JOHN APPLEGATE, GLOBAL CIO, KPMGINFLUENCE OF EVOLVING IT1. What do you think are the biggest challenges to CIOs in these present times?For years the CIO community has talked about how we need to be aligned with business leaders. Rather than just taking orders from the business leaders, we felt that we needed to have a seat on the Board-- that we needed to be involved in discussions about strategy and how technology can best contribute to business growth. Over the past few years, some of us have had some success in elevating the conversation between the business and technology but it seems that now, with the accelerating pace of emerging technology disruptors, the business is more interested in pulling IT to the top table as they now agree that they have a huge dependency on technology for their future success. While this is great, it presents a challenge because we are not always ready to step up to that level. We need to really up our game to successfully shift from order takers to business enablers.2. How has your IT operating model changed during the last five years especially in the case of Data Integration and Management?Over the last five years, the business's reliance on data has been driving the evolution of our traditional model. Five years ago we were focused on the fundamentals of developing, delivering, and supporting major enterprise level IT--networks, messaging, security, practice management systems, and the like. Moreover, we were focused on cost effectiveness, outsourcing, and reducing duplication across the enterprise--all the traditional things that CIOs deal with. Currently, we are working with the business to figure out how to use the data entrusted to us as data brokers to provide value to our clients. But this doesn't happen overnight; we need to reposition the With its headquarters in Amsterdam and servicing 152 countries, KMPG is a professional services company provides services in financial audit, tax, and advisory.CIOINSIGHTStechnology organization, introduce new structures and ways of working, along with new skills and capabilities. We need to be fully integrated with business units to understand how technology can help them to achieve their goals.3. How are you addressing the need for rapid delivery in your organization?Speed of delivery is a tough topic. The enterprise technology group is organized around the need to deliver big systems consistently and cost effectively. That does not translate into speed. In today's world the big value is in small hits, quickly developed tools that meet an immediate business need ­ even if they have a short shelf life. We're now in a world where we need to develop and deliver in a matter of days. We need to change our structure dramatically to accomplish this while still providing the foundational IT that is needed to allow our international network of member firms to work together.We have engaged the KPMG IT Advisory practice to help us to define what we need to look like so that we can deliver at the pace that is required. While this work is still underway, it is safe to say that our new world order will include two separate approaches in IT. You can't crack different nuts with the same hammer, so we'll have one team dedicated to the development of business enablers and another that will look after foundational IT. This is two-speed IT: one side will work at the speed of business and the other will focus on cost effective delivery of underlying technologies.John Applegate
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