The array of tech events aimed at CIOs seems to get more and more overwhelming every year. You could easily spend all your time (and cash) attending one every weekend for the rest of 2018 and still feel as if you’re missing out. Whether you’re looking to catch up with the latest trends in your sector, actively network for new clients, hunt for a new job opportunity or simply meet up with your peers in fruitful surroundings, there’s a UK or European event out there that will tick your particular boxes.
Even if you don’t have the time or the funds to attend all the events that interest you, many are now live or virtual streaming options that are well worth looking out for. Here are our top five picks:
As you’ll gather from its title, tech research and advisory giant Gartner’s Leadership Forum is exclusively targeted at CIOs. With speakers covering a comprehensive range of topics, from 21st Century IT budgeting and innovative strategy ideas to the importance of ecosystems and tactics for scaling digital businesses – there’s something here for established and freshly installed CIOs alike.
If you’re looking for inspiration and the opportunity to network, it doesn’t come much more comprehensive than Cisco’s annual event. CIOs will want to schedule a free certification exam so they can grab an IT Management Pass, allowing you to take in sessions covering everything from protecting your firm from ransomware attacks to embracing the Decision Economy in the IoT age.
As long as female CTOs remain the exception rather than the rule (just 16 percent at last count), there’s a need for conferences such as Women of Silicon Roundabout. This year’s attendees can look forward to empowering workshops and speeches from such luminaries as UK/US industry veteran and parliamentarian Baroness Joanna Shields, Bloomberg’s Head of Diversity Pamela Hutchinson and Microsoft CTO Daniel Kenyon-Smith, among many others.
For those looking to connect with the Open Source ecosystem, look no further than Linux’s annual summit, taking place in the Scottish capital this year. While this year’s details are still largely under wraps, the 2017 event received wide praise from Linux and Cloud enthusiasts looking to network. Technical presentations on offer are set to include business and compliance, edge computing, AI and much more.
This new event is, as its name suggests, aimed at the burgeoning technical cyber security industry. You’ll have to prove your mettle if you want to guarantee early attendance, but it will be well worth it – as well as keynotes from established specialists and new stars, you’ll also be able to take part in hackathons and hear the latest on cyber defence tools and industry case studies.
Many senior IT executives find it uncomfortable to negotiate a salary, especially during a face to face interview. This means that candidates can focus too hard on selling themselves during an interview for a much-desired position, eventually accepting a low starting salary if they’ve gone in unprepared. We are happy to discuss your salary expectations and also discuss this with the hirer on your behalf. It's always best to talk to us first because we know the client's history and culture. You need to be confident that salary negotiation in interview is acceptable first!
However, it’s important to bear in mind that most panels will expect some negotiation on salary. If it means you’ll feel sufficiently valued and therefore put more into the job, then a chunkier starting salary is actually a win-win situation for both parties. We’ve put together our best tips for negotiating the best possible package:
Know your worth
This should be part of your interview preparation in any case, but it’s worth thinking about how your professional skills and accomplishments could be used as support for a more generous salary package.
Do your homework
Make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the salary range for the position you’re going for, both at the company in question and other, comparable organisations.
Comparing salaries in job advertisements, talking to contacts in similar industries and jobs to discover what your ballpark salary should be and looking at online salary surveys are all excellent ways to get a clearer idea of your market value.
Delay salary talk as long as possible
This is where a rigorous interview rehearsal can prove invaluable. Often, interviewers will want to bring up the salary question early so as to avoid interviewing someone who’s out of their league, and are also very likely to home in your previous salary in an attempt to keep your expectations low.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to think about how to politely avoid discussing salary until you have a job offer, to encourage the interviewer to reveal salary before you and think of ways to keep past salaries under your hat if they raise the topic. If you do have to disclose previous remuneration, saying something along the lines of “Of course, I wouldn’t consider that an acceptable amount by today’s standards”.
If you’re pushed to come up with a desired salary range, you can always ask “What’s the salary range we’re talking about?” or “I’m looking for compensation that’s comparable with others with my qualifications and experience.” It’s also acceptable to identify a pay range rather than a specific figure.
Think about the whole package
The salary itself isn’t the be all and end all. Other elements such as bonuses; shares; stock options; travel allowances; commuting costs and holiday allowances may also sway you when considered alongside your wage. It’s crucial to look at the bigger picture as some of these can bump up your overall package considerably.
Keep it friendly
For some candidates, there can be a fine line between negotiating and attempted bullying. For example, if a company asks about your other offers, tell them, but be wary of volunteering this information aggressively – it can all too easily backfire. Remember, salary negotiation is a quest to find a package that everyone is happy with, so make sure you make the potential employer feel you’re working towards a common goal.
Always take time to think
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for 24 hours to think about a job offer, while remaining thankful and enthusiastic of course. Interview adrenalin can seriously distort your thinking, and something important may well occur to you after the interview itself.
Make sure you get a signed agreement drawn up once an offer is agreed. It’s absolutely essential to get everything in writing, and quadruple check that it covers all the elements you’ve negotiated.
The deadline for GDPR implementation is approaching fast. By 25th May 2018, all UK and European businesses will have to ensure they’re compliant with the new raft of EU data protection legislation, or risk fines of up to 4 percent of annual turnover, or up to a €20 million fine.
The rules come into force before Brexit, and will be replaced by the very similar Data Protection Bill after it, so those who might still be relying on the UK’s departure from the EU to avoid compliance are out of luck. Don’t underestimate the task ahead if you’ve barely considered the rules’ implications – many companies will require a total cultural shift in order to meet the regulatory requirements. With all of this in mind, here are five recommended steps to checking your organisation is up to speed:
Forewarned is forearmed
The new regulations place responsibility for any security breaches firmly at the doors of the company concerned. While you might have a firm grasp of the risks involved and how to mitigate them by now, the same may well not be true of other staff in your organisation.
Remember, hackers are incredibly skilled at identifying the weak point in a company and exploiting it. It only takes one ill considered password or nefarious email to spell disaster. Make sure everyone that needs to be is fully up to speed on best practices, especially how to spot and resolve potential dangers.
Time is of the essence
An estimated three in five businesses are expected to have been victims of security breaches by the end of 2017. If your company is one of the unlucky ones, your most effective defences are compliance and swift action.
The new regulations state that an organisation’s data controller must notify data protection authorities of any attempted breach involving risk to individuals’ privacy within 72 hours of their learning of it. Any individuals affected should also be told as soon as possible. It is also down to a data processor to inform a company’s controller about a hack. Obviously, having a specialist team in place and planning a company-wide procedure to deal with the worst case scenario will mean you avoid breaking the new rules and protect your organisation.
Have an action plan
There’s plenty of advice out there, and many firms will already have procedures in place ready for May 25th, but for those needing a thorough, foolproof guide to GDPR conformity, check out IBM’s step-by-step GDPR compliance guide.
Steps include tips on recruiting specialist staff (a process that most firms should have already completed); ways to demonstrate accountability, transparency and trust; testing how data flows across EU borders and a guide to fundamental privacy rights that the regulations protect.