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From CIO to CEO – holiday gift ideas to inspire digital thinking

by Mark Raskino  |  December 16, 2013  |  Comments Off on From CIO to CEO – holiday gift ideas to inspire digital thinking

At this time of year I am busy co-writing our annual CIO resolutions report and analyzing the early data returned from our new annual CEO survey.  It made me think about the relationship between the two roles and what kind of tech gift might inspire a bigger conversation in 2014.   Here are some ideas that I came up with – what others would you add?

For the transportation and logistics CEO a drone.

After the Amazon “Prime Air” PR – it just has to be a drone doesn’t it?  Playing with one might help a business leader get a better sense for the idea. There’s the easy to use, app controlled, Parrot AR Drone.  Or you might splash out on something more professional – there are now plenty of quad copters  and octo-copters, offered for use as camera platforms to the TV and movie industries.

For the CPG CEO – a 3D printer

By now everyone has seen this technology in the press or on TV, but maybe your CEO hasn’t experienced one in action, up close.  The power of what a cheap consumer 3D printer can do is awesome – so it’s a bit like introducing a 1979 CEO to the Apple II microcomputer.  Pick one from the may consumer 3D printers but also point him to the Porsche website , where he or she can download a file and print out a Caymen S model as a starter project.

For the fashion industry CEO – a connected smart watch

Wearables are definitely going mainstream and the first smart-watches are already out there.  Are they too ugly? Do they do anything useful?   Can you start carrying your phone in a less accessible, hidden pocket now?  It’s just one of those things I expect you have to wear for a few days to get a true opinion on.  There are plenty to choose from –  browse smart watch news

For the Insurance Industry CEO  – Oakley Airwave ski Goggles

The internet of things is coming. It doesn’t just change the game for product companies – it creates many “business moments” of opportunity.   These ski goggles connect to an iPhone, track your skiing movements and relay them into a head mounted display.  There’s a multi-button wrist controller to connect the two devices. Imagine the moment of adrenaline and fear, staring down an almost-too-hard off piste run. Now – shouldn’t an insurer’s logo be on one of those controller buttons?

For any information-based  industry CEO – a very large UHD (4K) TV

You’ve got data – BIG data – but maybe it’s not being properly exploited. It’s an unseen asset. Why not generate some killer art-style data visualizations and pop them on a memory stick and show them on one of these fantastic screens, mounted on the wall  in your CEO’s office waiting lounge area.  8,294,400 pixels, sure can display a lot of data-points.

For a health industry CEO – a gift basket of different personal health sensor devices

There are so many personal and wearable smart health sensors these days – for weight, pulse ox, cardiac rhythm, blood pressure, glucose, physical activity etc.  Many integrate with smartphones to help people gamify and change their personal health habits. Make sure your CEO is fully aware of progress.


Mark Raskino
VP & Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

Mark Raskino is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in the CEO Research group. Mark creates advice and analysis for CEOs on technology related and digital business strategy and change Read Full Bio

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