Top tech conferences to attend in 2020 – CIO Dive

Top tech conferences to attend in 2020 – CIO Dive

Understanding the expanding technology universe takes diligence and patience, as chief information officers and other IT decision makers are tasked with setting technology priorities to serve the long-term needs of a business. It’s easier said than done. 

To help navigate the changing world, research firms, vendors, collectives and communities put on conferences dedicated to enterprise technology covering the breadth of top concerns including data management, cloud strategy and security concerns. 

CIO Dive broke top conferences down by topic, covering events on the business technology spectrum, intended for everyone from the IT leaders to the more technical. Did we miss any? Email us here at [email protected]

For the CIOs

CIO-focused conferences cover the spectrum of enterprise technology priorities, highlighting topics from software nimbleness to rising security threats. These events attract high-profile CIOs who outline their stories and best practices when shaping a tech strategy. 

Events such as The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Network and the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium are held in an auditorium-setting with networking breaks between sessions, attracting Fortune 500 CIOs as speakers. By comparison, Interop has a large component focusing on IT education and holds half-day or day-long seminars on topics such as DevSecOps. 

Other conferences tackle one topic at length, as is found at the TBM Conference. Dedicated to technology business management, the event attracts CIOs and CFOs focused on more efficiently managing technology investments. 

Included on this list is the annual Grace Hopper Celebration, the “world’s largest gathering of women technologists.” Each year, the event invites high-profile speakers and awards the top women technologists and the companies that support them. 

For the CISOs

In the cybersecurity arena, the most famous conferences — Black Hat and DEF CON — take place in the peak summer heat of Las Vegas. But not all conferences have such a hacker-oriented bent. 

RSA Conference attracts enterprise security leaders and is a key meeting place for vendors in the space. Events from analyst firms Gartner and Forrester are focused on strategy and mitigating risk, especially as privacy enforcement raises the stakes for business information security. 

The Global CISO Executive Summits takes on a peer-to-peer model and is billed as “by CISOs, for CISOs” to share security leadership best practices and strategies.

Worth attending just to see the new location for the Spy Museum, Suits & Spooks focuses on the convergence of the cyber and the physical. Expect speakers from the public and private sector. 

For the cloud experts

Vendor-focused conferences dominate the cloud space, revealing big-name customers and technology initiatives for the year ahead. These events are closely watched and hyped as the technologies the vendors weave into their platform are mission critical and can change customers’ tech strategies. 

Be on the lookout for news from the top-three cloud providers, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Cloud. This year, Microsoft Ignite goes on international tour, though the main event is usually held in Orlando, Florida in the fall. One of the first stops in the U.S. is in Washington D.C. 

A major event in this space is the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. Focused on Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies, the event is meant for application developers, IT operations and technical management. Similar attendees would not be out of place at VMworld, whose products took a Kubernetes-focused turn at its conference earlier this year. 

For the data savvy

Though enterprise applications of artificial intelligence are in their early days, AI-oriented conferences highlight Silicon Valley leaders who are pioneering the space and enterprises taking the first steps toward adoption. 

Some of these events have a heavy research focus, such as the Deep Learning Summit. Others, such as The AI Summit, are intended more for CIOs and attract Fortune 500 technology leaders. 

While these conferences are entirely focused on data, AI and ML, technology leaders can find these topics woven into other technology conferences that focus on strategy. 

For the software savants

Here’s to the builders. These events are for those IT decisions makers who have stayed technical as they have worked their way up in the enterprise. SaaStr Annual focuses on building products and emerging as “the next unicorn.” Developer Week also attracts entrepreneurs, in addition to top developers and IT leaders. 

A key part of the software space is how to manage it, which is why included on this list are conferences dedicated to DevOps, uniting development and operations. The DevOps Enterprise summit highlights case studies and best practices, which have made leading business successful in paying down technology debt and increasing the pace of development.