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Newcastle CIO Event 2018 - Photos and Blog

Diversity was key as the IT leaders of the North East congregated at KPMG's Quayside office to discuss the findings of the CIO Survey conducted by the hosts, Harvey Nash and M.I.T.

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The event's panellists were: Kerry Sinclair of Sage, Kerry Willumsen of Newcastle Building Society, Mark Farrar of Newcastle University and Pete Watson of Atlas Cloud.

A guest panel befittingly made up of a 50/50 split of men and women, were grilled by Harvey Nash CEO, Albert Ellis on key technology subjects found in the 2018 survey, which included: investment, outsourcing, digital strategy, gender and cyber security, before an inquisitive audience took the floor to probe further.

Harvey Nash Director, Natalie Whittlesey, preceded the survey discussion with a captivating presentation to introduce the prominent themes and set the tone for a fascinating forum, sure to redress any tiredness within the audience on a cold North Easterly morning.

The discussion then took hold, particularly on the hot topic that is gender representation, with the 2018 survey finding that although rising, the figure of female IT leaders is still only at 12%.

As the room discussed, it seemed to be an issue that stretched further than board level, as many bemoaned the lack of females in technology-centred environments from the bottom up and with little opportunity to remedy the lack of diversity with the candidate pools offered to them.

Kerry Sinclair, EVP of IT at Sage, suggested small changes to culture to encourage female applicants, stating that tailored 'female friendly' job specs could boost diversification.

The issue of shadow-IT was much debated after the survey found that planned increases in outsourcing fell a staggering 16% in one calendar year. Panel member Mark Farrar stressed that there must be an 'amalgamation with the organisation's strategy and the outsourcing company's approach to delivery', and more needs to be done in regards to this.

Before and after the main event, the audience were given the opportunity to enjoy a coffee, ponder the survey's findings between each other, perhaps spotting opportunities and solutions that had not been previously transparent without external perspective.

Whilst the CIO event offered the North East's top IT talent a platform to confer ideas and network, it was also a pertinent reminder of where businesses and solutions providers must improve to ensure that they are not left behind by the growing digital-sphere.

Keep a look out for future Harvey Nash events so you don't miss out!