On Thursday 8th Feb I had the opportunity to present at Hg’s CTO/CIO Forum – a regular event that Hg run to bring the CTO/CIO community together across their portfolio of companies and share best practice.  Hg is an investor predominantly in unquoted technology and technology‑enabled service businesses across Europe.  At Inasight we work closely with our Hg colleagues to help enable companies in their portfolio to accelerate their progress towards advanced analytics infrastructures, and more importantly towards the business insights and advantages that they can support.

Jason Richards delivering the opening introduction to the day Jason Richards delivering the opening introduction to the day

As well as Hg and Hg portfolio professionals sharing their experiences, there were also great guest speakers from organisations like AWS, Splunk and Sophos.  Presenters covered engaging topics including cybersecurity, DevOps, cloud adoption and advanced analytics.  You don’t generally get such a high density of information transfer with such a senior audience.  As well as presenting lessons learned and consideration for cloud migration and adoption, I had the opportunity to sit in on all the other sessions in the CIO track.

Data insights theme

The theme of this year’s forum was data and how to use it for maximum business effect, especially with regards to better understanding customer perspectives on the products and services they consume.  The setting for the CIO track of the event in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall Hotel was unlike any I’ve ever presented in before.  Very much like presenting in a court room, there is tiered seating on three sides and an engaging atmosphere as the audience is so close.

Hg CTO/CIO Forum in progress in the Council Chambers at the Town Hall Hotel Hg CTO/CIO Forum in progress in the Council Chambers at the Town Hall Hotel

To wrap up the event there was a dinner with all the participants – a great way to pick the brains of some more CxOs and an excellent end to a long, intense but rewarding day.

A rare opportunity

It’s great to see a private equity organisation really help drive benefits across its portfolio.  Many of the portfolio companies have similar activities in train to maximise their growth, so sharing is good.  Normally companies are much less open but having Hg as a mutual shareholder makes a real difference and creates a different climate.

Unlike public events, it’s a safe, non-competitive environment for conveying best practices and lessons learned – which gives real value back to both Hg, its portfolio organisations and its partners like Inasight – value they would not have received otherwise.