You might think that senior-level IT leaders have a lock on the art of landing jobs. After all, that’s partly how they reached such lofty heights, right?

But you’d be wrong. CIOs, vice presidents, directors — all make similar mistakes when they are on a job prowl, executive recruiters say. The two most common, and most fatal, are talking too much during an interview and resumes that are either too braggadocious or that go on and on and on.

“Our record was a 55-page resume,” says Judy Kirby, CEO of Kirby Partners, an executive search firm. “Not even their mother is going to read that.”

Here is a look at a dozen common mistakes even seasoned IT leaders make when looking to land new jobs, according to experts who can help.

Going grandiose

Charley Betzig, managing director of Heller Search Associates, has seen two candidates in the past year lose out on opportunities because of too-grandiose resumes. “These were great candidates, and we did our darndest to try to work with them to rewrite their resumes.” Both refused.

Betzig suggests instead sticking to the facts and keeping your resume “clean” by eschewing trendy design and offbeat type faces.

Finally, save your patents and published papers for the end of your resume and don’t lead with this information, Betzig says. “Employers don’t really care about that stuff,” he adds.

Failing to back up claims

In addition to holding your resume to a reasonable length, make sure it notes specific accomplishments. “I am a visionary innovator” doesn’t mean much to anyone wanting to learn about your credentials. (What did you innovate? In what way was that visionary?) Instead, talk about what your team produced and how, exactly, this helped your company create a new product, save money or time, generate revenue, or enter a new market.

Show, don’t just tell, how you’ve met specific challenges, whether strategic or operational.

Choosing ‘me’ over ‘we’

Similar to going grandiose, too many IT leaders forget that leadership is often more about team accomplishments than personal accolades.

Both on your resume and during interviews, recruiters emphasize focusing on ‘we,’ not ‘me.’ Nobody wants to hire someone who sucks all the oxygen out of the room or doesn’t play well with others. Make sure to share the credit with others on your team, and don’t talk trash about any company or person you’ve worked for.

Misunderstanding what makes a good interview

While you’re interviewing, answer the questions as succinctly as possible. Remember you’re not driving here; the interviewer is. “Be a listener first,” Betzig says. “Make sure it’s a conversation; listen and react.” He says that candidates are often so excited about landing an interview — or want to convey all their experience during the time allotted — that “they’re just bursting.”

Resist that impulse, and keep each of your answers to five minutes, maximum. Recently “we had a guy we thought was a great fit,” Betzig says. He had the qualifications and was a local candidate for the role. But the hiring company reported back that during the hour-plus interview, they were able to ask him only three questions because he talked so much.

“It was tough for them to imagine putting this person in front of their executives,” Betzig explains, and they wouldn’t consider doing another interview with him.

Overlooking the power of practice

If you’re working with an executive recruiter, that firm will likely do at least one mock interview with you and will video you in the process. “That can be a very sobering experience, to see yourself in action,” Kirby says. The recruiter will give you tips about how to improve your interviewing skills and resume because, after all, he or she gets paid if you do land the role, from the company that posted the job. It’s wise to take their advice.

And if you flame out after the first interview, you can often get feedback from the recruiter that you wouldn’t be able to get directly from the hiring manager because of perceived or real legal constraints.

If you’re looking for a job without the help of a recruiter, Kirby suggests you still enlist a trusted friend or peer to do a mock interview — and video it. Check to ensure you show enthusiasm for the job without being over the top, and make sure you answer the questions succinctly and without grandstanding.

Not seeing yourself clearly

Spending 20 years or longer at the same company isn’t necessarily viewed as favorably as it used to be, says Shawn Bannerji, managing partner for the data, digital, and technology leaders practice at Caldwell. Back in the day, it was considered a sign of loyalty to stick it out that long. But these days, staying at the same place for decades can be a negative.

The question is whether a person who’s been immersed in the same culture for so long “can be successful outside the norms of that specific organization,” Bannerji says. Many of the traditional leaders in their respective industries — such as GE, IBM, Morgan Stanley, and P&G — have multiple systems and processes set up to ensure their employees’ success, he explains.

After spending so long in one place, IT leaders can perhaps successfully transfer their expertise and skills to another organization or industry. But some hiring managers feel this category of candidate should “go somewhere else and prove it first, and then I’ll hire them,” Bannerji says.

If you do find yourself wanting to move on after a long stint in one company — anything over seven years — spend time thinking through exactly how your skills are transferrable. And make sure that is reflected on both your resume and in interviews.

Failing to have foresight

IT leaders seeking to build their careers further need to take the approach of successful pool players and think at least two moves ahead. Where are you in your career, and where do you want to be? How do your pay and benefits compare to those of your peers? That’s another strike against staying at one place too long; company lifers tend to miss out on the same pay jumps that more nimble IT leaders generally receive.

Career paths used to be more straight-line; “you’d work hard, get good reviews, and assume that path would lead to recognition, rewards, and promotions,” Bannerji explains. “But we’ve seen a departure of this path,” he says. People who want to rise in their careers need to acquire new skills and competencies, and “develop a portfolio that’s a professional calling card” or else “opportunities can pass them by.”

He advises you to find a mentor who can act as a career sherpa to “advise you how to invest your professional capital” and to help you determine which skills you should be focusing on at any point in time. If, say, you’ve spent a decade in infrastructure, try to develop more direct business acumen and broader management or strategy expertise.

Getting rusty on tech

Conversely, a business degree and strategy proficiency alone won’t cut it as a CIO in today’s world. “The role is evolving to have more substantive technical dimensions,” Bannerji explains. “Cybersecurity, AI, machine learning, the journey to the cloud” are all important on a resume today. Digital supply chains and other areas also require technical chops.

It’s also important to understand product development because IT is expected to help or sometimes even lead in that regard.

Not honoring the job description

It can be tempting, and sometimes okay, to ignore some things on a job description’s checklist that don’t fit. But if you apply for a position that specifies an advanced college degree as a minimum requirement, and you have a bachelor’s, don’t expect to land the interview no matter how much experience you may have.

Also make sure the job is something you really can handle. If the organization wants an implementer, and you’ve been mostly a strategist, “that’s not the same thing,” Kirby says. Even if you force-fit things and you’re lucky enough to be hired, chances are good that the position won’t be sustainable for very long and you’ll be job-hunting again before you know it.

And, if you don’t calculate all the key elements correctly — position, company, pay, and location — you can “throw off the entire equation,” Bannerji adds.

