Harrison Grierson Chief Digital Officer Terri Carajannis on being ‘chief cheerleader’ for digital, the importance of wellbeing at work and why magic happens when you hear from everybody.

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Digital Transformation


How Cairn Oil & Gas is using IT to overcome one business challenge after another

CIO Sandeep Gupta’s innovative use of technology has enabled the company to cut costs, reduce time to first oil, and manage decline in production.

Jul, 4 2022

Digital twin helps NTT Indycar deliver better race experience to fans

Digital twin, AI, and predictive analytics help put fans behind the wheel of race cars in the NTT Indycar Series, including the iconic Indianapolis 500.

Jul, 1 2022

Digital transformation never stops at IBM’s semiconductor plant in Québec

Exploiting extreme automation, secure operations, and a local talent pool, the computer giant’s largest semiconductor plant’s IT management evolves continuously as it develops new tech.

Jun, 30 2022

JLL source-to-pay transformation proves value of automation

Born of the pandemic, the commercial real-estate company’s global source-to-pay automation system overcame localization and change management challenges to become a blueprint for a new strategic imperative.

Jun, 27 2022

Kimberly-Clark’s business-first approach to digital transformation

Global CIO Manoj Kumbhat is overhauling IT to facilitate a business transformation aimed at bringing the personal-care corporation closer to its customers.

Jun, 24 2022
IDG TECHtalk Voices

How to enable cultural change through cloud adoption

Adopting hyperscale cloud can position your organization to react faster to the next “new normal.”

Jun, 21 2022

12 tips for achieving IT agility in the digital era

The pandemic has proved IT agility is an existential imperative. IT leaders versed with agile transformation share tips for speeding up IT’s ability to create business value and navigate change.

Jun, 15 2022

The 10 biggest issues IT faces today

Economic, market, and worldwide turbulence continue to reshape the CIO agenda as priorities shift mid-year.

Jun, 13 2022

Mattel innovation becomes toy maker’s e-commerce core

A startup-like initiative to enrich customer engagement with limited-release collectibles during the pandemic now fuels Mattel’s direct-to-consumer online business, opening new IP-based revenue sources for the company.

Jun, 13 2022

AI in the cloud pays dividends for Liberty Mutual

The insurer’s mature cloud foundation has facilitated extensive use of emerging technologies, in particular machine learning models that help deliver premium service, CIO James McGlennon says.

May, 27 2022

Streamlining IT for agility

IT leaders share their experiences and advice for overhauling IT for speed, including cutting down on projects, shifting to product-based delivery, and spurring a cultural transformation.

May, 25 2022

McDermott data innovations fuel business transformation

The oil rig contractor is shifting to stay ahead of sustainability trends. New products borne of IT innovations around the company’s data operations are helping it get there, CIO Vagesh Dave says.

May, 23 2022

IT leaders take on pandemic tech debt

The past two years have seen CIOs accelerating digital initiatives as a matter of business survival. Now, those services are being reassessed for long-term value, as CIOs finally get serious about ensuring technical debt is no longer a drag.

May, 23 2022

National Grid’s energy transformation is fueled by IT

Global CIO Adriana Karaboutis is modernizing the utility’s data stack and digitizing its grid to transform National Grid into an ‘intelligent connected utility’ capable of integrating with a range of energy sources.

May, 19 2022

Ciena takes aim at the ‘ticket-less’ call center

The networking services company has turned to Amazon Connect to develop a cloud-based contact center geared for delivering enhanced customer service and reduced costs.

May, 17 2022
The CIO Whisperers

Veteran CIO Neal Sample: All architecture is wrong

The business executive, technologist, and former champion debater explains why you should go where the data takes you and how to avoid getting too invested in your ideas.

May, 12 2022

Reskilling IT for digital success in a tight talent market

IT leaders are upskilling IT staff in sought-after skills to support organizational transformations — and to improve employee retention. Here, CIOs share training strategies and lessons learned.

