CIO Quick Takes: What's your strategic focus?

Dan Muse

A key driver with implementing this new operating model is that it isn’t once and done. It must have the ability to evolve to continually increase the velocity at which we can implement the steady and predictable and the uncertain and agile.

Clark Golestani, president, Emerging Businesses and Global CIO, Merck
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Credit: Merck

My strategic focus for 2017 is to deliver even more value to our business through IT capabilities and our portfolio of digitally-based companies.

At the foundation, the “table stakes” are becoming harder and harder to achieve in our industry. The number of digital programs inside our company continues to grow – and the more integrated and global they become, the more challenging it is to manage the integrity of our operational architecture.  So we are constantly looking for new mechanisms to deliver uncommon productivity in an environment where change is the new normal.

At the same time, I want to drive more synergies with our emerging businesses, and look for additional opportunities where they can impact the core of our company.  Not only are there areas to cross-leverage solutions, human capital, and knowledge with them, but they provide an excellent opportunity for us to prove-in technological innovations more efficiently.

Derek R Plunkett, AVP, Application Development, John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
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Credit: John Hancock

At John Hancock Retirement Plan Services our objective is to deliver solutions that help our participants achieve financial security.  In 2017 we will continue our focus on evolving our digital platform, providing more personally relevant advice and tools to our participants.  We aim to meet participants on their terms, whether that’s via our mobile app, our website or while speaking with one of our customer service representatives.  For example, individuals who interact with us on our website see a prominent feature called My Best Next Step.  My Best Next Step is an algorithm based tool that leverages our expansive data platform to provide simple and personally relevant recommendations to positively impact an individual's retirement strategy.

Additionally, we know how we develop and build our solutions is equally as important as the technology and software it is built on.  By continuing with our Agile and DevOps transformation, we will keep up with the competitive landscape, current regulatory environment and level of technology innovation without compromising quality.  Being able to work hand in hand with our business partners to rapidly take a concept from ideation to implementation is critical to our continued success.

James Swanson, CIO, Monsanto
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Credit: Monsanto

Our IT strategy is clear and simple: connection. In 2017, we’re working hard to create — and connect — a whole new digital experience for our farmer-customers. We will do this by building the data platforms and capabilities that enable each aspect of our business to better serve growers.

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