Many future chief executive officers (CEOs) will come from the ranks of 21st century business-minded chief information officers, Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns told more than 1,100 attendees at Forrester’s IT Forum, Forrester’s flagship IT event spanning 12 roles across IT and technology marketing professionals. Burns was among the senior business leaders – including CIOs from JetBlue, Nike, Sony, and Starbucks – that demonstrated how technology can transform the business.

“For too long, the emphasis in information technology has been on the technology – the latest and the greatest – with all too little attention on the information our businesses need to run more efficiently and effectively,” Burns said. “Forrester has taken the notion one huge step forward – putting the emphasis not on information but on business.”

George F. Colony, Forrester’s chairman and CEO, told the audience that the CEO is essential to the success of business technology (BT). For BT to succeed, according to Colony, the CEO must provide a clear high-level direction for the company, be a catalyst for bringing the business and technology together, and keep business and technology focused on strategic initiatives that drive the business forward. For their part, it is essential that CIOs be proactive, bring best practices, and develop a point of view on priorities.

One of the trends driving BT is the rise in the number of employees self-provisioning technologies, particularly social technologies, pervasive video, mobile, and cloud computing. In a keynote panel session, Forrester vice president, principal analyst, and co-author Ted Schadler previewed Forrester’s forthcoming book, Empowered, and addressed how professionals can leverage consumer technologies for business advantage. The panel included leaders from Best Buy, Stanley Black & Decker, and Sun Life Financial, all of whom are profiled in the book, which will be published by Harvard Business Press on September 14, 2010.

Keynote speakers at the event included:

  • Ursula M. Burns, Chief Executive Officer, Xerox
  • Joseph Eng, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Office, JetBlue Airways
  • Stephen Gillett, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and General Manager, Digital Ventures, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Ben Hedrington, Web Strategist, Best Buy
  • Drew Martin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Office, Sony Electronics
  • Matthew E. May, Author, In Pursuit Of Elegance
  • Bill McCollam, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Sun Life Financial
  • Roland Paanakker, Vice President of Lean Business Solutions and Chief Information Officer, Nike
  • Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President and CFO, Windows and Windows Live, Microsoft
  • Rob Sharpe, Director of Sales Training, Stanley Black & Decker – CDIY
  • Jim Thomas, Director of IT Operations, Pella Corporation


More than 75 Forrester analysts led more than 90 track sessions in 10 role-focused tracks. Attendees also had an opportunity to meet one-on-one with Forrester analysts, network with peers, and attend one of three pre-conference Workshops: Creating Your SharePoint Strategy, Justifying Technology Investments, or The Marketing Of IT.

The Event also served as a backdrop for meetings of the Forrester Leadership Boards, Forrester’s exclusive community of leading executives worldwide. The Leadership Boards’ meetings that preceded IT Forum included the: Analyst Relations Council, Application Development & Delivery Council, CIO Group, Enterprise Architecture Council, Information & Knowledge Management Council, Infrastructure & Operations Council, Security & Risk Council, Sourcing & Vendor Management Council, and Technology Product Management & Marketing Council.

IT Forum had more than 15 sponsors – including platinum sponsor Microsoft and gold sponsors Lombardi, an IBM company, Microgen, and SAP – that participated in a Solutions Showcase.