Thursday, June 19, 2008

Leaving San Diego

Well, for me the conference is over and today is the day I depart. My ride arrives around 10:30, but I can't resist the sunshine so I am checking out early and waiting in the warm sunshine. I am as prepared as I could be for this flight and have all my devices fully charged.

Traffic to the airport was almost non-existent and my driver from Cloud-9 was excellent. United got me through quickly, but there were some "issues" at security. With Bio 2008 also in San Diego, there are a lot of medical and pharma types at the airport. As important as they are, they go through the "expert traveler" line, but are anything but. The wait grew very quickly form only 5 minutes to well over 25 minutes as a group of them just had incredible difficulty getting through the basic x-ray and metal detectors. Instructions are only written on 25 signs before you get there. Oh well, good thing I have plenty of time.

San Diego airport is not known for its breadth of shopping or restaurants, so I spent most of the time at the gate listening to Buzz Out Loud on my iPod Nano. It made the time pass faster. I got out my iPhone to log into the airports free wifi, but it just didn't work for me. I resorted to Edge and checked mail, texted, and mailed a few photos. Time went quickly and we boarded.

It took forever for the plane to completely board as the flight was full. With a number of folks from Bio, there were people dragging stuff on that was either too much or too large. I really don't get it. Otherwise, the flight was good with great service. Lasagna for dinner with hit fudge sundaes for dessert. Good Malbec wine topped it off, and we were on time. The only down side was the movie, which was shown on my flight to San Diego. No big deal though.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CIO Decisions 2008 - Day 2

Breakfast was sponsored by TriGeo, a company that has a very intriguing log analyzer and SIM product. The food had a southwest flair to it and was pretty good. Way to go TriGeo! The presentation by their CEO, Michelle Dickman, was also compelling. I'll be in their demonstration during the breakout sessions later in the morning.

Today is a full day, with topics of interest to me at every time, so I can only hope my battery last long enough to take notes. I am a bit surprised, yet again, that attendance at breakfast seems a little sparse compared to the number of registered attendees.

Mykolas Rambus is a young and bright CIO who is now with Forbes Media that I have had the privilege of knowing for about four years. His presentation in the morning on Business Intelligence was extremely valuable to me as my organization places heavier emphasis on the tools.

The TriGeo demonstration was even better than last year and has definitely rekindled my interest in the product. I'll have to put my network team on it sometime later this year.

The afternoon presentations by some of the award winners was pretty interesting. We heard from Hamilton Beach, Monster Cable, and the Archdiocese of London, Ontario.

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CIO Decisions 2008 - Awards Dinner

The dinner was pretty unusual as far as tech conferences go. To start, instead of vendor displays on the screens, they had the Celtics-Lakers game on. Then, they tried to time the awards with half-time, but that didn't quite work out so the presentations were delayed until after the game was over. With Boston in the lead by 30 points, I think the game was over at the start of the 4th period.

Attendance seemed a little sparse considering how many people are attending the conference. I also found a little odd since dinner was included. However, then I remembered that these are all tech people.

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They had 10 awardees this year, but only half of the were actually present to receive their award. I found that a little disappointing as this is a very prestigious award. The fact that only 10 were given this year also makes it very exclusive. I am sure they had good reasons though. If you are interested, you can find the list of winners and profiles here: Tech Target MidMarket.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CIO Decisions 2008 - Day 1

The keynote was terrific, I got a lot out of it about what the job of "CIO of the Future" may look like. Then I went to prep for my session. The 10:15 group was lively and engaging, with a lot of good information to share. Our discussion went right up to the last minutes.

The private lunch with Microsoft was okay, but not exactly what I was expecting. They did offer some good swag though and there were a few really good points that the speaker made, which I noted. Microsoft had their touring truck here and I had the opportunity to check out some of the their current initiatives. Based on what I have seen, heard, and read, I think they might finally be "getting it". But as big a company as they are, it may be too difficult to be as agile as they need to.

My afternoon session was at 1:45, well timed to be before the point at which people get drowsy after having a big lunch. It was a bigger group and, while it took a while to get them started, they had their own sets of stories to share. I have posted a copy of my PowerPoint online and have embedded it below for convenience.


Monday, June 16, 2008

CIO Decisions 2008 Conference

I am here in Carlsbad, CA finally. The flight on United was fine, but I still can't understand why they don't have power outlets in business or first class on a cross-country flight!

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Tonight is the opening reception and there is supposed to be a Texas Hold-Em tournament. I've never played the game myself, but there is a first time for everything. I am taking time to rehearse my presentation and catch up on work writing and e-mail. There is always more to do than can fit in the time alloted. I guess that is an unwritten business rule.

Tomorrow is the official opening of the conference and I'm looking forward to the keynote speaker, Susan Cramm. Her background should make it an interesting presentation. Then my breakout sessions are at 10:15 and 1:45. After my sessions, I'll find a way to post my slides online for any attendees that may want it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On my way to San Diego for CIO Decisions

I'm preparing for my trip to San Diego for the CIO Decisions 2008 Conference at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. I was considering the idea of not going this year until Ann McCrory at TechTarget tapped me to present at a breakout session. The topic is "Selling Security and Disaster Recovery Projects to Your Company". Since the traditional support arguments like ROI don't work, IT Executives are often forced to use other methods to support and justify their projects in these areas.

The breakouts happen at two times, so I have a session in the morning and another in the afternoon. I am really looking forward to going as the agenda and networking opportunities look top-notch!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Today is Apple Day!

I coincidentally took off today but have set aside time after 1:00 to watch the liveBlogging of Steve Jobs WWDC keynote address. His announcement of a new 3G iPhone is expected, as well as possibly some other revelations. We'll see just how much he wows the tech world today. I predict a 7.2 on the Steve-O-Meter.