November was a blur here at DoubleHorn. Much of the month was spent gearing up for the 13th annual InnoTech ATX conference, which took place Nov. 17th. As the title sponsors of this years event, we had the opportunity to share BetterClouds with hundreds of interested attendees, and also to connect with countless other tech professionals who were eager to share their own projects with us. With both InnoTech and the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, our minds are now full of thought-provoking content (for the blog), and our bellies full of delicious food (not for the blog… don’t worry). Over the next month, we’ll post a series of articles based on some of the fantastic sessions we attended at InnoTech, but today we’ll start things off with a simple recap.
Innotech ATX, November 17th, 2016
The premier technology event in Central Texas, InnoTech 2016 attracted more than 1,500 attendees for a day of immersion in the leading topics and solutions vital to today’s businesses. Hosted in the heart of downtown at the Austin Convention Center, the event featured high-energy keynote presentations, breakout sessions offering deep dives in top issues, and a large array of exhibitors (national and regional) offering non-stop opportunities to learn, question and network.
As usual, several regional organizations hosted events under the aegis of InnoTech. ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) contributed to a series of captivating sessions focused on cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, the deep/dark web, and more. CD Summit and Jenkins Days offered a variety of discussions and workshops related to the rapidly emerging field of DevOps. Other co-events included the Women in Tech Summit, HealthTech ATX, Beta Summit for emerging Austin companies, and a Microsoft Technology Symposium.
Not surprisingly, innovation topped the agendas of the keynote and luncheon speakers. Interestingly, all advocated for innovation as an organization-wide responsibility. The key message seemed to be this: Whether it’s in the public or private sector, outstanding solutions may come from unexpected sources in organizations where employees have the freedom to question the status quo and share ideas. Joseph Kopser, president of Moovel and former CEO and co-founder of RideScout referred to this innovation pool as ‘dormant talent’. Advising the audience that this asset exists in every organization, Joseph shared riveting personal stories relating the different methods he has used to empower these “latent” innovators.
This sentiment was echoed by Daren Martin, speaker at the CIO Gala Luncheon for IT professionals. In his presentation entitled “A Company of Owners: Maximizing Employee Engagement”, Martin focused on the cultural aspects of innovation – the creation of an environment that encouraged new problem-solving approaches. His techniques ranged all the way from tweaking the physical layout of the office, to best practices for pitching big ideas to chief executives.
The day was capped off with the 2016 IT Executives of the Year awards and reception. Winners included:
- IT Executive of the Year (Private Sector): Charles Valentine, VP of Technology Services at Indeed Inc.
- IT Executive of the Year (Public Sector): Brad Englert, Chief Information Officer, The University of Texas
- Information Technologist / CTO of the Year: Mark Magnuson, Chief Technology Officer, Concepture
- Technology Community Leadership Award: Ben Bentzin, Founder/CEO, Interactive Health Technologies, LLC
In between the keynote, awards, and countless other sessions, attendees were free to wander the vast Innotech showroom floor (pictured at top) where a diverse array of vendors, from small local businesses all the way to international tech giants like Microsoft, were busy demo-ing their newest products or pitching their latest innovative services. DoubleHorn’s Director of Product, Drew Bixby, deserves a pat on the back for his veritable marathon watch one of which we recorded and posted on YouTube for those that may have missed the conference. Hats off to Drew and the rest of the DoubleHorn team for a job well done. How about you, did you attend Innotech this year? Did you have a favorite session, or catch a demo that you really enjoyed? Let us know in the comments!