Losing sight of the social-media details

Particularly at the senior or executive level, you and your entire family are on view. Hiring managers routinely check social-media accounts for inappropriate photos or posts, especially regarding you and your spouse, for a clue about how you both might conduct yourselves at corporate events and how you represent yourselves in the broader world.

If you don’t want people snooping, adjust your social accounts’ privacy settings while you’re job hunting — and suggest that all the members of your immediate family do the same. Something that’s ‘cool’ or ‘cute’ or ‘funny’ might not translate the same to anyone who doesn’t already know you.

You might survive an Instagram photo of yourself barbequing in your Speedo, if you insist on keeping that visible online, but make sure your LinkedIn account and other more professional venues don’t show you in sweatpants or risqué clothing, or looking (or acting) inebriated. Vet your videos and invest in some professional photos.

Kirby recalls a situation when one company’s internal candidate was determined to sabotage his closest rival, an external candidate. The internal person found photos of the external guy at a party with drinks in both hands and acting goofy, all while standing next to an X-rated cardboard cutout. Internal Guy emailed the photos to hiring managers, and in the process both candidates were thrown out of contention.

You can still be you, of course; just don’t leave any potentially damaging documentation of your wildest moments in places where recruiters or hiring managers can find it.

Failing to read the room

To survive executive-level interviews, you must hone your emotional quotient (EQ) skills, Kirby advises.

“One of our candidates was showing off his deep knowledge of baseball and failed to notice that one of the other people in the room had her eyes glazed over.” It cost him the job.

Forgoing leveraging your network

Job hunters “often don’t want to be a bother to their contacts,” Heller’s Betzig says. “But that’s a big mistake. Your contacts want to be there for you, to be the person to help you find your next job.” Make time to network; he advises reaching out to five to 10 contacts each day.

Get in touch with everyone you know from your former jobs and those you’ve met in various professional organizations, explain what you’re looking to do and ask if they’ve heard of anything related to that and to let you know if they do. “Chances are that IT leaders’ next jobs will come from their network,” Betzig adds.

Careers, IT Leadership, Resumes

Enterprises worldwide are not tapping the potential of their data when making critical business decisions and navigating uncertain macroeconomic conditions, according to a Salesforce survey.

Nearly 67% of 10,000 business leaders polled globally are not using data to set pricing in line with economic conditions such as inflation, according to the Untapped Data Research survey.

Only 29% of these leaders are using data to set strategy when launching products or services in new markets, and just 17% are using data to achieve their climate goals, according to the survey. Just 21% of the survey respondents said they are using data to make decisions about their company’s diversity goals.

The lack of data utilization is happening even though 80% of the leaders said that data is critical to decision making and 73% said that data reduces uncertainties.

The business leaders who were polled also believe that data can help generate more efficiency and trust in their organizations if leveraged correctly, according to the survey. Nearly 72% of these leaders said that data keeps people focused on the things that matter and that are relevant to the business.

In addition, more than 66% of the executives surveyed said that they think data can help minimize the influence of personal opinions or egos in a business conversation.

Data deluge sparks operational challenges

The volume of data generated and the lack of knowledge to operationalize or utilize it in the most effective way are impediments to tapping the potential of enterprises’ data reserves, according to survey respondents.

“While 80% of business leaders say data is critical in decision-making, 41% cite a lack of understanding of data because it is too complex or not accessible enough. What’s more, one-third of leaders said they lack the ability to generate insights from data,” Francois Ajenstat, chief product officer at Tableau, wrote in a blog post.

Salesforce acquired visual analytics software provider Tableau in August 2019.

In addition to the impediments cited by Ajenstat, the volume of data generated globally is expected to more than double by 2026, adding to more complexities for enterprises, according to the study.

Investing in data literacy skills could be the solution

Enterprise leadership teams can work to eliminate these impediments by investing in data literacy programs for employees and weaving a data culture into the fabric of the enterprise, according to Ajenstat.

“If a company doesn’t yet have a data culture, then they need to invest in platforms that allow them to turn repeatable processes into core capabilities,” Ajenstat said, adding that data literacy programs should be offered to all employees.

The proliferation of generative AI and natural language processing will break down learning barriers for employees, Ajenstat said.

“These innovations are giving non-data people the confidence to make an informed decision and act on it,” Ajenstat wrote.

Data Management

As CIO of United Airlines, Jason Birnbaum is laser focused on using technology and data to enable the company’s 86,000 employees to create as seamless a customer travel experience as possible. “Our goal is to improve the entire travel process from when you plan a trip to when you plan the next trip,” says Birnbaum, who joined the airline in 2015 and became CIO last July.

One opportunity for improvement was with customers who are frustrated about arriving at the gate after boarding time and unable to board because the doors are shut, while the plane is sitting on the ground. “The situation is not only frustrating to our customers, but also to our employees,” Birnbaum says. “We are in the business of getting people to where they want to go. If we can’t help them do that, it drives us crazy.”

So, Birnbaum and his team built ConnectionSaver, an analytics-driven engine that assesses arriving connections, calculates a customer’s distance from the gate, looks at all other passenger itineraries, where the plane is going, and whether the winds will allow the flight to make up time, and then makes a real-time determination about waiting for the connecting passenger. ConnectionSaver communicates directly with the customer that the agents are holding the plane.

ConnectionSaver is a great example of how a “simple” solution resulted from a tremendous amount of cultural, organizational, and process transformation, so I asked Birnbaum to describe the transformation “chapters” behind this kind of innovation.

Chapter 1: IT trust and credibility

“For years, it was common for technology organizations to have too little credibility to drive transformation,” says Birnbaum. “That was our story, and we worked very diligently to change the narrative.”

Key to changing the narrative was giving senior IT leaders end-to-end business process ownership responsibilities. “We started moving toward a process ownership model several years ago, and since then, we’ve made significant improvements in technology reliability, user satisfaction, and our employees’ trust in the tools,” Birnbaum says. “This is important because every transformation chapter depends on use of the technology. If our employees don’t trust the tools, we will never get to transformation.”

A process could be gate management, buying a ticket, managing baggage, or boarding a plane, each of which runs on multiple systems. “Before we moved from systems to process ownership, people would see that their system is up, so they would assume the problem belonged to someone else,” says Birnbaum. “In that model, no one was looking out for the end user. Now, we have collaborative conversations about accountability for business outcomes, not system performance.”

Chapter 2: Improving the employee experience

Like every company, United Airlines has been working to improve the customer experience for years, but more recently has expanded its “design thinking” energies to tools for employees. To facilitate this expansion, Birnbaum grew the Digital Technology employee user experience team from three people to 60, all acutely focused on integrating the employee experience into the customer experience.

