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Ensure a Balanced Approach to Support 'The Business' and 'The Business of IT'

Leni Kaufman, VP & CIO, Huntington Ingalls
Leni Kaufman, VP & CIO, Huntington Ingalls

Leni Kaufman, VP & CIO, Huntington Ingalls

Challenges in technology

A big challenge is providing cost- effective and secure mobility solutions in an extremely dynamic and growing marketplace that meet all user expectations and  customer requirements for consumer hardware, and work in connected, semi- connected and disconnected situations. On my wish list for 2014, I look forward to  more tools and techniques that support User Centric Design to enable business efficiency across a wide spectrum of business roles, especially for casual use applications. I’d also like to see more insight and technical support on private cloud, Big Data analysis and Internet of Things.

"As the pace of technology increases some of the companies that we’ve known and loved for decades may not be around for the next decade"

Solutions that would make my job easy

Constantly increasing security detection and defense capabilities are always first and forefront in my mind. An additional area of need is update management of our mission critical applications. Enhancing the end point management of these tools can be leveraged in a way similar to some of the more mature ERP environments.

Latest technology trends

As the pace of technology increases, the number of available choices for any solution seems to be multiplying and many are not from  companies with household names and long track records. As a result, some of the companies that we’ve known and loved for decades may not be around for the  next decade. We cannot allow this market dynamic to impede our ability to deliver business solutions. Another trend is to start building systems to change –not to  last. This involves a culture change away from over-engineered internally housed systems to common function solutions maintained in a cloud environment.

Changing role of CIOs

While I’m not sure if the role has significantly changed, but the climate has changed a great deal. As a CIO who has spent much time working in various manufacturing roles and has spent a lot of effort cultivating relationships with business leaders, I have been able to leverage my team to take advantage of  transformational opportunities that may have otherwise gone unaddressed. Deep understanding and knowledge of the business functions and how IT can enable  those related goals and strategies is critical to overall success.

Advice to fellow CIOs

It is important to ensure that you have a balanced approach to support “The Business” and “The Business of IT”. They take very different approaches and require  different handling, but both must be nurtured for increasing maturity and ultimate business success. Development of an IT organization where leaders must rely on  each other and constantly share in the success of each other so that you become someone who sets direction, but is not essential for daily operation. Today’s CIO needs to be focused on leading business transformation, adoption and cultural change management.

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