Summer Festival: Plugging into the wisdom of the IT crowd

Published by Monika Rebala
September 15, 2022 @ 5:08 PM

On the 30th of August, CIONET welcomed over 200 Digital Leaders and Business Partners at the Zolder Racing Circuit in Belgium for its annual Summer Festival. This year's edition was all about “Plugging into the wisdom of the IT crowd” offering the participants the opportunity to network and exchange ideas during workshops, listen to keynote speakers, participate in interactive quizzes on CIOs dilemmas and of course to enjoy a unique barbecue with a view in the evening.

20220830 CIONET GeertGoethals

Our summer celebration started with a warm welcome and introduction from Geert Goethals, CIO of Proximus and chairman of the advisory board of CIONET. As to Geert:

Digital leaders are rarely confronted with unique new problems. There is always somebody out there who already solved the problem in a similar context before. This is why CIOs and Digital Leaders in general need to maintain their network and collaborate beyond the company borders. One should not underestimate the leverage a community of peers can provide. Collective intelligence is a powerful tool to address the challenges we all face. Moreover, due to the continuous input of ideas, it helps us to keep pace with the speed of technological and societal changes.

To warm up the participants we conducted our first quiz: 

Question 1:  Will the 2023 IT budget of your organisation be lower/ the same/ higher as in 2022?

The result:  57% responded that it would be higher, 28% that it would stay the same, and 21% would lower their spendings. 

Question 2: What proportion of the overall spend on IT is managed outside the IT department? 66% claimed between zero and 25%.

The first keynote speaker, Isabel van Mele, Chief Information Officer at KBC Bank & Verzekering, who has guided digital transformations in telecom, in the media, and now in the banking world, came on stage with an original motivational speech, sharing how she transposed her biggest passions and beliefs into her professional missions.

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Isabel’s grandfather was a sculptor and her mother was a painter. When she was 16 years old, she got the opportunity to attend the Academy of Art which fuelled her first passion: “art”.  She compared the process of creating art with KBC’s approach to innovation. “It all starts with getting inspired, then you go into the ideation, the exploration, the experimentation, to finally come to the creation.” Isabel’s second passion is technology. Her love for it started when she was studying physics and biomedical engineering. At KBC she can fully fulfil this passion as the company is always on top of new technologies, looking into ways to apply them for the benefit of the customers and society. Isabel described her  third passion as “people”.

“You can have the most beautiful technology or the most beautiful piece of art, but whatever you do, if you don't have the right people, if you're not able to inspire your collaborators, you will not be able to realise your goals.

After the first keynote speech we conducted the second quiz

Question 1: How many data sensors does an F1 car have? 86%  said that 300, 13% that 200, and only 1% said 100.

Question 2: What is the role of RH within IBMs Cloud Strategy? 74% answered: support IBMs Open Hybrid Strategy through RHs Openshift Container Platform.

CIONET  m20220830 CIONET Zolder131embers and business partners were then invited to participate in different workshops. Business partners and the advisory board went brainstorming on the topics CIONET should put on next year's agenda. Whereas a variety of TRIBE workshops were hosted by top experts from the TRIBES community, with themes such as 'how to set up public cloud without a Cloud Center of Excellence?', ‘how to create more efficiency using the Agile Balanced Management Model', ‘how to make an informed choice between buy vs make in your Enterprise Architecture' and 'how to realise Start up ideas in a large scale organisation?'. The objective: learn from the insights of other participants and develop an open perspective and in doing so, demonstrate the power of plugging into the wisdom of the IT crowd.

To illustrate this: during the innovation workshop, the participants walked along the five stages of innovation (inspiration | exploration | ideation | experimentation | incubation) and actively explored opportunities and challenges throughout the experiences and different backgrounds of their peers. This created a rich outcome, due to the co-creation technique that was well guided by the Innovation Surf Lab experts from KBC Bank & Insurances. A couple of take-aways from the contributors, worthwhile to share:

1. Fail Fast & Be Proud (Failure Transparency)
2. Be open to outside-in views (visit other organisations, seminars, peer-to-peer insights, market evolutions)
3. Ensure process anchoring (innovation boards, business & IT alignment, cross-silo workshops)

After the workshops, CIONET presented the winners of its 1st edition of the TRIBES Awards. With these awards, CIONET wanted to put people and organisations in the spotlight that contributed in a very special way to the program

Best Triber 2022 - in the category Attendance: Euroclear

Best Triber 2022 - in the category Engagement: KBC Bank & Verzekering

Best Triber 2022 - in the category Overall Performance: SD Worx

Time for the 3rd quiz

The question:  what  attack vector do you fear the most? a) Abuse of vulnerabilities b) A supply chain attack c) A persistent attack, looking for confidential data d) Ransomware. The answer was: ransomware.

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Next, Christian Combes, partner at Deloitte Belgium outlined the key tech trends likely to disrupt businesses in the next months including new opportunities in automation, blockchain, data sharing, and other areas. He noted that pioneering organisations are challenging orthodoxies, working smarter and shifting focus to drive innovation both internally and across their tech ecosystem. You can find more details on the Deloitte Tech Trend report  HERE.

After Christian's presentation came on stage our second keynote speaker: Beth Georgiou, Co-Founder & Director of ERA Championship, the world’s first all-electric junior formula racing series. Beth clearly outlined the core values of the ERA initiative.

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"The first one is sustainability, which is not only about producing electric cars and making the body parts out of recycled materials. Sustainability for ERA also means organising sustainable events, and enabling innovative technology to be researched, developed and implemented in a visible, cost-effective, and accessible platform.” ERA’s second value is equality. “My personal goal is to democratise motorsport, get more women in it, and prioritise talent over budget. And finally, we strive for accessibility. To achieve this goal, ERA Championship has launched a racing school in Zolder.

During the second part of her presentation, Beth focused on what “truly connected racing” means. And this has a lot to do with the ERA Championship partnership with Software AG. The vehicles are connected through an IoT platform for live telemetry data and video, and are built with the latest motor and battery technologies available on the market.

With digitalization and the IoT, ERA gathers live information from the cars to harness valuable information and present it to the race teams and drivers when it matters most: when it’s happening, during the race. “Data in real time gives us a better overview when it comes to safety, critical things, overheating issues, etc. I really think that bringing a human element back into the machine is important because it enables our people to have a lot more decision making process to embrace.”

Beth noted that the next steps in racing could be implementing machine learning and further automation .

“To paraphrase Neo in The Matrix, I don't know the future of racing. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. But I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. And that is mixing motorsport with data is the future.

The intensive Summer Festival programme topped up with an exquisite evening with a BBQ on the rooftop.

A special thank you to all our partners for their amazing cocktails & drinks: Kyndryl, LCL, Mendix, Radix, Red Hat, Stefanini, Dell/VMware, Software AG and Vectra

And of course to to the leaders of the Tribe sessions: Ruben Smolders, SD Worx, Pascal Cuppens, KBC Bank & Verzekering, Kris Maertens, ZORGI, Luc Cappaert, SD Worx, and Amedée Audooren, VDAB. 

Also a big thank you to Crowdstrike for the virtual racing experience! Together we raced over 450+ laps with some impressive times scores. 

And congratulations to the winner of the sim-racing competition: Timothy De Ben.

Posted in:CIONET Belgium

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