The employee user experience team spends time with gate agents, contact centers, and airplane technicians to identify technology to help employees help customers. “The goal of the employee user experience team is to provide tools that are intuitive enough for the employee to create a great customer experience, which in turn, creates a great employee experience,” says Birnbaum. “It is important for companies to invest in change management, but you need less change management if you give employees tools that they really want to use.”

For example, the user experience team learned that flight attendants felt ill equipped to improve the experience of a customer once the customer is on the plane. If a customer agreed to change seats or check a bag, for example, there was little a flight attendant could do to improve the experience in real-time. “All they had was a book of discount coupons, but the customer had to call a contact center with a code to get the discount,” says Birnbaum. “The reward required five more steps for the customer; it did not feel immediate.”

So, the team developed a tool called “In the Moment Care,” which uses an AI engine to make reward recommendations to the flight attendant who can offer compensation, miles, or discounts in any situation. The customer can see the reward on his or her phone right away, which immediately improves both the customer and employee experience. “We knew the customers would be happier with having their problem solved in real-time, but we were surprised by how much the flight attendants loved the tool,” says Birnbaum.  “They said, ‘I get to be the hero. I get to save the day.’”

The employee user experience team then turned its attention to the process of “turning the plane,” which includes every task that happens from the minute a plane lands to when it takes off again. It involves at least 35 employees in a 30-minute window.  

Take baggage, for example. Traditionally, during the boarding process, if the overhead bins were starting to fill up at the back of the plane, that flight attendant had no way to communicate to the flight attendant in the front of the plane that it is time to start checking bags. Their only option was to call the captain to call the network center to call the gate to get them to start checking bags.

To create a better communication channel, the employee user experience team worked with the developers to create a new tool, Easy Chat, that puts every employee responsible for a turn activity into one chat room for the length of the turn. “Whether the bins are filling up, or they need more orange juice, or they are waiting for two more customers to come down the ramp, the team can communicate directly to digitally coordinate the turn,” says Birnbaum. “Once the flight is gone, each employee will be connected to another group in another time and place.”

Again, Birnbaum sees that the value of Easy Chat is well beyond the customer experience. “I was just talking to a few flight attendants the other day, who told me that Easy Chat makes them feel like they are a part of a team, rather than a bunch of people with individual roles,” says Birnbaum. “United has a lot of employees, and they don’t work with the same people every day. The new tool allows us them to work as a team and to feel connected to each other.”

Chapter 3: Data at scale

To improve the analytics capabilities of the company, Birnbaum and his team built a hub and spoke model with a central advanced analytics team in IT that collaborates with each operational area to develop the right data models. 

“The operating teams live and breathe the analytics — they are the people scheduling the planes — so they are key to unlocking the value of the analytics,” says Birnbaum. “Digital Technology’s job is to collect, structure, and secure the data, and help our operational groups exploit it. We want the data scientists in the operating areas to take the lead on how to make the data valuable at scale.”

For example, United has always worked to understand the cause of a flight delay. Was it a mechanical problem? Did the crew show up late? “The teams would spend hours figuring out whose fault it was, which was a huge distraction from running the operation,” says Birnbaum. To solve this problem, the analytics team, in partnership with the operations team, created a “Root Cause Analyzer” that collects operational data about the flight.

“Now, instead of spending time debating why the flight was delayed, we can quickly see exactly what happened and spend all of our time on process improvement,” says Birnbaum.

With the foundational, employee experience, and data chapters now under way, Birnbaum is thinking about the next chapter: Using technology and analytics to integrate and personalize a customer’s entire travel experience.

“If you have a rough time getting to the airport, but the flight attendant greets you by your name and knows what you ordered, you will still have a good trip,” says Birnbaum.  “It is our job to use technology to help our employees deliver that great customer experience.”

Digital Transformation, Employee Experience, Travel and Hospitality Industry

Topping the list of executive priorities for 2023—a year heralded by escalating economic woes and climate risks—is the need for data driven insights to propel efficiency, resiliency, and other key initiatives. Many companies have been experimenting with advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to fill this need. Now, they must turn their proof of concept into a return on investment. But, how? 

Organizations are making great strides, putting into place the right talent and software. Yet many are struggling to move into production because they don’t have the right foundational technologies to support AI and advanced analytics workloads. Some are relying on outmoded legacy hardware systems. Others are stymied by the cost and control issues that come with leveraging a public cloud. Most have been so drawn to the excitement of AI software tools that they missed out on selecting the right hardware. 

As the pace of innovation in these areas accelerates, now is the time for technology leaders to take stock of everything they need to successfully leverage AI and analytics.

Look at Enterprise Infrastructure

An IDC survey[1] of more than 2,000 business leaders found a growing realization that AI needs to reside on purpose-built infrastructure to be able to deliver real value. In fact, respondents cited the lack of proper infrastructure as a primary culprit for failed AI projects. Blocking the move to a more AI-centric infrastructure, the survey noted, are concerns about cost and strategy plus overly complex existing data environments and infrastructure.

Though experts agree on the difficulty of deploying new platforms across an enterprise, there are options for optimizing the value of AI and analytics projects.[2] Foundational considerations include compute power, memory architecture as well as data processing, storage, and security. 

It’s About the Data

For companies that have succeeded in an AI and analytics deployment, data availability is a key performance indicator, according to a Harvard Business Review report.[3] In short, the report’s successful leaders have democratized their company’s data—making it accessible to staff, acquiring it from customers and suppliers, and sharing it back. Dealing with data is where core technologies and hardware prove essential. Here’s what to consider:

Ingesting the data: To be able to analyze more data at greater speeds, organizations need faster processing via high-powered servers and the right chips for AI—whether CPUs or GPUs. Modern compute infrastructures are designed to enhance business agility and time to market by supporting workloads for databases and analytics, AI and machine learning (ML), high performance computing (HPC) and more. Storing the data: Many organizations have plenty of data to glean actionable insights from, but they need a secure and flexible place to store it. The most innovative unstructured data storage solutions are flexible and designed to be reliable at any scale without sacrificing performance. And modern object storage solutions, offer performance, scalability, resilience, and compatibility on a globally distributed architecture to support enterprise workloads such as cloud-native, archive, IoT, AI, and big data analytics.Protecting the data: Cyber threats are everywhere—at the edge, on-premises and across cloud providers. An organization’s data, applications and critical systems must be protected. Many leaders are seeking a trusted infrastructure that can operate with maximum flexibility and business agility without compromising security. They are looking to adopt a zero-trust architecture, embedding security capabilities across an enterprise-wide line of storage, servers, hyperconverged, networking, and data protection solutions. Moving the data: As the landscape of data generation shifts and data traffic patterns grow more complex, surging demands require a network reevaluation in most organizations. For data to travel seamlessly, they must have the right networking system. However, traditional proprietary networks often lack scalability, proven cloud-based solutions, and automation, while open-source solutions can be expensive and inflexible. Open networking answers the challenge by accommodating software choice, ecosystem integration, and automation for the modern enterprise from edge to core to cloud.Accessing the data: Increasingly, AI development and deployment is taking place on powerful yet efficient workstations. These purpose-built systems enable teams to do AI and analytics work smarter and faster during all stages of AI development, and increasingly during deployment as they support inferencing at the edge. And to give employees access to the data they need, organizations will need to move away from legacy systems that are siloed, rigid and costly to new solutions that enable analytics and AI with speed, scalability, and confidence. A data lakehouse supports business intelligence (BI), analytics, real-time data applications, data science and ML in one place. It provides rapid, direct access to trusted data for data scientists, business analysts, and others who need data to drive business value. 

Focus on Outcomes

Analytics and AI hold the promise of driving better business insights from data warehouses, streams, and lakes. But first, enterprises will need to honestly assess their ability to not just develop but successfully deploy an AI or analytics project. Most will need to modernize critical infrastructure and hardware to be able to support AI development and deployment from edge to data center to cloud. Those that do so will find their data and applications to be force multipliers. Along the way, they will have implemented upgrades that keep data secure and accessible—imperatives for meeting IT and business objectives in the months and years to come. 

To learn more about Creating an End-to-End Infrastructure for AI Successread the IDC white paperand visit


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IT Leadership

The effects of such an unpredictable environment are profound, and no organization in any industry is immune. Looking across our client base, we expect to see varying degrees of impact as the turbulence continues. The common thread? In almost every case, there’s an increased need for data insight and technology-enabled agility to reaffirm technology’s position at the center of investment strategy in order to achieve organizational growth.

So when it comes to securing funding and resources from the board, is the CIO put in the box seat if technology is at the center of investment strategy? Not necessarily. While investing in technology is key—and becoming more so—this doesn’t mean that CIO budgets won’t come under pressure, both for capital spend as well as for operations and maintenance (O&M). That’s why forward-thinking CIOs are taking action today to strengthen their position. And no matter the industry, we believe there are four smart moves that any CIO can make now to help them weather any economic storm.

1. Optimize cloud spend

It’s a good time for CIOs to conduct a financial health check on their technology budget. This includes running a benchmarking spend analysis on all categories relative to industry peers, as well as leading technology companies. Then, identify opportunities to reduce run costs and free up funds to invest in transformation and new technology capabilities. Specifically, look at your organization’s newer areas of technology spend, especially since the last economic downturn. What’s the biggest change you’ll find? Almost invariably, spending on cloud has leapt from low or even non-existent to high. However, in many cases, that money could be spent more effectively; we often see clients using cloud in a capital-intensive way that mimics how they used to use datacenters. Remember, you don’t own cloud servers, you just “rent” them. So your usage and costs should be elastic, expanding and contracting with workload. That’s a core benefit of cloud.

That’s why one of the first moves to consider is optimizing your cloud spend. An easy example? Shut down the testing environment when you’re not using it. And consider different types of storage for different classes of data: highly-available and responsive storage for transactional data, and higher-latency and lower-cost for data not needed immediately. You should also scrutinize the bills from your cloud providers. These are often extremely complicated, running into millions or hundreds of millions of line items. FinOps for cloud can help track and optimize this spending while reaping major benefits on top. For instance, a robust FinOps capability can prevent spend commitment mistakes, and help you switch from a “lift-and-shift” approach founded on a datacenter mentality to a true cloud-centric model that realizes cloud’s full potential.

2. Double down on automation

If your IT budget, and maybe your business as a whole, is under pressure in the current environment, then automating more business processes is a natural step. But it’s important to implement automation for the right reasons, looking beyond the obvious cost savings to consider how it contributes to broader enterprise strategy. Of course, automating procedural, repeatable tasks via robotic process automation (RPA) not only cuts cost but frees up talent for higher-value, more strategic activities, enabling the business to do more with fewer people and address talent supply issues. The results? Higher efficiency and better outcomes. While many organizations are already implementing RPA, few are doing it at scale, and most haven’t yet fully embraced the more advanced “intelligent” automation opportunities via artificial intelligence and machine learning that can unlock true end-to-end automation. Given this, the CIO should become the driver of enterprise automation. 

3. Be open with suppliers on budget constraints

Try talking to your suppliers about the cost squeeze you’re facing, and you might be pleasantly surprised at their response. If you treat them as true partners and give them the opportunity to make suggestions for ways to save costs, they’ll probably come back with creative ideas. This reflects our own experience: we’ve worked with clients through downturns in industries like steel and utilities, and we know they expect us to offer creative ways to do things more cost-effectively. Whether it involves outsourcing, insourcing or something else, your suppliers or partners will often have great ideas.

4. Review software licenses and subscriptions

Many organizations are over-licensed and oversubscribed on software, pushing costs higher than they need to be. There are several ways to tackle this problem. One is to take steps to optimize subscription fees on expensive licenses by verifying the user base uses a software product or even separately licensed/subscribed features. Another is to identify savings opportunities from using open-source components instead of commercial software. Further, most software license agreements include annual processes to reset maintenance costs when consumption patterns change. Then of course there’s rationalization of products that are functionally redundant or can be archived/retired. While CIOs can carry out this license management themselves, a more effective approach could be to use a partner with specific expertise, who can detect in real time where an application is being used, and help recommend approaches to reduce spend.

With those four moves in mind, and in the drive to reduce costs amid ongoing uncertainty, CIOs may be tempted to cancel a project in its final stages to stop spend. But if that project involves retiring an asset or getting rid of a datacenter, companies should press on for multiple reasons. One is that by stopping, they’ll prolong technical debt into the future for a short-term benefit. Another is that once finished, maintenance costs, like on on-premise servers, will go away. So don’t stop short of the finish line and neglect to collect the savings.

Agile Development, Budgeting, CIO, Cloud Management, Data Center Management, IT Leadership

Companies today face disruptions and business risks the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. The enterprises that ultimately succeed are the ones that have built up resilience.

To be truly resilient, an organization must be able to continuously gather data from diverse sources, correlate it, draw accurate conclusions, and in near-real time trigger appropriate actions. This requires continuous monitoring of events both within and outside an enterprise to detect, diagnose, and resolve issues before they can cause any damage.  

