2018 is well underway with a flurry of activity as the Boardroom Events team prepares for the next Midmarket CIO Forum in Savannah this April.

While it’s no surprise that business intelligence, disaster recovery and security concerns top the list for this Forum’s CIO audience top concerns, it’s interesting to see communication and collaboration tools as well as staff training and development ranking high among their budgeted project needs.

The blindingly fast ways in which technology has changed our lives in the past 10 years in astounding. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are poised to become an integral part of our lives, yet those capabilities without people to build, manage and maintain, are still just really cool, occasionally dysfunctional robots.

If I’ve said it before, I’m sure I’ll say it 100 times more: a company is only as good as its people. We recently spoke with a career CIO stifled by the need to manage company politics. He set out on his own as a consultant, and proved so successful, he was asked to step up to the CEO role. When asked why he believed he was offered the position, he answered unequivocally, it was his ability to execute on projects that earned him the opportunity.

In between internal strategy meetings and kickoff calls with our growing list of awesome new sponsors, I’m rebuilding Ship O’ Fools for the third time in less than 18 months. Our Systems Administrator, Sean Turgeon, is with his wife and son in Puerto Rico doing relief work and helping install solar power for residents who’ve been without it for months following Hurricane Maria. Though Hilary has been living in Morocco for several months, she’ll be heading back Stateside this summer where she’ll be meeting with new clients in her native New England area. Our Marketing and Content Manager and her family recently purchased a health food store and cafe, and Susie Anderson, whose working relationship dates back more than a decade to our days at Gartner, is welcoming her third daughter this Spring.

These incredibly talented and diverse team members help make the Midmarket CIO Forum such an engaging and informative gathering of energetic minds in the midmarket IT space.