May, 9 2022

United transforms travel experience with Agent on Demand

The airlines’ digital customer service gives travelers access to live agents via the web when flight itineraries go awry, easing uncertainty and stress while driving significant cost savings.

May, 6 2022

What’s next for digital transformation?

Thirty-plus years is a long time to be stuck on something. Is it time we move on?

May, 2 2022

Backcountry modernizes for the cloud era

A complete overhaul of its ecommerce stack finds the outdoor recreational retailer poised to offer improved customer experiences and personalization just as it starts a push to open more physical stores.

Apr, 26 2022
IDG TECHtalk Voices

The unfulfilled promise of automation: DNA matters

Process automation brings much-needed efficiencies, but enterprise DNA is essential for the long-term strategy, ensuring business resiliency and innovation.

Apr, 19 2022

7 secrets of successful digital transformations

Getting digital right requires more than executive buy-in and financial commitment. It requires a nuanced approach to strategy, implementation, and collaboration.

Apr, 18 2022
IDG TECHtalk Voices

CIOs can and should play a pivotal role in ESG strategy

The ability to provide transparent, data-driven insights and measure progress toward objectives makes the CIO critical to the success of any ESG strategy.

Apr, 14 2022

ATD banks on B2B digital transformation

The wholesale tire distributor has overhauled its core integration layer to be 100% cloud-native in preparation to offer slick digital sales channels to B2B buyers tired of traditional call centers.

Apr, 14 2022

Truist CIO Scott Case on adopting a digital transformation mindset

For Case and his team, the pandemic, combined with the company’s merger, forced a focus on serving clients that became the guiding principle of their digital transformation.

Apr, 13 2022

15 most misused buzzwords in IT

The tech industry is rife with overhyped jargon. Here IT leaders discuss buzzy terms all too often misapplied by vendors and colleagues alike.

Apr, 12 2022

Clean Harbors’ CIO: Hybrid approach to the cloud is a win-win

The hazardous waste cleanup giant is deploying AI and RPA in Azure cloud and integrating data with its on-premises Waste Information Network.

Apr, 4 2022
Movers and Shakers

At Black & Veatch, a new IT operating model enables digital opportunities

CIO Irvin Bishop says the new model ensures that the company either wins, learns, or fails fast on its digital investments – but never loses.

Mar, 30 2022

SDG&E seeks speed advantage in the cloud

At San Diego Gas & Electric, digital transformation isn’t just a technology refresh but a wholesale change in its business, with speed gains afforded by the cloud being central to its strategy.

Mar, 29 2022

Paul Martin: CIOs don’t retire, they go work on boards

The retired CIO and member of four public company boards knows firsthand the value of technology expertise to corporate boards. Here, he shares an insider’s view from the other side of the boardroom table.

Mar, 25 2022

What is a chief digital officer? A digital strategist and evangelist in chief

A chief digital officer strategically transforms a company’s technological future in a way many CIOs don’t have the bandwidth to do.

Mar, 24 2022

Modernizing the mainframe for the digital era

The venerable platform continues to run critical applications while looking toward a future of open source, cloud, containers, AI, and much-needed new talent.

Mar, 24 2022

State of the CIO, 2022: Focus turns to IT fundamentals

CIOs are once again walking a tightrope between innovation and operational excellence—this time, buoyed by strong LOB alliances and a lingering pandemic glow.

Mar, 21 2022
IDG TECHtalk Voices

3 trends driving transformation decisions in healthcare IT

At the ViVE 2022 health IT conference, CIOs had plenty to talk about as the industry transforms

Mar, 18 2022
Movers and Shakers

How CommScope restructured IT for better business partnership

To enable the global high-tech company’s business transformation, CIO Praveen Jonnala and the IT team asked themselves, ‘Who do we want to be?’ The result is a reimagined IT organization with empathy and humility at the core.

