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Getting Buy-In From The Board: Advice For CIOs

IT and security conversations are moving away from the confines of remote IT departments and are finding their way to the top of boardroom agendas. As they do so, CIOs need to carefully consider the way they communicate with other senior executives if critical IT initiatives are to receive that all important buy-in from the Board.  In this article, I will offer guidance to CIOs who are required to obtain Board-level approval before implementing strategic IT projects. CIOs are in a unique position within the C-suite. Their expertise and guidance can have a direct impact on the future of an entire organisation. As a result, and quite rightly so, CIOs and security professionals have secured a more important seat at the top table. However, despite the fundamental importance of IT, many organis......

The Key Challenges Presented By GDPR

Customer data is critical when building new services. Regardless of how companies and other organisations are using that data, they will all now be facing the same General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) challenge, how to mask customer data or build accurate and useable synthetic data, while retaining referential integrity for testing new products or services. The imminent arrival of the GDPR in May 2018 is bringing the testing community to the forefront of data handling practices. The penalties for non-compliance are now well known. But despite the fact that organisations accessing or processing EU-based personal information must comply with the GDPR, only 19 per cent of UK CIOs currently have plans in place to deal with it. Against this backdrop testing providers are being called upon ......

CISO + GDPR = A Force For Change

If you mention the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) amongst certain boardroom circles, the common reaction is for people to bury their heads in the sand and hide under tables. After all, the GDPR is just a fine waiting to happen, right? If the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) deems your organisation culpable for a sensitive data breach, and finds you haven’t done enough to safeguard that data — they’ll be asking for the princely sum of €20 million euros or 4% of global turnover, whichever is greater. It is understandable therefore that a regulation which has such extensive financial consequences for noncompliance evokes this sort of reaction. However, from the perspective of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), who is likely to be tasked with keeping the organisat......

The CISO Position Continues To Evolve

Recently, I published an article exploring the reasons why the CIO Will Report to the CISO. The premise was that it makes more sense to align core infrastructure under the CISO, allowing the CIO to focus on business processes and applications that make the business more efficient. It was a mistake when CIOs created the CISO role and then moved it out of their organisations. This is because, collectively, CIOs missed an opportunity to take responsibility for security when the CISO role was created, and then quickly moved outside the CIO organisation. If CIOs had taken ownership of security and evolved their organisations, there would have been no need to distinguish them from CISOs, let alone create two separate organisations: one for IT and one for security. The History Information securit......

Data Quality: What's Your Role? Examining Ownership Versus Responsibility

Data ownership is now an increasingly hot topic among those in charge of data quality within the business community. There is a growing awareness of the need for a centralised strategy which sits alongside individual accountability and this is driving structural changes, with many businesses warming to the concept of Chief Data Officers (CDO) as board-level guardians of data within an organisation. However, “ownership” can be a confusing and misleading concept if poorly understood. Many businesses mistake the allocation of responsibility with handing over complete control, which can hinder the open sharing and access to data upon which many companies rely if they are to reap the strategic benefits that it brings. Clearly, this is not the right approach, as ultimately data touch......

Data Quality: What’s Your Role? Examining Ownership Versus Responsibility

Data ownership is now an increasingly hot topic among those in charge of data quality within the business community. There is a growing awareness of the need for a centralised strategy which sits alongside individual accountability and this is driving structural changes, with many businesses warming to the concept of Chief Data Officers (CDO) as board-level guardians of data within an organisation. However, “ownership” can be a confusing and misleading concept if poorly understood. Many businesses mistake the allocation of responsibility with handing over complete control, which can hinder the open sharing and access to data upon which many companies rely if they are to reap the strategic benefits that it brings. Clearly, this is not the right approach, as ultimately data touch......

