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Big Data Is The Biggest Trend Currently

Tony Hashem, CIO, Holmes Murphy
Tony Hashem, CIO, Holmes Murphy

Tony Hashem, CIO, Holmes Murphy

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Big data is the first thing that comes to mind because it will allow my organization to gain customer insights like we’ve never had before. We’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your services and look for new opportunities to serve our customers better. Cloud and social media are also game-changers but there’s still a lot of hype behind the madness and there are significant security and privacy issues that have yet to be resolved.

Lessons I learned as a CIO that can help you

Communication: Can’t stress this enough. Learn how to listen, reflect and respond. If you’re a good communicator, everything else gets a lot easier.

Openness: Listen to your staff, users and leadership peers. Make them part of the decision making process to guarantee buy-in for IT projects. When everyone is on the same page and feels part of the process, problems are easy to solve.

Embrace Diversity: Surround yourself with people that make up for your weaknesses and think differently than you do. Leaders those feel threatened by someone who is smarter than them are sure to fail. There’s a reason why companies like GE, Apple & Google, that recruit globally, do so well.

Know Your Business: Better understand what makes your business tick. Things like knowing the business drivers, metrics and what’s important to your company and being able to align with them will gain you a lot of respect and credibility. Otherwise, you’re just a necessary expense.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

There are pretty much the same challenges with a $100 million dollar company just like the $5 billion dollar company I came from with about the same proportion of IT spend. Take for example security. Any mid-sized organization that feels their size makes them less susceptible to malware threats or even data leakage is fooling themselves. I’m pleased to see the growth in security as a service but think the industry has a long way to go with a lot of opportunities for niche players that cater to my size market.

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 

For me it’s security and data leakage. Penetrating an organization from the inside is relatively simple and very effective. As more and more of our private lives become publicly accessible via social media, so do the phishing opportunities which allow someone to gain authorized access to a company’s environment. I call these individuals “trusted intruders” and every organization should fear them.

My concern is that everyone thinks they can’t be phished when the fact is, about 15%-25% of the people I target in a pen test fail. 

My roles & responsibilities as a CIO 

Since I’m a relatively new CIO, probably the biggest change is the transition from managing technology to leveraging technology to drive operations. I’ve been fortunate to work for a CIO in my prior organization that not only had a good technology background but could also align our IT strategy to our divisional business goals. I believe the role of a CIO has already changed from being technology focused to one that helps drive business strategy.

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