Mar, 16 2022

UAB IT helps fuel genomic breakthroughs

The University of Alabama-Birmingham’s digital transformation is compounding what its scientific researchers can achieve. Systems that work in synergy with scientists is key, says CIO Dr. Curtis Carver.

Mar, 10 2022

CIO change agents: Lessons from the front lines of IT transformations

Leading CIOs from the energy, financial, fashion, and fleet management sectors discuss how they changed their IT organizations to pave the way for business transformation.

Mar, 7 2022
The CIO Whisperers

Abbott CIO Sabina Ewing on becoming an IT talent magnet

The technology executive explains how to create a differentiated employee experience to drive 21st century business results.

Mar, 3 2022

How Blackwoods handled its CIO’s health crisis in the midst of a digital transformation

CIO Claudio Salinas was diagnosed with blood cancer in the midst of both a major platform transformation effort and the scramble to adapt to the pandemic. Here’s how he and his team stayed on course at the Australian retailer.

Mar, 2 2022

Shell sees AI as fuel for its sustainability goals

The energy giant’s dual-cloud transformation includes a data lake architecture that AI chief Dan Jeavons says is catalyzing business efficiencies and will prove key in cutting carbon emissions over time.

Feb, 28 2022

Rolls-Royce CIDO Stuart Hughes on leaning into IoT

The engine manufacturer is leveraging IoT data to tailor maintenance and overhaul to the individual engine rather than the product family.

Feb, 23 2022

Anadolu Efes CIO drives AI-fuelled data, analytics strategy

Murat Ozkan, chief information and digital officer at Anadolu Efes, the Turkey-based international beverages company, talks about how a data management strategy comprising AI and analytics will sustain further growth.

Feb, 16 2022
Movers and Shakers

3 IT initiatives fueling business transformation at Zebra Technologies

Who says a zebra can’t change its stripes? CIO Deepak Kaul explains how a hub and spoke data model, along with cloud-based ERP and infrastructure, are at the heart of Zebra’s changing business model.

Feb, 16 2022

JLL CIO Edward Wagoner on leading change

What worked in the past isn’t going to work in the future, says Wagoner. His advice: engage and welcome the different ways of thinking that are so critical for transformation.

Feb, 16 2022
News Analysis

What is ServiceNow Impact? An app to keep digital transformations on track

ServiceNow is offering to help CIOs get more value from their investment — if they’ll pay just a little more.

Feb, 14 2022

Disney data clean room helps advertisers leverage audience analysis

Aiming to give advertisers access to a vast quantity of audience data while protecting users’ privacy, Disney Advertising Sales has taken a data clean room approach to data governance.

Feb, 14 2022

Papa Johns IT turns to Splunk for Super Bowl spike

The pizza delivery and carryout chain has established a real-time monitoring system in the cloud to ensure its pizza-making operations go smoothly, even under high demand.

Feb, 11 2022

Walgreens Boots Alliance gets personal with AI

The pharmacy chain is leveraging its cloud-first digital transformation to better serve its customers, thanks to a data foundation retooled for speedier analytics and the latest machine learning technologies.

Feb, 11 2022

Generac CIO Tim Dickson: Why CIO reporting relationships matter for digital transformation success

The 62-year old Fortune 1000 manufacturing company is transforming into an energy technology solutions provider, with IT at the forefront. CIO Tim Dickson shares his thoughts on how data is creating new business opportunities and how reporting to the CEO elevates IT.

Feb, 9 2022

Reimagining IT at Liberty Mutual

Like many IT leaders, James McGlennon has been on a journey to transform IT to support a new era of business productivity, a move accelerated and shaped by the pandemic.

Feb, 2 2022

US Xpress goes digital for the long haul

Digital transformation positions the freight carrier well in a tight market for truckers, paving the way for improved operations and data-driven decision-making.

