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CIO Summit Interview: CIO priorities and focus on the horizon

T.C. Seow | July 4, 2013
Ahead of the 2013 CIO Summit on 31 July in Singapore, Kevin Pool, CTO, Asia, TIBCO Software, talks exclusively about the challenges and priorities organisations need to address in order to move confidently ahead.

Ahead of the 2013 CIO Summit on 31 July in Singapore, Kevin Pool, CTO, Asia, TIBCO Software, talks exclusively about the challenges and priorities organisations need to address in order to move confidently ahead.

Kevin Pool
Photo: Kevin Pool

Q: Based on your interaction with customers, what are the top five (or three) priorities of CIOs (in name and/or in function) today?

Kevin Pool: The CIO priorities continue to include the priorities from prior years; delivering value to the business while managing operational efficiencies continues to be a fundamental focus. Security, business continuity, managing technology, people and processes will always be foremost on the minds on CIOs.

However fundamental changes in the business and technical landscape requires today's CIO's to manage their infrastructure and organisations in new ways. Many CIO's have an existing infrastructure that has been built up over years, the care and feeding of which now consumes the majority of their financial and organisational energies. Other CIO that do not have such legacy are faced with making key decisions in how they expend precious and scarce funds to establish their corporate infrastructure. In both scenarios the key priority is to establish their corporate infrastructure in a manner that allows the organisation to respond to changing and demanding business needs, and to not become overburdened with an expensive and inflexible infrastructure which will stifle their organisations.

The bar for expected functionality and responsiveness continues to be raised, and today's CIO must deliver expanded functionality through new and innovative means. It is no longer sufficient to just purchase an application or system which solve a specific requirement; they must leverage disparate systems, organisations and services to solve their business needs. Finding the collection of systems, capabilities, providers and partners to accelerate their delivery is a key priority and is central to discussions that I have with many CIOs.

Today's business landscape dictates an IT architecture that spans multiple data centres,  crosses multiple organisations or companies, integrates with external service and also integrates with cloud based services. While in prior times the CIO was more focused on the internal managed systems, today CIOs find themselves increasingly focused on items which are outside of their direct control. Which means the CIO must identify, select, manage, and monitor external entities which are critical for the delivery of their organisations' key functionality.

What would you say are the best approaches/technologies for solving their problems, and meeting their objectives in this context (bearing in mind the concerns/priorities as cited in the previous question)?

Many of today's architecture, systems and processes were developed in response to technical constraints which are no longer valid. The basic thinking on how we structured our systems and processes was laid down 20 to 30 years ago. Systems had less processing power, memory, and storage capacity. This dictated architectures which collected information slowly, then only processed information intermittently, and produced information or results at a later time. Business processes and organisations were built up around these basic constraints. Many of today's systems are leftover from that prior time period, or have an pedigree which is derived from this earlier thinking.

 

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