CIO Diary, Abbey Protection Group: Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2010, Cannes - day one

This is a guest post by Toby Clarke, chief information officer at insurance firm Abbey Protection Group. Clarke is currently attending the sessions at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Cannes. The following post summarises Clarke’s take on the event’s first day. 

Having flown through a very efficient registration process and a quick pit-stop lunch, I enjoyed a 30minute ‘Innovative Networking’ session that grouped CIO’s together based on their business’s primary success in business; Product, Client or Operational excellence.  Despite a rather disjointed setup process that took too long, the remaining time with similarly minded CIO’s proved that this idea had merits.
The 90 minute opening keynote followed and I left, what was a very clinical display, wanting to rush back to the office and to start putting into practice some of their thoughts.  The eight analysts all conveyed compelling visions of what is happening now; new trends, moves towards ‘Smart Control’ from ‘Commander Control’ and from ‘Business Intelligence’ to ‘Intelligent Business’, ‘Context Aware’ computing and the blurring between personal and corporate networks.
Back to the Executive lounge for caffeine and networking and an up close and personal look at the Gartner Executive Portal.
The final session of the day was presented by a very passionate and animated Mark McDonald that gave real examples of how lento lead in time of transition. 
The evening is structured to offer further networking opportunities before retirement and reflection before day two.