What's wrong with keynote presentations

Summary:Keynote sessions at most conferences come in two primary flavors--enlightening presentations from subject matter experts tuned to the audience and boring, generic corporate pitches from vendors who are conference sponsors (they contribute to the financial well being of the conference).

daniels.jpg
Keynote sessions at most conferences come in two primary flavors--enlightening presentations from subject matter experts tuned to the audience and boring, generic corporate pitches from vendors who are conference sponsors (they contribute to the financial well being of the conference). In the morning session today at Digital ID World 2005, Burton Group CEO & Research Chair Jamie Lewis delivered a comprehensive, in-depth view of the state of identity management (I'll provide a play-by-play of his presentation in a subsequent posting) to an audience of mostly identity management professionals. Representing conference sponsor Hewlett-Packard, Russ Daniels, vice president & CTO Software and Adaptive Enterprise, Office of Strategy and Technology, delivered a corporate pitch geared for CxOs in need of convincing that that they must invest in a solution for continuous compliance, driving down costs, reducing risk, being more agile, delivering more value, and so on. (Conference host Phil Becker describes compliance as the problem that will amplify the importance of identity management.) Doing compliance right requires sustainable business processes, identity management, change management, availability, integrity (protecting financial processes and application data) and monitoring key risk factor, Daniels said.  "In its final state [compliance] is built in and risk management is done as a natural course of events, and best practices are institutionalize to create incremental shareholder value and competitive advantage in markets where you compete." A bit of audience mismatch for the pitch, and not an atypical occurence for HP in my experience. Daniels said that HP has a $1 billion software business (mostly around OpenView), it is an increasing important part of HP's direction and intention. I would have liked to hear more about that. 
 

Daniels and HP are not alone is serving up PowerPoint slides from the corporate databank rather than trying to add something more substantial to the conference topic and conversation. In part, that's a problem with the keynotes at Digital ID World and other events--no Q&A after the slides. Yesterday, Verisign CTO Nico Popp, substituting for company CEO Stratton Sclavos, delivered the standard the scourge of identity theft and other ills and how to deal with it.  In terms of reputation managment,  the sponsors given keynotes and the conference hosts would earn bonus point if they identified more with the audience in their presentations and engaged them in conversation ... 

Topics: Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.