Three years ago John Keogh, a former CIO and former supply chain executive and now Senior Vice President & Advisor at GS1 Global Office was asked to look at a project in the United States that would help to save lives of people in the area of food traceability and food recall. About a million and a half people around the world die every year from food that has been contaminated.
“When I was looking at that I very quickly decided that we needed a cloud-based computing platform to go global.” John explains, “The company that I work for, GS1, is a global not—for—profit in the supply chain standards area so we don’t build solutions as such because we work on the behalf of the industry.”
John reached out to big companies around the world that he thought could provide a cloud-based solution for GS1 and ultimately the business was awarded to HP in Galway.
“Since then HP in Galway has supported GS1 in Canada, Australia and with sales presentations all around the world. Canada has fully deployed. Australia is being deployed next month; New Zealand shortly after. Countries like Germany, South Africa and so on. So HP in Galway has been doing a fantastic job.”
Just after that successful episode John had the thought, “How can other Irish executives like myself connect up and then connect back up into Irish businesses?” That was really the start of developing the Irish Executives Group on Linkedin.
What John heard that the members of the Irish Executive Group were saying was, “We need more help, we need help. So can we take the Linkedin forum off-line and create a conference.”
“When I heard that I thought, “Here’s a great opportunity to build on what I have done with Hewlett-Packard.” But to bring that back to Irish indigenous business. That’s really key for me. The big guys are OK. The big players know how to do business. They are all over the world. They are not up at night waiting for Ireland to be key to their business; financially at least.”
The event will cover four areas:
Cloud Computing: “When I reached out to Irish executives around the world they said to me, “…Let’s help us understand this thing called cloud computing.”
This is what the event is really about. It’s about helping Irish businesses understand what cloud computing is about and how it can help them to grow bigger — to punch above their weight class, as it were, in Ireland.”
A primary use of the cloud computing discourse will be to show how Irish companies can have a platform that gives them access to the global market.
Social Media: “With social media it was the same thing. “How do we tap into it? But, first of all, what is it?” Demystify the myths that are out there. There is a lot of confusion around social media right now about how it can be used appropriately.
“We want to debunk the myths of social media and then explore through case studies how companies can effectively use social media to tap into their customers needs and wants and also to explore new products, new services and new markets.”
John also wants to discuss innovation through what he calls ‘sense and act.’ Sensing and acting on what markets want and what they are saying.
Networking: “This is not hardware networking. This is people networking. It’s about company networking. We have Kingsley Aikins, who is often called ‘Mr. Diaspora,’ and he will give a presentation first and then lead a workshop on networking — the art and science of networking.
“Another thing we want to achieve for the event is to help Irish individuals, Irish professionals, Irish executives and Irish companies understand the dynamics and some of the leading edge thinking about building your personal network. Building your professional network and also taking a step back and looking at your company and how does your company build its network.”
- Leadership: ”We want people at the conference to listen to some of the leading-edge thinking on leadership. Especially as it relates to developing people. Then look at how developed people with the organisation benefit the organisation from a financial return perspective.”
These are the four areas that John wants the attendees to study and explore. As he says, “It is very much case-study driven, not a sales event as such. Nor is it a high tech event. Whether you are an artist or a food producer from West Clare to a relatively big mid-size company in Ireland there will be something in this for everybody.”