This is especially true when it comes to enterprise procurement. Upwards of 70% of an organization’s revenue can flow through procurement. This highlights the critical need to detect potential business disruptions, spend leakages (purchases made at sub-optimal prices by deviating from established contracts, catalogs, or procurement policies), non-compliance, and fraud. Large organizations can have a dizzying array of data related to thousands of suppliers and accompanying contracts.

Yet amassing and extracting value from these large amounts of data is difficult for humans to keep up with, as the number of data sources and volume of data only continues to grow exponentially. Current data monitoring and analysis methods are no longer sufficient.

“While periodic spend analysis was okay up until a few years ago, today it’s essential that you do this kind of data analysis continuously, on a daily basis, to spot issues and address them quicker,” says Shouvik Banerjee, product owner for ignio Cognitive Procurement at Digitate.

Enterprises need a tool that continuously monitors data so they can use their funds more effectively. Companies across industries have found success with ignio Cognitive Procurement, an AI-based analytics solution for procure-to-pay. The solution screens purchase transactions to detect and predict anomalies that increase risk, spend leakage, cycle time, and non-compliance.

For example, the product flags purchase requests with suppliers who have a poor track record of compliance with local labor laws. Likewise, it flags urgent purchases whose fulfillment is likely to be delayed based on patterns observed in similar transactions in the past.  It also flags invoices that need to be prioritized to take advantage of early payment discounts.

“It’s a system of intelligence versus other products in the market, which are systems of record,” says Banerjee. Not only does ignio Cognitive Procurement analyze an organization’s array of transactions, it also takes into account relevant market data on suppliers and categories on a daily basis.

ignio Cognitive Procurement is unique for its ability to correlate what’s currently happening in the market with what’s going on inside an organization, and it makes specific recommendations to stakeholders. For example, the solution can simplify category managers’ work, helping them source the best deals for their company, or make decisions such as whether to place an order now or hold off for a month.

Charged with finding the best suppliers and monitoring their success within the context of the market, category managers work better and smarter when they can tap into ignio Cognitive Procurement.

ignio Cognitive Procurement also identifies other opportunities to save money and improve the effectiveness of procurement. For instance, the solution proactively makes business recommendations that seamlessly take into account not only price, but also a variety of key factors like timeliness, popularity, external market indicators, suppliers’ market reputation, and their legal, compliance, and sustainability records.

“Companies also use the software to analyze that part of spend that’s not happening through contracts,” says Banerjee, “and they’ve been able to identify items which have significant price variance.”

To avoid irreversible damage or missed opportunities and to keep a competitive advantage, organizations across industries urgently need an AI-based analytics solution for procure-to-pay that can augment their human capabilities.

To learn more about Digitate’signio Cognitive Procurement, click here.

Analytics, IT Leadership

As a household name in household goods, with annual sales of $22 billion, Whirlpool has 54 manufacturing and tech research centers worldwide, and bursts with a portfolio that includes several familiar brands including KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Yummly, among others. The company employs 69,000 around the world as well and Danielle Brown, the company’s SVP and CIO, has a unique perspective on how best to lead the company’s digital transformation strategy.

Having joined the company in November 2020 to lead its Global Information Systems, Brown understands that cross-collaboration and effectively leveraging data to create new products and services are not only essential to future success, but speak of having the responsibility in such a privileged position to lean into that seat at the table, which means having a voice and an understanding of where technology is headed.

“Our vision is to be the best kitchen and laundry company in constant pursuit of improving life at home, which has become even more evident and important over the past couple of years,” she says. “Data shows that people continue to use our products on a more continuous basis. We’ve also seen people at home researching, browsing, and purchasing more online. All of these things have been transformational for our business.”

Of course, the end-to-end consumer journey is always a work in progress at Whirlpool, which began prior to Brown’s arrival. “But working across our leadership team,” she says, “one of the things I always say about IT is we have a unique view of the company. We can see all of the various processes, so with that unique vantage point, part of our role is to connect a number of those dots. That’s where we have the opportunity to talk about this as a full journey and know what a consumer has. We have to think about that technology and how it’s layered together as an IT organization. That is part of the value we bring to the table. So with my coming in, those are some of the things the IT organization focuses on as a leadership team.”

Brown recently spoke with CIO Leadership Live host Maryfran Johnson about advancing product features via sensor data, accelerating digital twin strategies, reinventing supply chain dynamics and more. Here are some edited excerpts of that conversation. Watch the full video below for more insights.

On four strategic priorities: One is delivering product leadership, which includes data and technology that support things like the digital twin and digital thread throughout a product’s lifecycle. And that is where the IT organization really has a hand in helping to enable that product leadership. The second is leveraging IoT and AI to support new digital services and new digital products that we can offer our consumers. Third is about winning that digital consumer journey by utilizing the technology to engage with a customer from pre- to post-purchase. And our fourth strategic priority is about reinventing the value chain with greater visibility. That’s another way in which our IT organization was able to work side by side with our business partners to advance this one. So end to end, our strategic priority has stood the test of time.

On re-recruiting talent: Employees today have more options than they had in the past. As a company, we have to ensure we promote our value proposition. There’s the saying, “People will leave a boss, but not necessarily leave the company.” And what they want from their boss is someone who cares about their career. It’s the employee’s role first but they’re partnering with their boss or supervisor because they only have a limited view. So we have a tool called Career Compass, which shares employee experiences and helps let an employee know a manager cares about their career. When you have different leaders or new leaders in an organization, you don’t want your experiences to be forgotten. So we start with what that person’s career has been to date and then explore where you want to go in your career, but not on the traditional ladder. I’ve heard it referred to as the lattice. There are many different routes to take. It’s not necessarily about a job or promotion; it’s about the experiences that someone wants to have in their career, because it’s those experiences that are required if you want to be a global CIO or an enterprise architect. Things like that really matter and will allow companies to retain talent.

On innovation ecosystems: You have to think about what technology is really mature versus the technology that is more speculative. AI and machine learning are mature today. You also have natural language processing, doing technology through RPAs and things of that nature. So we’re leveraging those things in our business and market. But you also have the more speculative technology, like metaverse and blockchain and things of that nature. For emerging technologies like those, we’ll experiment internally and think about how they might apply to our business and how it could create new or different opportunities. But things have to add value for the end consumer. It can’t just be the technology for the sake of it.

