Written by CloudTalent – published 3 October 2013

Brad Day, Director and co-founder of CloudTalent shares his thoughts on the importance of ‘vendor-free’ time for CIOs.

I was interested to see two more CIO summits taking place recently, with what look liked a varied agenda and an impressive list of guest speakers.  The events have been taking place each year for some time, and they aim to provide a useful forum for cross-industry CIOs. As a Co-founder of CloudTalent, I always try and listen to CIOs I meet to hear about what they really want today.

Those I speak with tell me how invaluable it is to have time out to have some peer to peer contact, but there’s a big difference between this type of contact and an event where they feel they are being sold to, whether by vendors, service providers, or even the event organiser themselves.   I know from working closely with CIOs that they simply ‘put up with’ the sales bit, just to benefit from the time spent peer to peer….these are busy people, why has it come to this?

The core team at CloudTalent has worked on the client side of the desk for more than 10 years , having previously spent 15-25 years on average on the vendor side, so we can see the situation from all angles, which is really unique, and that’s why CIOs are approaching us to find out more.

I was recently asked to present that perspective to the sales teams of a couple of large, global, and one small, IT vendors.  It was refreshing to see these sales professionals respond so positively to our message about how they should try and view the world through their clients’ lens, versus his or her compensation plan. Whether that different perspective can be translated by them in the field remains to be seen – maybe you can let me know if you’ve seen a difference?

At CloudTalent, we spotted the lack of peer-to-peer forums for IT managers, so we decided to do something about it – The Reality Exchange was born – or TReX as those that attend call it. It’s basically a client & expert community forum that is 100% vendor & service providers agnostic.

The members of TReX tend to be ‘heads of’ key functions such as Service Delivery, Strategy, Infrastructure, CTO etc. versus CIOs, and is no way as grand or as large as the recent CIO events I mention above. However, we run the event based on a Founders’ Charter, which means no vendors are ever present, the meetings are run under ‘Chatham House Rules’, and the members take turn to host the event. Over the years, this has encouraged an open dialogue and a real world exchange of real-life cases, investment plans and gotchas!  Should we create a TReX for CIOs, based on the same principle? We’re seriously considering it, and we’d like to hear what you think. Please send your views, thoughts or opinions to Brad.Day@cloudtalent.co.uk

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