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Virtual Roundtable: CIO Strategies to Accelerate Digital Velocity

Organizations continue to modernize applications by moving them to the cloud. This strategy requires that CIOs adopt smart continuous development approaches to increase the velocity of application releases to satisfy the growing digital transformation demands of customers and the business.

Unfortunately, the flood of security-related incidents continues to harass the enterprise. Instead of increasing the pace of development, these issues slow down the product lifecycle and heighten business risks. As a result, there is a need to embed security, privacy, policy, and controls into the development culture, processes, and tools. The goal is to make threat modelling, risk assessment and security-task automation components part of the product development methodology.

Compounding the situation, the lack of security personnel hinders CIO efforts. Underscoring this issue, IDC predicts that by 2025 digital transformation-related IT skill shortages will affect 90% of organizations, costing over $6.5 trillion globally due to delayed product releases, reduced customer satisfaction, and loss of business. Consequently, agile practices become critical success factors to accelerate digitization efforts.

With these principles in mind, The IT Media Group brought together 13 cross-industry IT executives for a virtual roundtable entitled 'CIO Strategies to Accelerate Digital Velocity.' The session provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges and approaches CIOs implement in a rapidly changing world.

Jeff Ishii, Chief Technologist at The IT Media Group, moderated the roundtable. Also participating were executives from the session sponsors, Benchmark Corporation President Luc Villeneuve and Chief Technology Officer Shlomo Bielak, and Lacework Field CTO Nick St-Pierre. The interactive session included a combination of live polling and panel discussion about the challenges and best practices for the following topic areas:

1. Adding security governance to the development lifecycle

  • Merging development with security
  • Integrating compliance and audit

2. Securing cloud applications

  • Metrics and visibility requirements
  • Implementing security-as-code

3. Managing zero-day vulnerabilities

  • Foundations that protect the organization
  • Impact analysis and remediation

4. Modern Development methodology best practices

  • New trends and innovations
  • Incorporating AI and ML

"It was valuable to hear where organizations stand when it comes to cloud security. Everyone was open to augmenting their cloud infrastructures, compliance, and risk management areas," said Nick St-Pierre. "Cloud security is a complex data problem which makes it difficult to realize effective security posture management. At Lacework, we solve this at scale through continuous observability of the assets that make up modern applications."

Leaders spoke about their security challenges and their approaches to solve them. Shlomo Bielak noted, "It's important for organizations to have access to data that confirms their development practices meet their unique needs." He described two areas of measurement that Benchmark focusses on: "We look at adoption in the context of an SDLC maturity rating, and the depth of security practices and controls. This approach helps us understand gaps and capabilities so we can apply the appropriate best practices."

Luc Villeneuve observed, "DevSecOps is a core area where most organizations want to improve." He described how Benchmark enables companies to self-assess the maturity of the security capabilities critical to CIOs and CISOs. "We provide a detailed report that helps the organization build a roadmap and identify where they should invest in improving DevSecOps proficiency."

All participants will receive a strategic insights report containing more than 60 tactics and best practices discussed during the roundtable.

Session highlights

Securing Cloud Applications

Adding Security Governance to the Development Lifecycle

Managing Zero-day Vulnerabilities

Modern Development Methodology Best Practices

Post session interviews

Luc Villenuve, President, Benchmark Corp

Nicolas St-Pierre, Field CTO, Lacework

Shlomo Bielak, CTO, Benchmark Corp

The IT Media Group's CIO roundtables are among the most successful event programs for IT executives, bringing together scores of senior-level peers for thoughtful private discussions around the top issues facing enterprise IT. For a better understanding of these events, please visit our Video section.

The IT Media Group is an award-winning producer of events and content for senior IT executives. Based in Toronto, our leadership team includes some of the most experienced and well-respected media, technology and business professionals serving the IT executive community in Canada.