The CIO Adventure: Now, Next and… Beyond

The MIT CIO Symposium is one of the premier technology, design, and customer experience events of the year. 2017 marks Story+Structure’s third time attending and participating. The hosts hail from MIT Sloan, the speakers and attendees represent the Fortune 1000 and hot startups, and the location—MIT’s Kresge Auditorium—is an amazing space in which to experience the event. 



This year’s theme was The CIO Adventure: Now, Next and…Beyond. Each year the theme broadens beyond technology and information to outcomes and their impact on growth and consumer engagement—fitting with today’s consumer brand experience expectations. Whether you are in the product or service industry, the bottom-line for customer is simple: you are here to deliver the best experience, soup-to-nuts, or the customer will find someone else who can.

For the third year in a row, Story+Structure was asked to lead a breakout session as part of the Birds of a Feather breakout programming. There were 30 topics covered this year, including such wide-ranging subjects as Customer Service Chatbots, Experience Design (note: this was ours), IoT: Challenges to Adoption, The Knowledge Platform Approach, What A.I. Can Do for You, Privacy & Security of IoT Data, Cognitive Companies, CIOs and Product Vision, Cultural Transformation in a Digital World, Designing for Women, Cyber Security in Complex Systems, and dozens more.

We had representatives from media providers, startups, a silicon valley tech giant, marketing and public relations, and banking and finance. To kick it off, everyone was in 100% agreement that “the conversation cannot be about the product alone. It has to be about the experience.”

At the last two symposia, we led discussions on Empathy in Technology, and the Growing Role of Design. This year we expanded our topic to encompass the role of design as we see it today, Experience Design. Attendees at this year’s breakout included representatives from media providers, startups, Silicon Valley tech giants think pre-Apple), marketing and public relations, and banking and finance. Story+Structure Founder and CEO, Chokdee decided to unpack the meaning with help from the assembled leaders. Initially, everyone agreed that the conversation couldn’t be about product alone, but had to be about experience

In our own practice, we advise clients that the customer is expecting a complete experience from awareness to fulfillment, and beyond. What exactly does this mean?

  • Identifying & managing  key touchpoints is critical to establishing your value proposition
  • How you manage miscues and expectations is important but some mistakes are not forgivable
  • MVP only works if you respond to issues quickly—and don’t make perfect the enemy of good
  • If you’re going to disrupt, make sure it’s a holistic disruption

Next, we looked at current consumer experience design examples that helped to solidify our positioning on the takeaways, further exploring and identifying what we meant, both for clarification and action.