Update: The polls are officially closed. We're now in the process of tallying the votes, so stay tuned for the winning theme. Thanks to everyone that voted and participated in making sure we put on the best, more relevant forum.


It's that time of the year again. Time to start planning our spring forums. There are two in particular that are relevant for Infrastructure and Operations professionals: Our I&O Forum and our IT Forum. But it's the IT Forum that I want to talk about today. Why? Because we're asking for you to help craft its theme. In fact, you may have already seen several of my colleagues posting on this. We want to make sure we collect as much input as possible to make this as relevant to you and your challenges.

We've come up with three potential draft themes and need your vote for the best IT Forum 2011 theme:

1. Unleash your empowered enterprise.

As technology becomes more accessible through mediums beyond IT's control, you have but one choice: Get proactive by empowering employees, or swim against the current. Successful BT leaders will react not by blocking access but by lending their expertise to increase the chances of technology success and empowering the users to solve customer and business problems. This year's IT Forum will provide a blueprint for reaping the benefits of your empowered organization — complete with case studies, methodologies, and step-by-step advice tailored to each IT role.

2. Capitalize on the intersection of business and technology.

IT leaders have long struggled to deliver business and technology alignment. But alignment implies a waterfall process: decide on a business strategy, and then build your technology on that foundation. Today, our businesses move too fast for the traditional IT model. Instead, Business Technology leaders must join the leaders of their lines of business to create business and technology strategy simultaneously. That means working with new business partners inside and outside your organization, operationalizing innovation through standards, and above all, saying, "yes, and…" instead of "yes, but…" This year, we'll dedicate IT Forum to building bridges to new business partners, scaling innovative solutions, and co-creating business and technology strategy.

3. Industrialize business technology for future performance.

Today's empowered employees and customers provision themselves with a multitude of tools and technologies.  But it's ruthless standardization of the underlying technologies and processes that have made this flood of customer-driven and customer-created innovation possible.  And sustaining that rate of innovation and growth will require the next phase of standardization — industrialization.  This year, we'll devote IT Forum to planning, designing, and operating your business technology to industrial standards.

To cast your vote, please click here. We’ll be tallying the votes and announcing the theme you helped pick in early November. Then mark your calendars and I'll either see you in Las Vegas on May 25 to 27 or in Barcelona on June 8 to 10.