Project Management As A Service: Certainty In Transition

“Ropes of enforced improvisation and spontaneity that unravel and entwine between pillars of carefully choreographed certainty”. I thought that this was a rather charming description of the reality of running a Project Management Function. The CIO who shared this insight with me was referring to a recurring gap in his operation, sometimes due to under the radar stimuli like when a contractor’s contract ends, or a contractor just isn’t performing at 100% and other more obvious times, when one Project Manager leaves and another is recruited. For a short time governance and structure are rather neglected as the remaining PM talent maintain a “keep the lights on” strategy. Projects don’t always suffer significantly but nor do they achieve their full potential eith......

Shadow IT Can Put CIOs Back On The Map

Shadow IT is on the rise. Easily accessible cloud tools and an increasing blend of personal technical skills in a business context have empowered tech-savvy employees to seek and source their own tech solutions to become more business-productive. According to a recent survey 93 percent of employees admit to connecting personal mobile devices to corporate networks. Just under half said that they already transfer sensitive or confidential corporate information to external cloud services. This creates chaos for the CIO. Unable to see what lurks in the shadows, the CIO is unable to plan and execute IT improvement, or be sure of business data security. But aside from the concerns, an argument also exists that shadow IT could also present opportunities for the CIO. So what do CIOs need to consid......

Evolution Or Revolution: Where Is Technology At Today?

Change is a constant in IT. But every once in a while, a development so fundamental and profound occurs that it reorients the profession. Are we in the midst of one of these today? Changes this significant tend to come along roughly once per generation: 1953: transistors began replacing vacuum tubes in computers, bringing in the semiconductor age. 1973: Bob Metcalfe invented Ethernet, enabling computers to be connected in local area networks (LANs). 1993: the Mosaic web browser was announced, the “first commercial software that allowed graphical access to content on the internet.” That was also the year that CERN made the World Wide Web available freely across the globe. Though the Web was technically three years old at this stage, the combination of Mosaic and CERN’s actions opened ......

Securing The Workforce Of Tomorrow

According to a recent PwC global survey, finding and securing the workforce of tomorrow is one of the biggest concerns facing CEOs today. It seems that rapidly shifting demographics, different population growth rates around the world, rampant urbanisation, and rising labour costs are contributing to unprecedented challenges in workforce planning. The stark reality is that half of CEOs surveyed wanted to hire more people in 2014, but nearly two-thirds were worried about finding the right skills. Workforce planning can no longer be left to chance and, smart CFOs know that they need to gain visibility into HR policies and their effectiveness in driving strategic alignment (right skills in the right place, at the right time) as well as growth and profitability. Yet aligning the workforce to co......

4 Key Trends That Will Take Enterprise Mobility By Storm In 2015

The enterprise mobility market experienced some pivotal changes last year – from strategic partnerships between tech giants to the introduction of wearable technology like the Apple Watch. But what does 2015 have in store for enterprise mobility? Here are four trends that I think will take enterprise mobility by storm in 2015. 1. App Explosion Will Drive Development In today’s digital world, mobile is ubiquitous in both our personal and professional lives. It’s no surprise then that IDC forecasted worldwide smartphone shipments to surpass 1.2 billion units this year – a 23 percent increase from just a year ago. Moreover, the number of app downloads is expected to rise to almost 270 billion by 2017. With this explosion of mobile apps, organisations are adopting enterprise mobile......

SIAM, ITSM, SDM: How Do You Measure The Value Of Managed IT Service Delivery?

Someone asked me the other day, how do you measure the value of managed IT Service Delivery? He is a CIO, a CIO whose job spec, spectrum of responsibilities and portfolio of outsourced IT vendors have all grown in an attempt to keep pace with business demand – the only two things that haven’t grown, he jokes, are his salary and staff. Like most IT departments – he is expected to do more with less – justify every penny spent and show significant return on investment. Which is what has brought him to explore outsourcing of IT service delivery – buying in service delivery and management as a service in itself. Ahead of a meeting with the board to progress the idea – he asked, how do you measure its value? It’s not a new concept. Not really. We call it......

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