What does it take to be a transformational CIO? Find out at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

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Crossing the gap to big data

The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is just one week away. One of our recommended conferences for CIOs this year, the event offers a day of informative sessions in which global business and IT leaders and academics from MIT come together to outline the best practices for thriving in a new digital age.

The agenda features a variety of panels and keynotes on topics ranging from next-generation privacy to the new IoT ecosystem, to strategies for CIOs to develop their organization's – and their own – skills for the future of business and technology.

The event will conclude with a showcase ceremony in which the winner of the 2016 MIT CIO Leadership Award will be recognized. We briefly caught up with Michael Nilles, chief digital officer for Schindler Group and CEO of Schindler Digital Business, last year's award winner and judge for the 2016 competition, to get his thoughts on the most important attributes of a transformational CIO in today's digital era.

“Within the journey of the digital transformation it is essential to break silos and to work very closely together with other functions like R&D, the various lines of business and most important with customers and people in the field,” said Nilles. “In addition, time to market is key. The greatest innovation doesn’t help if it doesn’t hit the road. Agile approaches are therefore not only a trend from Silicon Valley but a necessity. Building up an open and agile culture of innovation is key.”

Nilles added, “On the personal side you need to be prepared to drive change. That’s not always fun, in particular in the early days of such a journey. So you have to be a risk-taker. Inspiring people and driving a shared ambition remains another important factor. Top class CIOs have built up strong teams that run the IT and digital operations so that they can spend a big portion of their time with customers and business peers and on innovation.”

In case you missed the other interviews in this series, The Enterprisers Project also spoke with these MIT Sloan CIO Symposium speakers.

Sneak peek of MIT Sloan CIO Symposium 2016: Thriving in the digital economy

Why CIOs should align their leadership with exponential growth

Staying ahead of security “weak links” in the Internet of Things future

The last day to register is Wednesday, May 11.

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.