CIO Quick Takes: What's your strategic focus?

Dan Muse

Reed Sheard, vice president for college advancement, CIO, Westmont College
Credit: Westmont College

I am excited that strategies, partnerships and investments we have made in the past have positioned us to have a real opportunity to thrive during these uncertain times in higher education. My strategic focus for 2017 is threefold: 

Instead of new go deeper. Westmont has made significant investments early in the cloud space and we have tried to be a leader among liberal arts colleges. Cloud computing has matured significantly since 2009 and therefore we can finally stop charting new territories. 2017 will be about strategically leveraging these key investments to benefit the mission of our college. 

Truly invest in the key people that make the magic happen. Our ability to creatively respond to the changes, challenges and opportunities occurring in higher education will require capable and committed people. Great colleagues who can get the job done and are a joy to work with are hard to find and vitally important to keep.

Keep learning and stay strategic. My job as a CIO is certainly more complicated but it is also more interesting. However, I too often I find myself mired in a myriad of detail that make it easy to lose focus on the horizon of where we are going as a school. Tremendous advances are occurring across the tech sector and the ability to learn and apply relevant technology to the needs of my institution is a central responsibility I accepted when I became the CIO.

William Retana, senior director of Information Technology, William Retana, LPGA
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Credit: LPGA

The LPGA IT&S strategic direction for 2017 is insuring alignment and execution of our BIG data analytics at all levels.

We are focused in transforming our statistical data from 1950 to today into stories driving the next era of golf real-time mass data analytics spanning the business enterprise and our digital ecosystems thus providing the ultimate customer media experience at unprecedented speeds.

Said Taiym, vice president and CIO, AF Group, Insurance Solutions Provider
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Credit: AF Group

Simply put, at AF Group our business strategic focus and our IT strategic focus are one in the same. Gone are the days where IT is responding to what technology the business wants but instead we jointly discuss what capabilities our organization needs to enable our strategies.

In 2017 my CIO strategic focus will be to create an enterprise (not IT) operating model that will take our 100 year old company, and all the legacy weight that comes with it, and begin making it perform like we are a start-up. Whether we are working to enable, transform, innovate or protect, my CIO focus will be to provide an experience for our customer that says “This is where I want to do business.”

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