The Center for the Management of Information Technology: 2020 Roundup and Plans for 2021

In spite of the pandemic, CMIT quickly pivoted in 2020, hosting a series of virtual conversations throughout the year, featuring authors and experts chatting with McIntire faculty about timely topics such as product management, cybersecurity, and enterprise architecture. Look for more exciting programming in 2021.

CMIT ∞ Year in Review

2020 was a big year for the Center for the Management of Information Technology on the personnel front, as we welcomed Associate Director for Operations & Strategic Initiatives Amanda Morris and several new McIntire faculty members joined the Center as CMIT Scholars, including Stefano Grazioli, Robert Gregory, and Chris Maurer. We also overhauled our website and created a CMIT LinkedIn page so that we can quickly and routinely share updates on CMIT research, collaborations, and events. We encourage you to click “Follow” on our LinkedIn page so that our posts show up in your feed!

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMIT collaborated with two industry partners, Fannie Mae and Everbridge, to research and share how each company responded to the global crisis. Both firms discussed their approaches to organizational resilience during a one-hour webinar held in July, and concurrently, the Center published our first research briefing, focused on Fannie Mae’s continuity planning and how it positioned the company to respond to the crisis with minimal disruptions to its internal operations and services provided by third-party vendors.

On the logistics front, the Center was forced to cancel our annual daylong Knowledge ∞ Continuum, originally scheduled for early May 2020 at the McIntire School. We quickly pivoted, hosting a series of virtual conversations throughout the year, featuring authors and experts chatting with McIntire faculty about timely topics such as product management, cybersecurity, and enterprise architecture.

Marty Cagan, our 2020 Knowledge Continuum keynote speaker, kindly agreed to star in our first webinar, held on the original date of the 2020 Knowledge ∞ Continuum. Recaps and recordings of all our recent virtual conversations, as well as other past CMIT events, can be found on the CMIT Industry Engagement page of the Commerce School website.


 Research Briefings

 Case Studies


CMIT ∞ Knowledge

CMIT Associate Director Ryan Wright published several articles on cybersecurity in 2020, with a focus on phishing attacks and how best to prepare employees and reduce a company’s susceptibility. Our Center’s continued collaboration with the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) resulted in two co-authored research briefings in 2020: one by CMIT Director Ryan Nelson with Jeanne Ross and Cynthia Beath on the digital operating model and componentization at CarMax, and another by Robert Gregory with Barb Wixom and Ina Sebastian on interorganizational data sharing. During the summer, Chris Maurer authored a CMIT research briefing focused on how Fannie Mae’s organizational resiliency planning equipped them to quickly and efficiently respond to the early challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, Professors Nelson and Wright published a case study in October 2020 titled “WillowTree: Project Driven with a Product Mindset.”

CMIT ∞ Events

Throughout 2021:
2021 Knowledge ∞ Continuum: A Yearlong Executive Engagement with CMIT



This year, our traditional one-day executive residency will be delivered through four quarterly interactive online programs. Participants will be part of a limited-size cohort of lifelong learners engaged in structured conversations with IT visionaries, McIntire faculty, and peers. Each program will include a presentation or seminar by a featured expert or author on a trending IT topic, moderated by faculty. These live events, open only to Knowledge ∞ Continuum patrons, will include an interactive discussion with the speaker, as well as post-event networking. Patrons will also receive a curated reading list and advance access to CMIT research briefings and case studies published this year. We look forward to closing the 2021 Knowledge ∞ Continuum with an in-person 30th anniversary event on UVA’s Grounds in late 2021.

An introductory session is scheduled for noon ET, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, and our first quarterly program will be held at noon ET, on Friday, March 5, featuring Marty Cagan, author of EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products.

Feb. 10, 2021:
A Conversation with David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times, Author of The Perfect Weapon



David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent for The New York Times and one of the newspaper’s senior writers. In a 36-year reporting career for The New York Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book, The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age, examines the emergence of cyberconflict as the primary way large and small states are competing and undercutting each other, changing the nature of global power. In October 2020, HBO released a documentary special based on the best-selling book, directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker John Maggio and featuring interviews with top military, intelligence, and political officials on the front lines of cyberterrorism. During our hourlong conversation Feb. 10, McIntire Professor and CMIT Associate Director Ryan Wright will moderate a discussion with Mr. Sanger and take a deeper dive into the events covered in the book and film, the cyber landscape of the U.S., and how the pace of conflict–particularly with Russia and China–has accelerated. We encourage you to read the book and watch the documentary on HBO Max prior to the event!

Fourth Quarter of 2021:
CMIT ∞ Anniversary

Established in 1991, CMIT will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, coinciding with the McIntire School’s Centennial celebration. Patrons of our 2021 Knowledge Continuum will be invited to attend a celebration on UVA Grounds, tentatively scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.


M.S. in the Management of IT

UVA’s M.S. in MIT is the #1 choice for high-potential business and IT professionals who want to make a business impact using the latest thinking around how to leverage current and emerging information technologies, including AI, analytics, blockchain, cloud computing, and more.

Find out about all the exciting things happening in the McIntire community. Visit our news page for the latest updates.

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