Jan, 28 2022
Movers and Shakers

A platform model drives digital innovation at Zoetis

As CIDO of the global $6.7B animal health business, Wafaa Mamilli’s job is to find new areas of revenue generation.

Jan, 26 2022

8 top priorities for CIOs in 2022

2022 promises to be both exciting and challenging for IT leaders. To get the most value from IT in the year ahead, tech chiefs should focus on the following key initiatives.

Jan, 18 2022

Camira Fabrics weaves together EDI and API integrations

What began as a move to bring EDI management in house led to the creation of new APIs for shipping, and has opened the door to future infrastructure modernization.

Jan, 18 2022
The CIO Whisperers

FedEx EVP/CIO Ken Spangler on enterprise agility as an enabler for innovation

The FedEx business leader shares why the strategic operating principles of competing collectively, operating collaboratively, and innovating digitally matter more than ever.

Jan, 13 2022

AI/ML at scale: The next horizon for PPG’s data strategy

At PPG, data is key not only to IT strategy, but to enabling business strategy, says Jeff Lipniskis, global IT director. With a solid foundation in place, his focus now is on being AI ready.

Jan, 12 2022

Top 7 challenges IT leaders will face in 2022

Facilitating hybrid working environments and ensuring a skills match for future success top the list of tough, ongoing issues IT leaders must navigate this year.

Jan, 11 2022
Movers and Shakers

Digital product factories enable a new business model at Toyota Financial Services

Chief innovation and digital officer Vipin Gupta and his team turned transformation logic upside down to create a mobility-finance-as-a-service platform that TFS now offers as a white label service to other mobility companies.

Jan, 5 2022
IDG TECHtalk Voices

Healthcare leaders: Don’t let telehealth be a pitfall

Virtual healthcare has proven its value – now, it’s time to expand and improve upon that foundation.

Jan, 4 2022

10 IT resolutions for 2022

IT leaders share their visions on how they hope to transform their teams, their organizations, and themselves in the new year.

Jan, 3 2022

CIOs spell out top tech priorities for 2022

AI and automation will take center stage, as cloud and collaboration continue to impact IT agendas — and IT leaders keep apprised of disprupive technologies on the horizon.

Dec, 22 2021

ParkMobile’s cloud transformation paves way to new business

The parking service provider turned a business downturn at the beginning of the pandemic into an opportunity to accelerate an infrastructure shift to the cloud.

Dec, 17 2021

Avery Dennison CIO Nick Colisto on enabling business innovation

The manufacturing company’s VP and CIO, and 2021 inductee into CIO’s Hall of Fame, discusses creating a culture that “can ignite creativity and agility” in a video interview with CIO contributing editor Julia King.

Dec, 15 2021

What is a digital twin? A real-time, virtual representation

Digital twins are real-time representations of objects, processes, and systems that can help organizations monitor operations, perform predictive maintenance, and improve processes.

Dec, 14 2021

Cross-functional teams: The new IT imperative

Blending IT and business professionals in agile teams with autonomy over outcomes is fast becoming a key factor for digital success.

Dec, 14 2021

IT takes on a product mindset

The need to co-create with the business has many CIOs shifting away from IT projects in favor of a product-based approach that, like so much else in business, is a journey that takes time to nurture and succeed.

Dec, 8 2021

7 digital disruption myths

Myths play an important role in history and culture, yet when it comes to digital disruption, believing in fables can be both destructive and career crippling.

Dec, 7 2021
Building IT Relationships

4 trends disrupting managed infrastructure services

As providers adapt their go-to-market strategies, customers must plan ahead.

Dec, 7 2021
Movers and Shakers

The Hanover CIO Will Lee: Our architecture must have optionality built in

The P&C insurance market is changing so quickly that Will Lee, CIO, is asking his team to focus both on near-term and long-term transformation. Critically important to the second horizon, says Lee, is an architecture that can allow the business to pivot.

