2021 CXO Summit - A Recap

2021 CXO Summit - A Recap

Written by

Brendon Schmidt

Published on

September 23, 2021

Our 16th Annual CXO Summit convened virtually again this year to highlight the latest insights and innovations on important topics like Data, Cloud, Security, Healthcare, and E-Commerce. Our lineup of speakers included the CEOs of Snowflake, VMware, and eBay, and leading executives from hyper growth companies including Atlassian, ChargePoint, and PayPal. 60+ CXOs from F500 companies attended including AmerisourceBergen, Delta Airlines, GE, Intel, Mastercard, Prudential, Sephora, TIAA, and more.

3 main themes anchored the event:

  • The CIO Role is at a Crossroads
  • The Software Supply Chain is Evolving
  • This is the Age of the Consumer

The CIO Role is at a Crossroads

“[The modern enterprise] really needs to be enabled and empowered. There is a rebalancing in the relationship between Global IT and the business, and we’re seeing it everywhere.” - Frank Slootman - CEO, Snowflake

The overwhelming sentiment was that the CIO role will go through a rapid transformation over the next 5+ years and the “relevancy” of the CIO role will be scrutinized within many organizations. Speakers suggested the following to adapt for the changes to come:

  • Speak the CEO’s language. Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake,
  • Operate knowing that every company will eventually be like a SaaS company. Raghu Raghuram, CEO of VMware
  • Strategy = Processes + Platforms + People. Sri Shivananda, CTO of PayPal

The Software Supply Chain is Evolving

“Cost of goods in the Digital Era reflects how businesses spend on their Software supply chain. This has a number of implications. These days, by the time you react to technology costs, it is too late. You have to design the right architecture upfront. Just like we talk about shift left for development, you have to shift left your thinking around spend, cost, governance, and security. Otherwise, you’ll be overwhelmed with operational problems.” - Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware

It is becoming increasingly difficult to account for all the assets within a business and the number of 3rd party partners and technology providers continues to increase. This requires a new software supply chain strategy. Important considerations include:

  • Move to modern distributed architectures.
  • De-risk your software supply chain.
  • Embrace rapid and collaborative software development.

This is the Age of the Consumer

“For us, it’s all about how we use technology to dramatically simplify and take a lot of friction out of the customer experience“ - Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay

Consumers are driving the technology transformation agenda across every industry and events like the pandemic have escalated this trend. Digitally-native companies that were born in the cloud will have to adapt to release products even faster, while avoiding loss of quality or security while more traditional industries will need to invest in processes and tools that enable product development and keep the loyalty of their customers. If they are not able to adapt they will be left behind.

We heard from experts in two industries that have been specifically impacted and required to adopt a “consumer-centric” mindset to stay competitive.

  • E-Commerce - Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay
  • Healthcare - Aneesh Chopra, President of CareJourney and the first CTO of the US Government and Jazz Tobaccowalla, Partner at Boston Consulting Group’s healthcare advisory arm

We would like to thank all of our speakers for sharing their insights at the Summit. We will continue to explore these and other topics with our CXO Advisory Board Members.

If you are a CXO and are interested in joining our CXO Advisory Board, please get in touch at brendon@sierraventures.com. Also, please reach out if you’d like to discuss any of these trends or new ones you are seeing.

Learn more about our Annual CXO Summit.