Nov 17 2022

CDW Executive SummIT: Key Takeaways on the Future of IT

To navigate the nuances of advancing technology, IT professionals should focus on addressing specific challenges and developing corporate strategy.

By nature, technology is constantly evolving to incorporate new ideas, many of which might have once seemed like far-fetched fantasies, only to become widely adopted realities. In the business world, keeping pace with technology has become essential to maintaining a competitive advantage.

At the CDW Executive SummIT: Making the Future of IT a Reality, held in Chicago on Oct. 25-27, experts discussed recent technological advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and explained the roles new technologies can play in an organization’s business model.

One of those experts, John Fanelli, vice president of enterprise software at NVIDIA, described the advantages of AI: “Everything we do is either to drive more revenue or to decrease your costs. And AI is one of those things that does both.”

Fanelli noted that over 35,000 companies today are running AI, which shows “there is a use case for AI as part of every organization.”

“Applications that your engineers are using to build your products or the things you’re thinking about building can be AI-infused,” he said. “AI can make suggestions based on last year's sales or based on your competitors’ products. It can even factor in customer feedback and make suggestions about your products.”

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Anticipating and Preparing for the Future of IT

CDW CEO Christine Leahy discussed the importance of imagination and curiosity in determining how new technologies are implemented, telling the audience, “Imagination is the spark that ignites possibility. To advance, we need imagination. To grow, we need imagination. To transform, we need imagination.”

IT experts also recommended being prepared when it’s time to move forward. Andy Eccles, CDW’s senior vice president of integrated technology, told SummIT attendees, “You can assume that technology will just continually evolve. It's going to get 1 percent better all the time, and we will still value the constant marginal gains and progressive improvements that technology makes.”

Justin Stahl, vice president of IT for the Chicago Bears, discussed his organization’s digital transformation and how it has benefited from emerging technology. The NFL team is able to use data collected from sensors in the athletes’ gear to improve play on the field. “We now have the ability to tell how open a wide receiver was at the tenth of a second when the ball was released from the quarterback. That's powerful data in terms of evaluating players, evaluating opponents and scouting.”

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The Future of IT Starts Now

Steven Darrah, director of national sales at Intel, shared a story about using robotics to stock retail shelves, telling attendees, “The least amount of transformation we will ever see is today.”

Dex Hunter-Torricke, vice president of global communications and public engagement at Meta, agreed: “The world is drastically unprepared for the next wave of disruption.”

Sanjay Sood, CDW’s senior vice president and CTO, discussed how new technologies must align with a company’s corporate strategy. Sood highlighted CDW’s approach, which is built around three pillars: people, process and technology.

Digital transformations are a continuous process, he said, and companies must adopt what he calls a journey mindset: “The moment you're done with this one arc of transformation, there's a whole new set of things that you have to do. It’s a journey, not a destination.”

Keep this page bookmarked for articles and videos from the event, follow us on Twitter @BizTechMagazine and participate in the official event conversation on Twitter at #JoinCDW.

Photography by Kwynci Fields

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