Dec, 1 2021
Managing Innovation & Disruptive Technology

10 strategic tech trends for the infrastructure industry in 2022

The time has come for digital transformation in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. Here are 10 technology trends that will shape the future of infrastructure.

Nov, 24 2021
IDG TECHtalk Voices

Three concepts to embrace for effective digitally driven innovation

As digital transformation moves from buzzword to business priority, understanding three critical concepts – and the subtle differences among them – will help you make the right adjustments to strategies and mindsets.

Nov, 23 2021

The Library of Congress goes digital

CIO Judith Conklin discusses the ongoing cloud migration and digitization of the world’s largest library — a massive endeavor to make more of its 170 million assets available to all.

Nov, 19 2021
Movers and Shakers

Air Products CIO overhauls IT to support business transformation

To enable the $9 billion industrial gas provider to deliver new “mega projects,” CIO Brian Galovich has put self-service at the center of the target architecture, moved infrastructure to the cloud, digitized key business processes, and updated the IT operating model.

Nov, 17 2021

Winter 2021: Supercharging IT innovation

As organizations seek to accelerate their digital transformations, time to market, and development of new customer engagement channels, CIOs must find ways to sustain innovation. Read on for advice for upping innovation velocity and more.

Nov, 17 2021

Lexmark’s Andy Kopp on democratizing data

The printer manufacturer’s Director of Transformation Products discusses the business impact of providing data-as-a-service with CIO.com’s Thor Olavsrud.

Nov, 13 2021

Wells Fargo lays foundation for public cloud transformation

The financial firm is poised to launch a 10-year journey to overhaul its operations around a hybrid private and public multicloud architecture powered by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Nov, 12 2021

Cushman & Wakefield dials up property sales and services with digital twins

The commercial real estate firm’s innovation mindset positioned it well to handle a business surge driven by the pandemic.

Nov, 11 2021

8 tips for streamlining legacy IT

Whether for stability’s sake or to support vital business processes, most CIOs still have to retain legacy apps and infrastructure. But that doesn’t have to mean hobbling along.

Nov, 8 2021

Warner’s last mile on a long cloud journey

For more than a decade, Warner Music Group has been orchestrating an all-in cloud transformation. Its adoption of networking as a service may be the final note.

Nov, 5 2021
IDG TECHtalk Voices

How foresight enhances strategic planning in times of uncertainty

The future cannot be predicted, but strategic foresight enables leaders to embrace uncertainty by better understanding, anticipating, and preparing for change.

Oct, 26 2021
Movers and Shakers

At Ingram Micro, digital change starts with the customer journey

The technology distributor’s entire digital transformation is “geared toward creating a single pane of glass for the lifecycle of customer engagement,” says CDO Sanjib Sahoo. His recipe for success includes establishing the right mindset, creating a balanced execution plan, and architecting technology to anticipate pivots.

Oct, 20 2021
IDG TECHtalk Voices

Why gamification is a great tool for employee engagement

The rewards a gamer gets for completing levels or collecting points can be replicated in a workplace environment to improve engagement, motivate personal growth, and encourage continuous improvement.

Oct, 14 2021
The CIO Whisperers

5 questions with Dow’s Melanie Kalmar

Learn how this top CIO drives real business value through IT and how she fosters innovation at the 125-year-old company.

Sep, 30 2021
Movers and Shakers

Developing a digital culture at U. S. Steel

At one of the world’s largest steel companies, digital success springs from solid business cases, a culture of innovation, and diligent change management, says CIO Steve Bugajski.

Sep, 29 2021

ADM takes process-oriented approach to IT modernization

Food ingredients supplier Archer Daniels Midland is consolidating IT systems as part of a transformation that includes standardizing many of its business processes worldwide.

Sep, 28 2021
Movers and Shakers

How Johnson Controls is going ‘digital to the core’

As the multinational conglomerate transforms to bring cutting-edge digital products and services to customers, CIO Diane Schwarz ensures that it is digital on the inside as well.

