Consumerization of IT: Making IT Pervasive
Challenges in technology to meet Aerospace and Defense needs in 2014 and expectations
Compliance always remains my number one priority, especially in a regulated industry like Aerospace and Defense. In particular I am looking forward to solutions helping companies managing complex international trade compliance rules, and more in general protecting and governing intellectual property. Beside this, the current economic context drives a constant appetite for simplification, consolidation, integration as a way to reduce operating costs and free up resources for value added activities. So I’d say my wish list contains solutions for IT compliance first and for IT simplification second.
Areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist
Cyber-Security keeps me awake at night. As somebody told me once, there are only two types of companies in the market today: the ones that are attacked and don’t know it, the ones which are attacked and know it, and are doing something about it. Threats are constantly evolving and we need to keep investing in mitigating such risks. This is a great example of the benefits of being part of General Electric, since we inherit and leverage the investments in people, processes & technology GE makes. As many others are saying, I believe that Big Data & analytics are the next big thing. There are multiple applications for the Aerospace & Defense industry that are maturing from fuel efficiency to better equipment utilization leveraging prognostic, predictive analytics and the increased capability of smart equipment to generate a large amount of data. The challenge here is the availability, ownership and quality of the data themselves.
The role of CIOs today
Two mega trends are impacting the CIO’s role: one is the economic downturn and the second is the “consumerization of IT”. The current market conditions require CIOs to have much more business acumen and a much stronger partnership with key business stakeholders: by knowing better how the business actually works, a CIO today can be more selective on investments while delivering cost efficiencies and strong business value. Consumerization of IT is instead making IT & digital tools much more pervasive, raising expectations of stakeholders. As a consequence the CIOs role needs to be much more proactive and capable of engaging a much bigger audience, from Operations to Marketing, Sales and Commercial.
My word for a CIO
I value the importance of continuous learning and listening: if you have a global team, travel and learn what they are doing directly from the field. If you serve multiple stakeholders, meet with their team and listen to their pain points and aspirational needs. This might not be easy, especially if you work for a large corporation, where you might be mediated by several organizational layers potentially reducing the opportunity for direct contact with the field. But being successful in doing this will make you a better leader.
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