 2022, CIOs must continue the momentum that carried organizations through the last 20 months. They will focus on digital growth as investments in IT will continue to surge. As we build our gatherings for next year, the themes influencing our content will be: Mastering the Art of Change and Adaptability, Accelerating the High Growth Digital Business, and Empowering the Accesible, Data-First Enterprise.



Liz Ramey headshot

Liz Ramey

Director, Content at Evanta, a Gartner Company

by CIOs, for CIOs

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