Sep, 22 2021
IDG TECHtalk Voices

Why Big Tech can’t crack healthcare

Technologists cannot disrupt healthcare without a complete understanding of the operating model. Co-creation is the best path forward.

Sep, 17 2021

10 impediments to IT innovation

From inefficient IT operations to an inability to upskill at pace, innovation is often undercut by ingrained organizational issues that IT leaders must change.

Sep, 13 2021

7 hot digital transformation trends — and 3 going cold

The pandemic has seen organizations doubling down on true transformation. Here’s how digital initiatives are reshaping technology strategies and revolutionizing how work gets done.

Aug, 30 2021

8 tips for improving customer experience

CX is the new IT imperative. Here’s how IT leaders can staff up, get agile, and spearhead tech initiatives that deliver experiences that win over customers.

Aug, 24 2021

Carhartt ups its sales prospects with AI

The apparel company has developed an AI-driven tool that helps its go-to-market divisions take a coordinated data-driven approach to expanding their footprint in the marketplace.

Aug, 24 2021

Fall 2021: Digital’s tipping point

Learn how IT leaders in award-winning organizations are reimagining products and services for a new era of customer and employee engagement.

Aug, 18 2021

Digital twins: 4 success stories

These four companies are using digital twins to monitor operations, plan predictive maintenance, improve customer service, and optimize their supply chains.

Aug, 18 2021

Customer experience: The new IT imperative

CX has become a key factor for company success, and CIOs are rethinking operations and organizational culture to ensure customers remain squarely in focus with everything IT does.

Aug, 16 2021

Brown-Forman ‘digital shelf’ provides top-flight e-commerce

Amid pandemic shutdowns, the Jack Daniels purveyor doubled down on digital asset management to sell its spirits online, earning CIO Tim Nall a seat at the executive table.

Aug, 16 2021

Pfizer drives digital operations overhaul

With the COVID-19 pandemic as a catalyst, the pharmaceutical company has accelerated its digital transformation to manage its operations and supply chain more effectively.

Aug, 10 2021

7 skills of successful digital leaders

Effective digital transformation requires strong leadership. Here’s how to helm your company’s digital journey through considerable organizational change.

Aug, 9 2021

4 digital customer experience success stories

Walmart, Ally Financial, and Raytheon are among the wide range of companies that have moved rapidly to build out new digital services to accommodate customer preferences.

Aug, 5 2021
Movers and Shakers

CVS Health puts customers at the center in product management shift

CIO Roshan Navagamuwa explains how a software engineering culture and four-layer architecture are helping $268B CVS Health become the world’s leading health solutions company.

Aug, 4 2021

Papa John’s serves up AI for more efficient ordering

The quick-service chain rolls out AI-assisted call center software to help humans focus more on making and delivering its pizzas.

Aug, 3 2021


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Companies and organizations are experiencing the first stage of a new digital support: GDPR management tools. We analyzed some of them.

As for all previous cases of new business compliance processes there is today a growing number of tools in the market addressing the all new European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force on May 25, 2018. Our main conclusion: these privacy tools have design limitations.

Il problema

In alcuni casi l’approccio della soluzione è tecnologico -sistemi progettati come se fossero indipendenti o di natura statica- mentre in altri casi è funzionale, quindi tecnico in materia di compliance, ancora specifico.

Classifichiamo entrambi gli approcci come principalmente orientati al marketing; non per criticare la qualità di questi strumenti in quanto tali, ma il fatto che le soluzioni sono principalmente opportunità commerciali guidate dallo slancio per una domanda improvvisa, il cui mercato non è ancora esperto in materia. Questa pratica solleva problemi, anzi.

Parlando con gli esperti di GDPR emerge che alcuni imprenditori e dirigenti hanno adottato una visione che limita la conformità al GDPR a una gestione – burocratica – dei documenti o, peggio ancora, sembrano un’operazione one-shot che non richiede manutenzione. Il tutto nonostante i tanti e ripetuti avvertimenti e rischi di incorrere in enormi sanzioni amministrative.

