Bimodal IT was a major topic onstage at CIO Magazine’s Perspectives event at the Sherton Grand Hotel Chicago last week. First up was Steve Betts, CIO at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), which serves more than 15 million members across five Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, who shared a robust enterprise architecture based on an “IT-as-a-service” model and the creation of an IT innovation incubator to fuel it.

It was CIO Events Editor in Chief Maryfran Johnson’s ‘provocative’ panel on Fast Moving Business vs. Slow Moving IT, however, that gets my vote for top buzz. A power packed CIO panel including Deb Hall-Lefevre, VP Global Enterprise Solutions & Business Transformation @ McDonald’s, Pat Lawicki, CIO @ Navient, Cathie KozikCIO @ PSAV, and Motorola Solutions’ VP of Front Office IT, Tim Dickson. It was Dickson who set out to reshape the debate around bimodal IT. Rather than legacy vs innovation, he pressed the audience to organize their teams around GOFAST and GOFASTER to deliver innovation and cost optimization on the path to digital transformation.

Off-stage, top buzz went to a constant refrain we heard around tackling the challenges of transforming infrastructure to better leverage the cloud and emerging technologies, and it seems many already have 2017 planning efforts well underway.

None of this should be surprising. According to a recent study by Unisys, it’s the CIO that’s the driving force behind enterprise cloud adoption, with 72% of CIOs serving as the primary driver of their company’s cloud migration vs just 6% of CEOs leading the push. With the cloud underpinning the delivery of all digital business innovations,Gartner reports that ’CIOs need to educate their CEOs about the need to invest in cloud to drive greater speed, agility and innovation through this democratization of IT.’

We’re seeing this first hand from CIOs at a number of our clients, CIOs like Mark Hillat Gilead Sciences, #16 on FastCo’s Most Innovative Companies list, and David Neitz at CDM Smith, winner of the 2016 MIT CIO Leadership Award, both leading the charge to evolve their IT and WAN architectures to deliver greater business value from the cloud.

We’ll discuss how these and other leaders are optimizing costs to accelerate cloud investments in our webinar “Three Steps to Reduce Costs & Cloud Proof Your WAN” along with our SD-WAN partner Viptela on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

Originally posted by CFN Services CEO, Mark Casey.