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CIO Innovation Insider Event Recap – September 2017

The September Innovation Insider lunch event was a blast, with 22 CIOs in attendance at Eggspectation in Columbia, MD. RedZone Technologies President & CEO Bill Murphy opened up the event with a keynote presentation on Exponential Technologies, Offensive Innovation, and Marketplace Disruption.

Following the Offensive session, Bill and RedZone Technologies CTO James Crifasi finished out the afternoon with a presentation on Defense and Innovation covering topics including Occam’s Razor, similarities between an organization’s security environment and the human immune system, Cloud App Security, and Microsoft’s Security Platform.

Major Take-Aways from This CIO Innovation Insider Event:

  1. The importance of Offensive and Defensive innovation
  2. Learning how disruption is drastically impacting marketplaces
  3. The importance of building a defensible security argument with the least amount of resources expended
  4. How can a business be compliant on the cloud?
  5. VISO – Virtual Information Security Officer Program
  6. Insight on Windows 10 and Microsoft’s Security Platform

Our next event is just around the corner! Register Now While Seats are Available!


3 Strategies for Fast Learning and the Importance of Continued Learning

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Ok, this is Bill Murphy. We’re here with another Innovation Insider, powered by RedZone. I want to talk about a couple concepts I’ve written up on the board for you today.

One is this, I want to teach you a couple of strategies of how you can learn really fast in areas you don’t know a lot about, and how you ca n leverage some of your talent in your organization to help you learn fast. With some of the new technologies that you have to learn at scale, for example I have a customer who needs to learn about artificial intelligence. They need to learn about artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, neural networks, and how this happens. How artificial intelligence works with these algorithms. How do you do that? If you don’t have the talent, you’re not going to buy the talent, you don’t have the budget for it, you necessarily even have a project, but you have a potential problem that might be solved.

Go to How many of you have been to, and actually gone and go to the meetups, to where all the developers are. Go to the meetups where all the makers and the people that are actually building those technologies are. It sounds different, and it sounds odd, because you did it when you were in your twenties, but now you’re in your forties. I think you should go do it. I do it myself now. I go and I sit as a fly in the wall in the back. Listen to these guys. They’re smart as heck, they’re coming out of the universities; they’re really hustling to put their technologies out there. You can learn, you can listen, and here what they have to say. The largest VR community in D.C., I connected with the top guy there. The top guy there is brilliant. He has a small, little company. I’m not even sure if the company is making any money, but I’ll tell you what, he knows all the current technology and he’s connected deeply. Block chain is another perfect example. How can you use block chain? I know how to use it with security, but how do you use it with your business? Use it for smart contracts? How do you build applications with block chain? Patch into the community and figure that out; and that’s just you going to It’s a wonderful way to do that. You can send your team there and they can write reports, and kind of go on hunting missions. They would love it. You could just get written summaries as well, that’s another good idea.

Another is, I learned today – not learned it, but it was a young CIO I met with; super ambitious, but sometimes I run into these meetings and the guy’s new. He’s a newbie. He’s literally just landed. He doesn’t have the title of CIO, but he’s the highest ranking IT professional in the organization. You can tell by the maturity of the organization, it was a serious organization, it’s well known, everybody would know it. It’s just that their IT group was not as mature, but he would take meetings to learn. I said ‘no problem, I’ll teach you’ and we went down my little path of teaching; but he takes meetings to learn, and that’s a great way to have your team really examine and become students of the marketplace. That’s a little thing I learned today which was really interesting, the concept of going back to taking meetings. You can even limit those meetings in time, so you have 20 minutes, or you take 10 minutes for the meeting, or can have Skype meetings. You can have all types of meetings to make efficient use of your time. Consider that as an option to learn.

One of the biggest pieces when I run the CIO Innovation lunch series, which I’ve been running now for 20 years, one of the top, if not the second or third biggest trait is ongoing learning. It’s a passion for learning. You might lose your hunger for making money, you might lose your hunger for different areas, but don’t lose your hunger for learning. That’s one of the key traits that I find with the high performance CIOs. Not the Bs, and the C+s, and the Cs, I’m talking the B+s and the As. It’s ongoing learning. What’s the difference between a B+ and an A? Usually it’s just behind the wheel time. They’re just newer on the job, and they haven’t gotten their chops cleaned as much as an A, but they’ve got the energy, and they’ve got the passion to be an A, but it’s ongoing learning. It’s that deep desire to want to learn.

The other piece is, I brought it up in the last segment, was being romantic. Being romantic about the way things were. Being romantic about the way things were is really just fear. That’s why I’m layering in some of this education, and learning, and being aggressive, and offensive about going and digging up the technologies. Not that the vendors are bringing it to you; forget the vendors. The vendors have a vested interest. You go on a hunting mission to look at the exponential technologies, the VR, the augmented reality. Look at how these things can impact. Look at biotech, biomedicine, block chain, nanotechnology. Go find those meetups and learn. Sometimes cross domain learning is just as important as right in your domain. It all will help you not be romantic about the past, and embrace future, and not let fear subvert getting into an offensive gear where we’re still being generative, and creative, and innovative in our own thinking patterns.