Inoltre, ci è stato confidato che le aziende apparentemente preferiscono processi di business del mondo reale non corrispondenti rispetto alla presentazione di “processi ufficiali” e continuano con quelli abituali. Conclusione: il rischio e lo scopo dell’audit di conformità vengono dissipati nonostante si spenda tempo e denaro e allo stesso tempo con un costo di rischio elevato.

Ritorno al passato

Notiamo un notevole parallelo con gli anni ’90, quando la certificazione di qualità ISO era di moda. Non era raro trovare imprenditori che inseguivano in modo contingente una serie di certificati, senza tuttavia alcuna seria intenzione di cambiare la loro cultura aziendale.

Abbiamo lavorato con un bel po ‘di loro in quel momento e, purtroppo ma non a caso, nessuno di loro aveva illuminato il proprio futuro dopo tali scelte. (Nessuno di loro esiste più sul mercato, ma questo è solo un account personale.)

Tre decenni dopo, la qualità in generale, infine, sembra diffusa in molti ambienti aziendali e la mappatura e la reingegnerizzazione dei processi non sono più una novità. I vantaggi che ne derivano sono riconosciuti come parte della nostra cultura aziendale.

Un approccio innovativo: un’opportunità

Sottovalutare gli interventi necessari per soddisfare il GDPR o non sfruttare tutte le azioni necessarie durante questo processo, può portare le aziende a scegliere strumenti sbagliati che richiedono un serio impegno di conformità. Spesso questa strada porta anche all’impossibilità di collegarsi ad altre aree di competenza fondamentali come Legale e Operativo. Considerato tutto quanto sopra, solleviamo una domanda cruciale:

Perché le aziende e le organizzazioni dovrebbero mappare i propri processi solo ai fini del GDPR? Perché gli strumenti GDPR non partono dai processi gestiti?

Sono disponibili standard di scambio, come IDEFx, FFBD o BPMN 2.0 per la modellazione o standard universali come XML o Json, solo per fornire alcuni esempi. Allora, quanto è comune l’adozione di strumenti di mappatura dei processi?

Questa mancanza di integrazione delle migliori pratiche e degli investimenti precedenti porta a un costoso logoramento.

Companies and organizations are experiencing the first stage of a new digital support: GDPR management tools. We analyzed some of them.

As for all previous cases of new business compliance processes there is today a growing number of tools in the market addressing the all new European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force on May 25, 2018. Our main conclusion: these privacy tools have design limitations.

The problem

In some cases the approach of the solution is technological -systems designed as if they were independent or of static nature- while in other cases it’s functional, thus technical in compliance matters, still specific.

We classify both approaches as mainly marketing-oriented; not in order to criticize the quality of these tools as such but the fact that the solutions primarily are momentum-driven commercial opportunities for a sudden demand, which market is still not well versed on the subject. This practice raises issues, indeed.

Talking with GDPR experts it emerges that some entrepreneurs and executives have taken a vision which limits GDPR compliance to – a bureaucratic – document management or, even worse, they seem a one-shot maintenance-free operation. All despite the many and repeated warnings and risks of running into huge administrative fines.

Moreover, we have been confided that companies apparently prefer a non-matching real-world business processes above the presenting of  ‘official processes’ and carry on with their usual ones. The bottom line: the risk and the purpose of the compliance audit is dispelled although time and money is expended, and at a high risk cost at the same time.

Back to the past

We note a remarkable parallel to the 90’s when ISO quality certification was fashionable. It was not uncommon to find entrepreneurs chasing contingently after a series of certificates, however without any serious intention to change their company culture.

We have worked with quite a few of them at that time and, unfortunately but not by chance, none of them had enlighten their future after such choices. (None of them exist anymore in the market, but this is just a personal account.)