On the enterprise data strategy: I am a self-admitted data geek. When you leverage internal data, you need governance around that data. The two are extremely important. Our priority is around delivering product innovation and having that digital twin or that digital thread where data is fundamental. This is working in partnership with the strategy of our product organization, and how to simplify the data and ensure it’s threaded throughout—in a digital way—or whether it’s embedded within our systems of record. The right governance around that product data has to be in place too so it can be used throughout the full product lifecycle. That’s how data governance is critical to our organization and analytics are a way to unlock value.

CIO, Data Governance, Digital Transformation, IT Leadership

The good news for CIOs wanting to enable domain experts to develop their own apps to solve business problems is that there’s a vast array of low-code development platforms to choose from. The bad news: there’s a vast array of platforms to choose from.

CIOs may, therefore, have mixed feelings about SAP’s release of yet another low-code development platform into that crowded market at its Tech Ed developer conference this week.

Gartner calls the potential users of all these low-code development platforms “business technologists” — employees whose responsibilities include creating technology solutions, not simply using the tools IT gives them.

“Smart CIOs are looking for ways to exploit these skill sets, and that often includes the use of low-code platforms for enabling faster delivery of solutions,” said Dennis Gaughan, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. “But one of the main concerns they have is trying to avoid a huge proliferation of low-code tools that create management and governance challenges.”

SAP’s new platform, SAP Build, aims to give business technologists — or builders, as SAP calls them — secure access to business processes and data to augment enterprise applications and automate processes through a drag-and-drop interface, while letting CIOs manage that access.

“The use of something like SAP Build offers them a platform that builds on existing investments in SAP and provides a more centralized mechanism for managing and governing the applications created by technologists across the enterprise,” Gaughan added.

Bernhard Schaffrik, principal analyst at Forrester, echoed the point about SAP Build offering ease of access to data, applications, and structures from the SAP world.

But however simple the low-code platforms an enterprise adopts, CIOs will still need to ensure users understand some of the complexity that lies behind them, he said. “What’s key is that business developers must be trained and educated about the impacts of building and running applications and automations regarding architecture, compliance, IT and information security,” said Schaffrik.

Build’s three pillars

SAP Build isn’t all new as the Build name previously referred to a user interface prototyping service. Now a complete end-to-end development environment, Build contains elements of older offerings, including SAP Launchpad, a central point of access to in-house and third-party application extensions, and AppGyver, the no-code development platform vendor SAP acquired in February 2021. The AppGyver name will now disappear from the SAP environment, said SAP’s head of low-code and no-code products, Sebastian Schroetel.

Build also contains Work Zone, a role-based web and workflow content. The name lives on as Build’s tool for creating pages, editing menus and adding UI integration cards. Work Zone is one of Build’s three pillars, Schroetel said. The others being Build Apps and Build Process Automation.

SAP has been piloting Build internally and at Qualtrics, the customer experience company in which SAP owns a majority stake, Schroetel added. SAP’s talent attraction (recruitment) team used Build Process Automation to accelerate the headcount approval process, he said.

The new low-code platform shares some features with SAP’s pro-code development tools: both are built on Business Technology Platform, SAP’s data management layer, and share the same API hub, making it possible for business technologists and professional developers within an enterprise to collaborate.

The recycled name isn’t the only thing about Build that may give business technologists déjà vu: Last year at TechEd, SAP CTO Juergen Mueller talked up a unified low-code no-code experience formed by the fusion of AppGyver Composer and SAP Business Application Studio.

This year, SAP is taking that fusion further, adding more functionality and simplifying the interface. Build works with non-SAP systems, allowing the automation of processes in cloud-based productivity suites, for example. SAP Build’s process automation pillar also includes functionality from Signavio, a business process intelligence tool it acquired around the same time as AppGyver, providing visibility into existing processes and customized recommendations on how to simplify and optimize them.

Per-user pricing

Another area in which SAP is hoping to simplify things is pricing. SAP Build will be available as a subscription starting at €1,000 per month for 25 active users, with additional user licenses starting at €18 per active user per month, a company spokesperson said.

SAP Build won’t be the sole answer to everyone’s low-code needs, however, nor even every SAP shop’s needs.

“Any time you try to standardize on a single platform for development, you’re going to deal with tradeoffs,” Gartner’s Gaughan said. Compared to SAP’s plodding approach, “Smaller, independent low-code vendors that have been doing this for a while and are solely focused on low code can potentially add new capabilities more quickly,” he added.

Since uptake of such independent platforms is dependent on their ability to connect to other products, they may also have more integrations with other applications and processes, but they likely won’t be able to connect to SAP applications as deeply as Build can.

Forrester’s Schaffrik noted that SAP Build is as open to extension as most other low-code development and automation platforms out there, but cautioned, “The devil’s in the details, so I’m recommending decision makers to diligently look at what they require regarding ‘openness’ of a platform.” For Gaughan, it’s not a matter of choosing one development platform over another. “Ultimately, I think a lot of large enterprises will have multiple low-code tools in their kit bag,” he said, “and I suspect that, for existing SAP customers, Build will be likely be a core part of their low-code strategy.”

Application Management, Build Automation, Cloud Management, IT Governance, No Code and Low Code, SAP

Demand for tech workers remains high, with no signs of easing up.

The proof is in the numbers: 319,652 job postings for IT workers in August, according to CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association issuing IT professional certifications. The month before there were 371,847.

That kind of competition for talent puts pressure on CIOs and their recruitment teams to be strategic in their hiring; they can’t afford to make mistakes if they want to successfully fill open positions.

With that in mind, we asked several leaders experienced in recruiting and hiring IT talent about the mistakes they see that makes hiring harder. Here’s what they say.

1. Always looking to hire externally

“A lot of people in IT default to hiring instead of looking to grow their teams; knowing when and when not to hire is a muscle that has yet to be fully developed,” says Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), a labor market data analytics firm. Markow notes that his firm’s research shows that hiring external candidates takes more time to fill roles and costs $15,000-plus extra in salary costs. Plus, it signals to your existing staffers that there’s limited growth opportunities, making it more likely they’ll look for new jobs elsewhere.

2. But also promoting internal candidates when you really should hire

Despite his support for hiring from within, Markow says CIOs must be selective about internal promotions. “You can’t upskill for everything; you will have to go out and hire for some things,” he says. “Training in some cases can be faster than hiring, but in some cases, when you need them yesterday, you can’t wait to train up your existing workforce.”

3. Training up when workers have no place to go

Markow says he has seen CIOs with a mismatch between existing training programs and their projected staffing needs, a situation that can leave both managers and workers frustrated. “Sometimes CIOs invest in training their people but don’t have a clear next step for these people,” he says. Moreover, he says, “the CIOs don’t have a good succession plan, so when those people move into the new positions there’s also no one to backfill their [old] roles.”

