Chief Information Officer (Mar 07-08)

CIOs navigate everyday challenges related to grid modernization, cybersecurity and data integrity. In addition to the natural leadership pressures of any executive position, CIOs also lead the charge for building visionary plans to embrace emerging technology, oversee policy development and direct the implementation of systems and processes for the control and exchange of information. As such, CIOs increasingly seek novel approaches to enhance efficiency, responsiveness, innovation and adaptability. This forum provides a unique opportunity for utility CIOs to come together in an exclusive peer environment to address these challenges.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Jeff Nichols, Director of Information Management, Sempra Energy Utilities

    • Program Location
    • The Westin San Diego
    • 400 West BroadwaySan Diego, California 92101
    • Who Should Attend
    • Participation in the Chief Information Officer executive forum is restricted to senior leaders responsible for management of their organization’s technology and information systems. In most instances, the appropriate attendee serves as the Chief Information Officer or holds an equal position within their utility. The small size of this program provides a unique environment for collaborative thinking, open discourse and building long-term relationships.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $399 USD

    Registration for this forum is available by invitation only. Registration includes networking receptions on Tuesday and Wednesday, catered breakfast and lunch at the meeting, and all meeting materials. A guest pass is available for $75 and is for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Joshua Baker, Program Manager at (971) 255-4970.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Welcome Reception

We will kick off our time together with a hosted reception in downtown San Diego. Dinner on your own.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast

Arrive early to network with peers. Continental breakfast provided.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome + Introductions

Our chair and host will welcome us to San Diego. Come prepared to share insights from your latest initiatives as part of our round robin introductions.

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

9:15 AM - 9:15 AM


With cyber-attacks constantly evolving, we will address what each organization is doing to keep access to information and assets out of the wrong hands, share best practices in identifying and correcting design flaws and discuss advantages to moving from fundamentally bidirectional firewalls to unidirectional security gateways. Will also address strategies to address business continuity and liability concerns in the event of a successful cyber-attack.

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Transition to the Cloud

By now, organizations are well-versed in the benefits of moving to the cloud: it’s scalable, it controls costs, improves collaboration and increases agility. You can consolidate and centralize such that security measures are applied evenly – ensuring you remain in compliance. It’s true, too, that introducing new items to the cloud offers opportunity to reinvent processes and redefine culture. So, with this many advantages, you’ve already pressed the GO button, right? Or – maybe the blur of options has you considering where to start. With pay-as-you-go models v. upfront commitment to entire infrastructure, debates on public v. private v. hybrid and conversation on whether to move operational systems in addition to enterprise ones, there’s still much discussion to be had surrounding the best way to approach true mobility within the workforce.

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

11:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Customer Information Systems – Replacement Strategies

Making major upgrades to or replacing an aging and outdated customer information system is likely one of the biggest information technology projects that a utility undertakes. In this session we will hear strategies and lessons learned from a utility that has recently replaced their CIS. Come prepared to share your own challenges and successes related to CIS deployment.

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


Enjoy a catered lunch onsite.

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

IT Talent Management

Amidst the significant demographic shifts underway (baby boomers retiring, higher percentage of millennials joining the workforce), changing expertise needed (cybersecurity, analytics, DevOps, cloud), and debates around what IT roles or projects to contract out, attracting and retaining IT talent continues to be a challenge for a utility industry. In this session come prepared to share the specific IT talent management issues or questions that you would like to address for immediate feedback.

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM

Networking Break

We will break for 15 minutes.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

IT’s Role in Analytics + Data Science

Discuss with your colleagues best practices for managing the evolving relationships between IT staff, business analytics and data science.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Wrap Up + Fall Planning

Share your thoughts on the forum as we turn our sights toward the fall. We’ll identify dates, location and topics.

4:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Meeting Adjourns

5:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Customer + Corporate Symposium Reception

You are invited to attend Customer + Corporate Symposium's reception as we welcome over 250 energy professionals to discuss latest industry trends and best practices in corporate and customer service.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (888) 627-9033 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute and use the discount code ‘WEI Customer + Corporate Symposium’ to receive a special rate of $209/night. This rate is guaranteed until February 9, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.