Did you miss SIM Connect Live in Dallas last month?  Don’t worry – we took notes.

For the 50th anniversary event, SIM put together something special for all ages and career stages. From youth groups presenting their world-class innovations to seasoned IT professionals and CIOs sharing their thoughts as they exit the industry, there was much to learn. We’ve put together a breakdown of our favorite sessions to keep you informed.  Without further ado, here are some of our favorite sessions:

1. Christina “CK” Kerley: Megatrends in Tech

Even as humanity experiences record-setting levels of disruption, CK demonstrated how these major current technology trends will actually help us all. These trends should be noted by entrepreneurs and innovators as we stride forward in the digital era.

Trend 1: The Rise of the Outernet – The phrase “there’s an app for that” will soon be replaced by “there’s a robot for that!” Expect biosensors in your bloodstream and smarter smartphones as digital’s newest frontier becomes the physical world.

Trend 2: CoBots – Automation isn’t going to take our jobs, it’s going to give us our time back, so we can more effectively do our jobs! For example, CIOs are only spending 10% of their time on strategy and innovation. By collaborating with robots, we can liberate our schedules of administrative coordination and controls.

Trend 3: Reskilling – People are not as easily updated as technology. We need to prepare for a new normal, brainstorm ways to solve the talent gap and dedicate time to soft skills, which will gain prominence amid intelligent machines.

Trend 4: “Added” Intelligence – The champions of the digital age are not just those who create new systems of intelligence. There is space on the podium for those who learn how to best use these systems and do so faster than their competitors.

Trend 5: The Next-Gen Web – Because of breakthrough foundational technology like blockchain, gestural navigation, and conversational interfaces, a whole new world of opportunities exists to improve lives with. Don’t be surprised to see big changes in cybersecurity, contracts and disintermediation. The biggest change of all will be the billions more people that will get online by 2030.

To learn more about Christina Kerley and additional tech megatrends, follow this link.

2. Dr. David Bray: AI and the Future of IT

Dr. David Bray discussed how technology is changing the way we work, play and live. To prepare for the unknown advances to come, we the (mobile, data-enabled, collaborative) people, must ensure that resiliency, security, and privacy are baked in to future systems as well as the internet of everything.

Today’s technology trends can seem shocking but what’s even more astonishing is how these advances will play out in the long run. Dr. David Bray predicts that we will see these outcomes of today’s trends in the next 10-20 years:

Current Trend 1: Augmented Reality – People are already immersed in AR, with applications like Snapchat and Instagram using creative filters and Ikea’s Place app that allows homeowners to visualize their home with varying furnishings. A less common but very current AR trend is in the wearables industry, which allows individuals to see the world through a different lens.

Dr. David Bray’s Prediction: AR will become fully integrated into our daily lives. As consumers give away more information to companies leveraging big data, we should expect them to take personalized advertising to a new level. Leaders should look to take advantage of this access to information to reach their target customers.

Current Trend 2: Increasing Number of Connected Devices – The number of networked devices is rapidly expanding and is projected to reach 50 to 200 billion devices by 2022.

Dr. David Bray’s Prediction: The “Internet of Everything” is a future state in which almost everything in our lives will be connected. While trying to keep up with this rate of change, organizations will face the challenges of overcoming legacy infrastructure and investments, information overload, fragmentation, and disruption. Leaders must allow time and space for organizations to be innovative and freely bring forward creative ideas for tackling new challenges. Leaders will also need to focus on resiliency – whether that means responding to software issues, hardware issues, or new competition looking to disrupt the status quo.  Organizations will constantly need to experiment with their business models and should avoid big implementations that take longer than six months as the landscape could change dramatically in that time, rendering all progress obsolete.

To learn more about Dr. David Bray and his keynote speech, follow this link.

3. City IT Director Panel: Smart Cities

The Smart Cities Panel included Michael Sherwood, Director of Technology and Innovation for the City of Las Vegas, Clint Andrews, IT Director of Applications Services for the City of Fort Collins, and Mike Maier, CTO and Director of IT Services for the City of Fort Lauderdale.

This session took a deep dive into how cities can improve the services provided to citizens through technology and discussed strategies these cities are utilizing to become more connected with their citizens.

Fort Collins: Fort Collins placed 3rd in the 2015 Digital Cities Survey, which recognizes US cities with best practices in public sector information and communications technology. They’ve been delivering on their mission to provide exceptional, innovative, and customer-driven services to enable operational excellence within city government., Some of their initiatives include an automated bike share program with a crowdsourced mapping application and the implementation of 360-degree HALO cameras, that were placed around the city to reduce crime and help law enforcement.

Fort Lauderdale: Fort Lauderdale’s IT Services Department is strengthening their community by giving their citizens new and resourceful ways to access and participate in local government such as their Geographic Information System (GIS) that exists to help make the government more efficient and accessible by developing web-based applications for distributing and sharing information, creating and maintaining GIS data, and map production using geo-referenced data.

Las Vegas: In 2016, the City of Las Vegas’s Department of Technology and Innovation passed a resolution declaring its downtown to be an “innovation district,” an area dedicated to piloting safe, reliable and efficient emerging technologies that stimulate economic growth. Some of the City’s current projects include testing Autonomous Vehicles, implementing “smart” infrastructure across all public service sectors, and an open data portal ranked #1 in the US’s Open Data Census..

4.      Mikhail Papovsky: Digital Transformation Reality Check

Aided by newly-released independent research and real-world case studies, Abraic’s CEO Mikhail Papovsky addressed how to define, manage, troubleshoot, and communicate goals and outcomes during an organization-wide transformation. He provided benchmark data from 50 top CIOs and advice on how to be successful in digital transformation initiatives.  Here are some key takeaways:

  • Digital transformations are an evolution – not a revolution. They are most successful when part of a corporate strategy as opposed to stand-alone initiatives.
  • Digital transformations should be aligned and supportive of your organization’s overall strategy. Like any other technological implementation, a digital transformation shouldn’t steer the company in a completely new strategic direction.
  • A majority of CIOs report that they are happy with their progress on their Digital Transformation. Whether they should be pleased or not is a different story. Complacency is a silent killer of progress, and CIOs need to remain hungry and excited about continuing their improvement journeys.
  • Organizations should cover the basics and succeed with small incremental, changes. Focus is important when it comes to transformations. CIOs should focus on building momentum with quick wins, put an emphasis on change management, and measure success with strategic and operational KPIs.

Contact us for more information on Mikhail’s presentation or for help with your digital transformations. You can also access the full research report here: “From the Front Line: CIOs’ Perspectives on Digital Transformations.”

Next Time, Join Us

For more informative content and practical tips, be sure to join Abraic at the following upcoming conferences:

May: Maine Technology Users Group 

Portland, Maine – May 31st, 2018


August: Boston Health IT Summit

Boston, MA – August 7th-8th, 2018