A pitch with a twist: partners had five minutes to impress a CIO-filled Marble Restaurant.
This week, top CIOs gathered at Marble restaurant in Rosebank for the first-ever CIO South Africa Pitch Parade: Onto the Catwalk, one of the most engaging and interactive IT gatherings in the country.
Loyiso Madinga, world-renowned comedian and actor, opened the Pitch Parade and entertained attendees with his unique brand of comedy. Loyiso introduced Joël Roerig, managing director of CIO South Africa, on stage after a great set of comedy that tickled CIOs’ funny bones.
Joël used the opportunity to reflect on some of the community’s biggest highlights in its first year since its official launch in March. He thanked the IT leaders in attendance for their ongoing support and for using the community for what it was intended to be: a place to network, exchange ideas, and expand their knowledge.
Joël then took the opportunity to launch CIO South Africa’s first-ever CIO magazine to its intended audience. Attendees were given an exclusive first copy of the magazine, which was a wonderful reflection of the incredible growth of the CIO community this year.
Guests were served some of the most delectable appetisers just before the interactive part of the evening – the poll questions – began. Reabetswe Rabaji, managing editor at CIO South Africa, took to the stage next and walked the catwalk to explain how the most interactive, fun, and engaging part of the evening would work.
The CIO South Africa team used the presentation platform mentimeter to put together a few “dilemmas” on burning topics. Attendees could vote live, using their cell phones for the most appropriate answer that best reflected their own situation. The first of three so-called dilemmas, Title Spaghetti, examined CISO and CIO should report to. Guests wasted no time in voting, and the results were telling.
After the next two dilemmas, Brain Drain (talent mobility and retention/recruitment strategies) and The Legacy Monster (legacy IT systems). Antionette Wagner, CIO at Deloitte, Josh Souchon, group CIO at Sasfin, Nkosenhle Ngongoma, group CIO at Ascendis Health, and Faith Burn, CIO at Eskom, joined Reabetswe on stage to provide some quick commentary on the poll results.
In the Pitch Parade, another exciting part of the night – and the main reason guests came – representatives from EOH, iOCO, Workday, SAS, Software AG, Accenture, and AppDynamics were given five minutes on stage to deliver their most impressive product pitches and wow the audience. The audience waited with bated breath to see if five minutes would be enough to pique their interest. The partners were under pressure, but they all performed exceptionally, and some even had time to spare.
Guests were treated to the finest dining experience in Johannesburg, which included a scrumptious three-course meal prepared by Marble’s superstar chef, David Higgs, which included flame-grilled steak, linefish, as well as halaal and vegan options. This was followed by a delicious selection of desserts per table to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
Then, Ziaad Suleman, EOH’s chief commercial officer took the stage to comment on all of the partner presentations as well as the well-received mentimeter experiment. Ziaad was clearly impressed by the pitches, saying that the partners’ ability to deliver such unique, diverse, and well-articulated presentations in only five minutes was impressive and fascinating.
At the end, guests were led into the bar area for a round of drinks and more networking. Overall, it was a very happy evening, and CIOs left with satisfied bellies and new professional connections secured.