Three decades later quality at large -finally- seems widespread in many business environments, and process mapping & re-engineering is nothing new anymore. The resulting benefits are acknowledged as part of our business culture.

An innovative approach – a golden opportunity

Underestimating the interventions required to meet the GDPR or not taking advantage of all actions needed during this process, may lead companies to choose wrong tools that require serious compliancy efforts. Often this road also leads to the impossibility to become connected with other fundamental areas of competence such as Legal and Operations. Given all of the above, we raise a crucial question:

Why should companies and organizations re-map their processes only for GDPR purposes? Why do GDPR tools not start from managed processes?

Exchange standards are available, such as IDEFx, FFBD or BPMN 2.0 for modeling or universal standards like XML or Json, just to provide some examples. Then, how common it is actually the adoption of process mapping tools?

This lack of integration of best practices and previous investments leads to a costly attrition.

The importance of ITP

Targets and benefits of ITP

Today it’s almost impossible to find organizations of any size not using information technology (IT); moreover, the smaller the company the more it relies on automation or IT services. It is both a powerfull tool for business and, if not properly managed, a certain source of risks and hidden costs.

IT specialists inside organizations are expensive and should not be on payroll if IT is not the core business of the company, but even in those cases, outsourcing is a common practice; the task of harmonization of services and assets is impossible when relying on outsourcing for IT without previously defining criteria and policies for the matter. These policies must address company’s business rules and specific operational needs. Nonetheless, it’s a common bad practice in small organizations to bend company operations and processes to adopted software or services instead of all the way around. Fortunately, IT market is full of possibilities and an accurate selection of tools is the best recommended practice.

The Business IT Alignment

All companies and situations are different, but every company that uses computers, email, the internet, and software on a daily basis should have IT policies in place: these policies apply both for employees and IT sub-contractors and provide a vision and strategy for such an important asset as technology. Without an internal IT policy the company is subject to the risk of adopting vendor or third-parties policies implicitly. An important secondary benefit of owning an IT policy is the control and indipendence it grants from vendor strategies and vendor-lock-in practices that must be avoided.

Solving these important risks, saving costs, granting business-centric priority and indipendence is what we call the “Business IT Alignment“.

Target and control

Employees need to know what is expected and required of them when using the technology provided by their employer, and it is critical for a company to protect itself by having policies to govern areas such as personal internet and email usage, security, software and hardware inventory and data retention. It is also important for the business owner to know the potential lost time and productivity at their business because of personal internet usage. Contractors, on the other hand, must operate within the frame of customer’s IT policies for granting security, compliance, operations and, quality.

With Baermann

Although it seems a difficult task it is not indeed when relying on Baermann indipendent approach to the problem and it’s fundamental for yielding the much need of reliable systems working properly on a daily basis. Baermann helps customers to define these policies minimizing or eliminating unnecessary risks and hidden costs while putting business needs in the right priority of importance.


Without written policies, there are no standards to reference when both sticky and status quo situations arise, such as those highlighted above. So, what exactly are the IT policies? There are six areas that need to be addressed, for each area specific guidelines will be documented:

  1. AUT – Acceptable Use of Technology: guidelines for the use of computers, telephones and mobile devices, internet, company and external email services, voicemail and the consequences for misuse.
  2. Security: guidelines for passwords, levels of access to the network, internet navigation policies, anti-virus policies, data confidentiality, and storage and usage of data.
  3. Disaster Recovery: guidelines for data recovery in the event of a disaster, and data backup methods.
  4. Technology Standards: guidelines to determine the type of software, hardware, and systems will be purchased, supported and used at the company, including those that are prohibited.
  5. Network Set up and Documentation: Guidelines regarding how the network is configured, how to add new employees to the network, permission levels for employees, and licensing of software.
  6. IT Services: guidelines to determine how technology needs and problems will be addressed, who in the organization is responsible for technical support, maintenance, installation, and long-term technology planning.