Cloud Computing Provides Excellent Opportunities

By Lynne B Briggs, CIO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin

Lynne B Briggs, CIO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Meeting Enterprise needs certainly depends on the status of the enterprise, and when we look at  technology we look at several different layers from network and security infrastructure, to data storage, to applications, to mobile computing, etc. So, it’s difficult to narrow things down.

But, I think a big  challenge any CIO is facing is consumerism of technology.  There is a lot of power out there for the home or casual user, and it can be a challenge to harness and control expectations based on what a casual or "non-enterprise" user sees as simple - "I can do that at home, or I can store that on the cloud myself", when the CIO has to also worry about redundancy, security, cost controls in determining what is appropriate use in a full enterprise environment.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Variation in strong personal preference creates a lot of challenges in trying to accommodate, while maintain the ability of the enterprise to work together and/or even ensure core large scale applications can function. Virtual desktop concepts are helping this. Often the CIO as seen as "the bad guy" in saying choices have to be limited based on say the ERP, mail, or other systems operating or web browser assumptions. Flawless connectivity/networking. At the most basic level, we still have infrastructure to move data around. This is still reliant on telecom vendors, trunk lines, etc

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device, which is linked to mobile computing. Cloud computing is really interesting and has some excellent opportunites to be explored. ROI, security, etc. all need to be assessed and addressed for appropriate use

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

I've been fortunate to work in an organization that has viewed IS as strategic, and demands IS be there as a business partner. In my view I see the role as 50/50 split. Tremendous responsibility to just ensure core infrastructure, redundancy, security and disaster recovery are addressed. The other 50 percent is helping position the organization strategically, whether through applications or external IT based service offerings. Being in tune and knowing the business well enough with your team that you can suggest solutions or creates something for the industry is an awesome place to be.

Lessons learned as a CIO

Not sure I have anything that is truly unique. I have learned the hard way that you have to articulate why and how your IT spend/budget is for the organization and how it is positioning the organization as a business. Its easy (I've let it happen myself ) to start to see IT/IS like a organizational cost center vs. a partner in revenue generation for the direct service lines. Look at processes and waste, use  visual  management to challenge your staff to improve. Walk the business floor directly, talk to end users informally yourself, direct line managers using systems and services, not just your executive peers. Making their staff know that you're listening and involved, increases your credibility... frankly, your knowledge of the business.

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