Retail Equips With Changing Face Of Content And Business Data Delivery

Jean A. Luber, CIO & VP, Schwarz Supply Source
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Jean A. Luber, CIO & VP, Schwarz Supply Source

Jean A. Luber, CIO & VP, Schwarz Supply Source

Challenges in Technology to Meet Enterprise Needs
I believe the big challenge in technology has a lot less to do with technology but rather with company's resident technology functions focusing on business processes and embracing velocity and speed to market as a constant. Since change is a constant, the ability to deliver projects in shorter timeframes with solutions that are "just good enough" is a mindset and methodological challenge.
In terms of technology providers for the enterprise, it would be great if some of the large ERP providers could adapt to the marketplace and determine how to make their monolithic solutions more palatable to a business in terms of delivery, integration and risk management. The ability for ERP vendors to willingly help and have "skin" in the game for Proof of Concepts, sandbox development environments and clearer paths defined for upgrades are necessary to their survival. If they don't adapt, the existing incumbents in the market place will lose position to newer entrants.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist
Risk management in terms of embracing consumer focused technology in the workplace. There is no doubt that there is a coolness factor with tablets and smart phones. The coolness factor needs to be balanced with operational safety.
Another item of concern is viruses and having a workforce that is at least aware of security awareness. Implementing appropriate anti-virus software on your PCs and servers is not enough. Phishing attacks are more sophisticated and evolving and your workforce needs to have some degree of awareness of the potential damage they may inflict on corporate resources.

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment
A significant technology trend that is here to stay is the delivery of both customer facing applications and business applications to mobile devices. Smart phones and tablets are changing the face of content and business data delivery to business users. Learning how to leverage the world of applications available for business delivery securely is both a challenge and a huge opportunity. The evolution of business applications is not an "if" but a when. This is very similar to the paradigm shift we have seen over the years from mainframes to PCs.

My Roles and Responsibilities as a CIO
Not surprisingly, you need to know quite a bit more about a number of topics ranging from security, risk management, regulatory compliance, contract negotiation, governance, change management, WAN architecture, infrastructure and virtualization as well as understanding your core business and capabilities. The CIO role is expected to be both a long term visionary and a practiced delivery agent who can deliver solutions which enable and transform the business.

Lessons learnt as a CIO
Being a CIO in an organization is very much like being a coach for a sports team. You need to be aware of your relationships with your business partners as well as the organization. In addition, you need to be aware of the specific skills of your team and where the growth opportunities are for your team. Although technical skills are desired in a CIO, emotional intelligence, in being able to work with a team and obtain the best performance is highly desirable skill.

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