There has been talk of business playing a bigger role (or the entire role) in technology use and purchase. To what extent has this to do with consumerisation of IT and the availability of easy to deploy cloud solutions? And what trends do you see emerging in this area?
Cloud delivery, which removes a significant need for internal IT support, has opened the door for business users to make IT decisions with a lot less involvement of their IT colleagues. Smart IT departments have been looking at the newer technologies and finding ways to bring them to their internal customers in a way that makes most sense for the entire business and not in a piecemeal approach. One example we have seen is IT teams building open integration platforms at the centre of their business IT infrastructures. This enables them to service their business peers by making it easy for them to select their solution of preference knowing that they can relatively quickly and easily send and receive the required information to and from that solution. This reduces the stress and pressure on everyone involved in implementations and speeds the return on investment.
The role of the CIO has always been changing, first from being the technology expert of the organisation to now as a "service broker", some say, to bridge the gap between IT and business. In your view, how should the new CIO function in today's forward-looking organisations?
IT should always be a service provider to the organisation, and the CIO should be the proponent of ensuring technology is leveraged across the business in the most efficient and effective way. I think too often in the last 15 years the mantra has been to keep it simple and easy for IT and make the users compromise by leveraging a single platform. Today's leading organisations are leveraging open integration layers as the platform that they build their technology solutions on, enabling them to use any technology the business deems necessary to not only compete in the marketplace but lead in the marketplace. By ensuring IT is a service provider that understands the business needs — and works alongside their colleagues to ensure the success of any solution implementation — can ensure the CIO of today is the CIO of tomorrow and into the future.
Logistics ultimately depends on human capability to honour "the last mile" as far as fulfilment is concerned. How can technology help to quicken the process or even circumvent problems caused by natural disasters or unforeseen mishaps?
The real benefit in connected systems is the capability to have better visibility across the entire network at any and all stages in the delivery. Most often the last mile is the hardest as it's becoming more of a home delivery situation which means more deliveries, more often with more potential for failure. If you are better able to leverage visibility technologies and link all the people in the supply chain you will have a better chance of making sure the right goods get to the right person, at the right time and in the right place. After all, that has been the supply chain goal from day one and we may just about be able to deliver on that promise today.
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.