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CIO Quick Takes: What's your strategic focus?

Dan Muse | March 13, 2017
What are the top priorities for CIOs and other IT leaders for the new year? Thirty weigh in and share their strategic plans.

Our focus for 2017 is innovation and optimization through insight. Marist College can now predict whether a student is likely to get a “C” or better in a course only three weeks into the class. Our efforts this year will continue to target new specific active data elements that predictively indicate what might happen next so students may optimize their rate of success, lower their cost of attendance, and speed up their time to graduation. On the managerial side of our enterprise, our efforts will be directed at unbundling traditional monolithic systems, advancing the science and deployment of new cybersecurity technologies, and further developing our open source and shared services models.  

By zeroing in on information of consequence, leveraging it to better prepare students for their careers, and utilizing advanced open technologies, we intend to stay ahead of the disruption our industry is now experiencing.  

David Tennenhouse, chief research officer, VMware
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Credit: VMware

As we enter 2017, our research team has begun working on “Cloud for the 99 percent”. Our motivation is that well over 99 percent of our customers have very different requirements than mega-scale cloud operators, e.g., Google and Facebook. The 99 percent have a wider range of problems to solve; they don’t have access to armies of wizards; and their problems can be addressed with hundreds of servers (vs. hundreds of thousands).

Since environments pioneered by the 1 percent don’t match the needs of most enterprises, VMware can help by focusing on the needs of the 99 percent. For example, since the anonymity and proof-of-work attributes of Bitcoin’s blockchain aren’t suited to the most promising financial applications, we are working on an alternative. In another space, big data, a key gap is in tools that help analysts explore datasets and formulate the problem to be solved (by machine learning). We are also searching for “Enterprise-grade” AI whose results are more “explainable” than today’s deep neural nets. Finally, instead of extreme scale-out computing, the 99 percent may be better served by combining the “right” degree of scale-out with novel memory-intensive technologies (NUMA, RDMA, NV-DIMM, etc.). To sum it up, the 99 percent are a strategic focus for my team in 2017.

Dick Daniels, CIO, Kaiser Permanente
daniels dick photo high res 
Credit: Kaiser Permanente

With technology so pervasive and core to the quality, accessibility, and advancement of health care, we have a great many opportunities. The primary focus for Kaiser Permanente IT in 2017 is to continue innovating and delivering technology solutions that personalize and empower the consumer experience, and that continue to help our care teams to speed up and improve treatment.


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