Over the past six months we have worked on searches for three CIOs in Mexico. It has given us the opportunity to probe into the minds of over 60 candidates from multiple industries in Mexico as part our in-depth interviews.
As part of those conversations we have asked what they see as the challenges ahead. CIO concerns in Mexico are two fold: Providing a better service for both internal and external customers is on the top of the list, with delivery and seamless execution a very close second. Infrastructure limitations remain top of mind for most of the executives we spoke to and it got me thinking. Is this the way in which cloud computing will take a prime position in the next 3 years for CIO strategy design and execution in Mexico?
I had the pleasure of being part of the creation of Intelligent Finance (www.if.com) and St. James Place Bank (www.sjpb.co.uk) from 2000 – 2002, where the design of a greenfield internet bank required many innovations that challenged the traditional IT banking. Having customer data in multiple systems, so the bank could manage mortgages, loans, credit cards, savings and investments was the norm. The innovation came from making a customer centric model, based on having the information in one “master” place (vs in every system), which all the systems accessed. This made possible the next innovation in banking in the UK, “balance netting” which in summary means, if you have a £300,000 mortgage and £50,000 savings, you only pay interest on £250,000. I have seen very few banks do this, as they have not been built from scratch in the past 13 years. This is one example of innovations which are over 10 years old but are still constrained by legacy systems.
The main task, we were told by CIOs, is how to design an IT strategy that challenges in-house legacy IT infrastructure. Which proven hardware, software, CRM, ERP platform do you choose? Do we go all-out cloud or balance certain elements? As always a clear business case and a very talented team working with the CIO is required to be able to quantify the tangible benefits and ground the intangible benefits, in order to invest wisely. An increasing number of companies are moving to the cloud by extensively planning and establishing an alignment across all business parts. No longer is moving to the cloud only spearheaded by small IT groups – increasingly, CIOs, CHROs and CFOs are getting involved in the process. Clearly, the ability to then “sell” the change to the multiple stakeholders, get the funding, and then manage the change throughout the organization is another competency required to be successful. Perhaps the biggest challenge in selling a new strategy is the newfound ‘expertise’ from users with opinions formed by consumer technology.
The “consumerization of IT”—defined as the use of technologies that can easily be provisioned by non-technologists—is a hot topic among CIOs these days. Today’s consumerization of IT trend is the culmination of a fundamental shift in the relationship between employers and employees—especially professionals—that began four decades ago. This shift has only now worked its way into the world of enterprise technology .
The challenge to the CIO is to deliver higher value with shorter timescales having less direct control with teams and suppliers scattered geographically throughout the world. We believe the corporate role of the CIO is more important than ever and shifting into a broader strategic figure leaving behind the in-house infrastructure manager paradigm and focusing more on integration and building collaborative relationships both inside and outside the organization.
About Jorge Davalos
Jorge Davalos is a Partner in Alder Koten’s office in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and leads the firm’s CIO practice. Prior to joining Alder Koten, Jorge was a partner with Amrop in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He has performed work in multiple industries Serving clients such as Viva Aerobus, Munters, Aceromex, Vorwerk, and Amway, among others.His professional experience also includes various leadership positions in strategy and business consulting with Deloitte, Vision Consulting, Ltd. and Business Design Associates.
About Alder Koten
Alder Koten helps clients acquire, develop and transition leadership talent through a combination of research, executive search, cultural & leadership assessment, and other talent advisory services. For more information about Alder Koten, please visit http://www.alderkoten.com/