4. Failing to align IT hiring with business objectives

With IT now thoroughly intertwined with business processes, CIOs need to tightly couple their hiring strategies with their organization’s roadmap, says Seth Robinson, CompTIA’s vice president for industry research. That requires a solid understanding of business objectives, so, for example, if the C-suite talks about their data plans you know whether that means upskilling a SQL developer already on the team or hiring a data scientist.

5. Seeking new hires a bit too late

“We see employers invest in a new technology, and they spend a lot of money for it, before realizing they don’t have anyone with the right skills to operate it,” Markow says. He worked with one company that had invested in data analytics software that sat idle for six months while they identified and trained staff to take on its daily operations.

7. Insisting on brand-name job experiences

Seeking candidates with experiences at big-name companies is another hiring mistake, particularly at companies located in geographic tech hot spots, says Eric Tan, CIO at software maker Coupa. “I see too many of my peers who want people only with those ‘really good resumes,’” he says. Yes, those companies tend to offer stellar training for their workers, but they’re hardly the only places that produce competent talent. Tan points to his company’s veteran program, which has helped him staff about 20% of his team with top-caliber workers with high degrees of perseverance and loyalty.

8. Targeting only top-tier colleges

Similarly, Tan says CIOs should expand their recruitment efforts beyond the well-known tech colleges — something he says he does with great results. His company partners with the University of Nevada, Reno and the training program Year Up to identify and hire candidates coming through their programs.

9. Relying too much on prescreening tech

Technology certainly enables recruiting teams to quickly evaluate resumes, but hiring teams “can lose a lot of people in the prescreening who could be good candidates,” says Ximena Hartsock, CEO and co-founder of BuildWithin, a software platform for creating and managing apprenticeship and employee learning programs. That’s a hard lose in a tight labor market. Hartsock says hiring managers who are overly reliant on such technology, including applicant tracking systems, may miss resumes that don’t fit preset criteria but may still show lots of potential.

10. Overlooking non-IT talent

Tan talks up one of his recent recruits, a former manager at a high-end retail store. That role had exposed her to reams of data and data analysis, which in Tan’s eyes made her a great candidate for a data role he had on his team. He says he was right. “We should be looking for talent beyond the traditional IT profession,” he adds.

11. Not getting specific on skills

You need a programmer, but the job post for the role needs specifics to be successful, says Apratim Purakayastha, chief product and technology officer with Skillsoft, a maker of learning management system software and content. “When hiring for a particular role, you need to be focused on core skills and competencies,” he explains. Hiring managers do better when they list the competencies they actually need in successful candidates and share them in their ads so applicants aren’t guessing about whether they’d be a good fit.

12. Setting unrealistic expectations

It’s great to be clear about what you want, but hiring experts across the board say you also have to be realistic. Don’t go to market for an entry-level programmer and expect candidates to know all sorts of programming languages or have a range of certifications and several years of experience. And don’t expect a candidate to have everything just as you described. An experienced programmer might not know all the languages you want but an otherwise good candidate can learn them.

13. Relying on old salary data to plan compensation

The competitive market for tech talent keeps pressure on salaries, which can bump up more quickly than pay for other professions. Paul Wallenberg, senior director for technology recruiting at staffing agency LaSalle Network, says CIOs must be sure to have the most up-to-date data when figuring out compensation. “You have to rely on more dynamic data sources and pooling data that you’re collecting during applications,” he says. “I’m not talking about the amount the applicants are currently making, either. I’m talking about what they expect in a new role.”

14. Not publishing your compensation

Starting in January 2023, California will require employers to disclose their pay ranges with job postings. Others, including Colorado, Washington, and New York City, also have such laws in effect or coming online. But even CIOs hiring outside those jurisdictions should adopt the practice, Wallenberg says. He says his company has collected data that found companies who post such information — whether legally required or not — actually get more candidates and higher-quality ones at that.

15. Lacking diversity on the interview panel

IT leaders continue to focus on diversifying their teams, but too often their interview panels have no diversity and/or don’t even acknowledge the topic. That could lead candidates to think the company’s interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion is all talk, Wallenberg says.

16. Using off-putting language in job descriptions

Certain language can be off-putting to candidates, Robinson says. For example, a job posting looking for a “diverse candidate” (an awkward phrasing, to say the least) when the company is looking to build a diverse team could leave would-be applicants puzzled on what the CIO wants in the individual. Similarly, job descriptions that use “competitive” or “demanding” could turn off potential candidates. There’s proof of this: A 2019 LinkedIn report found that 44% of women and 33% of men would be discouraged from applying to a job if “aggressive” was used in the job description.

17. Putting candidates through onerous interview rounds

Hiring teams often ask candidates to demonstrate their knowledge by developing code or taking tests. Such requests, particularly if they’re time-consuming, can be onerous for candidates. “You could be excluding people who have jobs and don’t have extra time to put into these rounds of interviews or doing homework,” Robinson says.

18. Paying too little attention to the nontechnical stuff

It’s easy when hiring for tech positions to focus only or mostly on a candidate’s technical skills, but Purakayastha warns against overlooking other important skills, such as communication capabilities and the ability to work collaboratively. “I see very competent people being hired but they don’t have enough of the soft skills needed or the skills to adapt to a new culture,” Purakayastha says, adding that his company has a list of 45 values, such as professional integrity, that it seeks in candidates to help them think holistically about applicants.

19. Ignoring next steps for new hires

“Hiring is just the first step,” Purakayastha reminds. Next up: Retaining the new hire and helping them grow. “Change in the technology field is happening much faster than you can hire, so managing your employee’s technical career has significant ROIs that should not be overlooked.”

20. Poaching

It’s a common practice, particularly among tech firms in Silicon Valley and other high-tech corridors. But poaching talent from your competitors drives up salaries without addressing the pipeline issues that are causing such drastic competition. Plus, it doesn’t typically solve staffing challenges over the long term. As Markow points out: “If you’re just offering the highest salary, what’s to stop another company from offering more?”

21. Skipping over what you can offer

Candidates in this market have lots of choices, so CIOs should be selling prospects on what they and their companies offer. “If you don’t have a vested interest in their careers, they won’t have an interest in joining you,” Tan says.

22. Failing to sell what your company offers

“You need to pay competitive salaries for sure, but you also need to make sure you’re hiring for mission and not just money,” Markow says. Research shows that companies who give workers a reason beyond compensation to come and stay, whether that reason is engaging work, a flexible schedule, the actual mission of the organization, or advancement opportunities, do better recruiting and retaining talent.

