University of South Florida CIO Sidney Fernandes.
The app is scheduled to go live in January, but Fernandes was so encouraged by pilot tests that he is using the custom software platform, from Appian, to write other mobile applications that support business processes on iOS and Android devices. One app, still in development, will allow medical students to choose courses, as well as hospitals and clinics in which they can conduct their residencies. “It’s like Match.com for fourth-year medical students,” Fernandes says. “We want the student experience at USF to be as easy as possible.”
The ease with which Fernandes is able to mobilize business processes has him thinking of additional use cases. One Internet of Things scenario would include parking spots, equipped with sensors, to alert students arriving for exams about available parking. Appian’s broad applicability has cured Fernandes of the one-off app syndrome with which so many IT departments have been afflicted. “If you try to build everything yourself, you failed before you even started because you could never keep up,” he says.
CIO enjoys green field opportunity for 2016
Strategic priorities range more broadly for CIOs orchestrating IT reorganisations, particularly those who have to build an IT department from the ground up.
Stu Kippelman faces such a task. Kippelman joined specialty chemicals startup Platform Specialty Products as CIO in November following six years as CIO at Covanta Energy. Fresh off an acquisitions tear in which it acquired several companies since its 2013 launch, Platform Specialty Products is ready to overhaul its back-end infrastructure. That is, what little of it there is.
Realising the company is running on very little back-end infrastructure, PSP’s senior management decided to fix the back office, which would enable it to recognize the synergies and value from its acquisitions. Kippelman says the company “brought me in to fix the issue, grow IT, and build a $10 billion IT department from scratch. It’s an opportunity that I can’t pass up.” He expects to embrace cloud solutions and enhance security enhancements in the coming year.
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