Alright, until next time this is Bill Murphy with the CIO Innovation Insider.

In this CIO Innovation Insider, I wanted to share with you 3 strategies that you as IT leaders can use to continue to learn, and learn quickly. Both on subjects within your niche, and subjects outside it, and how you can leverage your team to help you learn fast as well.

Major Take-Aways from This CIO Innovation Insider:

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Addressing the Impact of Hard and Soft Trends

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Hi, this is Bill Murphy with the RedZone Technologies Innovation Insider. Let’s talk about a couple things today.
I have some CIO conversations that I wanted to relate to you. There’s things that I’m learning in the field and I want to convey some of these stories to you.
A CIO I just met with 2 days ago, he had been with his company 8 years. It was a multinational organization. He was brought in to fix the ship, right-side it, patch it, glue it back together again, and he did a good job. He worked for the father, the founding ‘father’ of this organization. It’s based out of Virginia. He worked at fixing, and making it stable over 8 years, and had a nice funding plan to do that. He was good on both the application side and on the network side. Then something happened.
He got soft. He lost his hunger in his forties, maybe some of you can relate. We definitely don’t want to be losing our hunger and our passion right about the time we’re at the zenith of our career. This guy, he lost his footing. He fell asleep at the wheel.
What he did, is that the company was taken over by the sons. The father said ‘sons come in’, they come in, they’re smart, they’re hungry, and they’re in their thirties, young thirties. They pull the CIO into the room and they ask him, ‘What are we doing with cloud?’, ‘We want to reduce costs, we want to increase efficiency, we keep hearing all this great stuff about the cloud, we want to do it.’ This was a year ago. The CIO decided he was going to defend his position of not moving to the cloud and that they should not be listening to these vendors. 12 months later, he’s no longer employed at that organization, and they’re now moving to the cloud.
Now, many of you aren’t going to say no to the cloud, but my point is this – and I doubt that he said no to the cloud, but his message was about romantically defending something that was inevitable.
Cloud is a hard trend. It’s very important with exponential technologies and with some of these trends to identify what’s a soft trend and a hard trend. Soft trends are possibilities. Hard trends are here.
An example of a soft trend would be, ‘what’s going to win, augmented reality or virtual reality?’ They’re both here, we just don’t know how they’re going to materialize in their final form. They’re not ready to be at scale in the market. At scale in the market means that it can be embraced at the consumer level. We’re not running virtual reality lenses on our glasses at scale across the marketplace, and that’s important. It’s here, but it’s not at scale. Cloud is at scale. Cloud is here and at scale.
We want to make sure that when we’re arguing with business units we differentiate between what is a hard and soft trend. If we put a stake in the ground against a hard trend, we may potentially be looking for another job.
Until next time, this is Bill Murphy with the CIO Innovation Insider.

In this CIO Innovation Insider, I wanted to share with you an experience had by a CIO I met with recently, that highlights the importance of understanding hard and soft trends, and how they impact planning and how to address them when working with units across your business.

Major Take-Aways from This CIO Innovation Insider:

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How to Get Your Team’s Big Data Design & Visualization Skills to a World Class Level? Tactics+Tools to Get You There – with Seth Familian

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My guest this week is Seth Familian, who specializes in connecting powerful web-based tools and services to create highly customized marketing + analytics experiences for product and content marketing teams. He is the founder and principal of Familian&1, a visual insights and automation consultancy whose work has benefitted companies including Cisco, RingCentral, Adorama and Cloud9. Seth is also an avid educator with experience teaching over 800 students in 40+ workshops on Visual Design with Data, Working with Big Data, Digital Tools for Business and Affordable Web Design. He has lectured at General Assembly, Galvanize, Impact HUB SF, Presidio Graduate School, the Haas School of Business and KQED.  Continue reading

Does the Security of Your Applications Respond at the Pace of Your Business? – with Jeff Williams

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My guest this week is Jeff Williams, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Contrast Security.

The reason that I wanted Jeff on the program is that his technology was massively interesting to me, given that application attacks are the single biggest vector for security breaches. In 2017 There will be 111 billion new lines of code produced resulting in endless complexity.

His product was an Innovation Sandbox Finalist at RSA this year. So I wanted to understand more.

I have tried to integrate application level firewalls and experienced working through real & hard human challenges of coders and network security people trying to defend and deploy at the same time I wanted to understand his technology better AND because iterative application development is going to be even more important for companies for their security to move at the pace of the business innovation and applications development and testing becoming more and more iterative and agile. So how do we do this? Continue reading