23. Adding staff when you don’t know what you already have

Markow says he worked with one CIO who, believing his IT team lacked the skills needed to successfully compete, was planning on a significant round of hiring. He then actually assessed and inventoried the skills his staffers had and found that his team was actually market-leading. As a result, he needed to hire for only a fraction of what he had originally planned. “Too many CIOs don’t take time to understand their bench strength and they mistakenly hire for skills they don’t need,” Markow adds.

24. Being biased against the unemployed or underemployed

Hiring managers sometimes still perceive out-of-work individuals as less desirable or less competitive, discounting a range of possible reasons for their unemployed or underemployed status, Hartsock says. But she points out many workers, particularly today, left or scaled back on work for very valid reasons, such as staying safe during COVID. Hartsock says companies may find a boost in their hiring if they stopped chasing passive candidates and put more energy into engaging truly active applicants — including those who are under- or unemployed now seeking to re-enter the workforce. As she notes: “There’s no better worker than somebody needs a job.”


By Michael Loggins, award-winning executive IT leader

Industry 4.0 has vast potential to transform what factories can do. Manufacturing can be faster, more data-driven, more responsive to the needs of workers and customers, and more powered by innovations such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, digital supply chains, and blockchain. While the possibilities of Industry 4.0 are extraordinary—and realizing them is seemingly just within our reach—there are still obstacles to overcome before we can feel truly comfortable making them a reality.

Where I see the biggest dissonance today is in how companies are allowing both IT and the manufacturing groups to exist inside their organizations. Traditionally, the value of IT in the manufacturing industry has been to provide the factory floor with the resources they need, and then to stay out of the way. And in the past, that was really the best approach, because the controls that IT needs—particularly for security—typically aren’t conducive to maintaining an efficient and optimized factory environment.

Industry 4.0 Requires New Ways of Working Together

In the world of Industry 4.0, the separation between IT and the factory floor pretty much disappears. Today, it’s almost mandatory that IT sits in the middle of the factory and is seen as a valuable partner and an essential business function. But, in many organizations, the traditional dissonance between IT and the factory floor is still there; leading to conflicts in which the health and security of the business are jeopardized due to misalignment. Whether that’s the security of the entire organization, or the efficiency and efficacy of the operational technology on the factory floor, neither scenario is acceptable as they’re both preventable.

What’s needed now is a growing understanding on both sides, so the divisions and dissonance are eliminated, and cooperation and teamwork are celebrated. IT needs to figure out how to reduce its need to control everything, so that teams can protect what needs to be protected while supporting the operational technology (OT) environment in ways that don’t negatively impact productivity, efficiency, and automation on the factory floor.

At the same time, the factory needs to understand that they are not technologists and don’t have a wide enough scope to view the entire environment in order to protect OT. This means they’ll need to be able to bend a little to let IT be part of their conversations. If the IT team is somehow iced out, the factory may run just fine, but business operations are substantially more vulnerable to a major disruption due to a cybersecurity attack. Nobody wants that to happen. So both sides will need to drop tradition and ego to create a win-win situation for the organization.

How IT Can Support the Changes Needed for Industry 4.0

Let’s look at some ways IT can do our part.

Earn our seat at the table. Firstly, if we can’t keep the printers and computers on the factory floor running, there’s no way we’re going to be invited in to even talk about securing the environment. So there is a minimum “pay to play” mindset of operational excellence that has to be put in place to even get a seat at the table.

At the table, the IT team must be prepared. We can’t go in talking about the factory floor in the same language and terms that we would talk about a traditional office environment. It’s a different world, and if IT doesn’t understand that world–if we don’t take the time to live in that world–then how can we possibly go about protecting it? 

That means spending time on the factory floor; talking to factory staff and management to get deep in the weeds to understand the methodology they are using for quality, efficiency, and everything in between. You have to make sure you figure out how to maintain it before you can figure out how to protect it.

Practice patience. The other key mindset for IT is patience. Once you get into the operational side of things, you’ll be overwhelmed by how much there is to learn, and by the amount of technology and processes you’ll need to protect. If you try to address everything at the same time, you’ll fail. Worse, you will burn bridges, reinforce the dissonance and, eventually, you’ll get removed from the table.

So, for us in IT, it’s about starting small, making sure your OT colleagues understand that you have their environment in mind, and that you’re not going to inadvertently shut down the factory. Ultimately, IT needs to be viewed as a true business partner protecting the factory from all kinds of vulnerabilities, while also creating the assurance that OT won’t be held back. It’s about doing the work in a way that is sustainable and secure.

Building Empathy to Realize Industry 4.0

Without people and process, the new technologies of Industry 4.0 are never going to be fully maximized. In fact, I’ve seen organizations put in amazing technology, but without paying enough attention to how it impacted the factory floor; the return on the investment was pretty much zero. CISOs need to demonstrate empathy and a true understanding of the challenges of keeping the factory working every day. This includes knowing how failures of equipment and machinery can be disastrous for the OT team.

It helps to become friends, or at least tight colleagues, with factory management, floor supervisors, and machinists. Get to really know those people who are your customers. As with any relationship, there needs to be a strong commitment from both IT and the factory floor to resolve issues, but I think it’s our responsibility in IT to go a little further than halfway in order to train our people, and transform our mindsets.

We have to make sure our IT staff are equipped to work with the OT side of the company. We have to spend time on the factory floor and engage with the philosophy and values and mindset of the people there. Sometimes working on the factory line gives you the right amount of empathy to understand what’s going on.

Collaboration Enables Innovation for Industry 4.0

If you can get your teams working together, the possibilities are tremendous. The speed of delivery should increase and more importantly, you’ll have alignment between your IT and engineering groups, creating space for real innovation to happen. Bot IT and OT are composed of problem solvers that are in their fields because they know how to make things better: they just have different sets of tools.

By taking people who have similar drives, backgrounds and passions for fixing problems and putting them in a room, you’ll achieve amazing levels of innovation and countless creative solutions. And because the work is done together, as a team, the designs are more stable at every stage. They will be easier to implement, easier to manage and operate, easier to secure, making adoption measurably faster.

By removing the dissonance, you can totally change how you’re able to deliver value both at the factory floor and to your customers. Industry 4.0 becomes more than just an exciting possibility; it becomes the new reality.

Read more on Industry 4.0 in this article

About Michael Loggins:

SRT author, Michael Loggins is an award-winning executive IT leader focused in strategic business alignment, customer success and standardizing global IT operations.

IT Leadership, Manufacturing Industry