Emile Zafirov, CIO, Logistics Plus
Challenges in technology to meet needs of the logistics sector
Ability to integrate systems in a timely fashion, both internally and externally, and visibility are some of the biggest challenges we are dealing with. Many companies don’t have the luxury to work in one system – whether because they chose the ‘best of breed’ approach or for legacy reasons, or both. In addition, customers and vendors have their multiple systems and logistics service providers need to exchange information with a myriad of systems, in as close to real time as possible. Transparency goes hand in hand with integration. Providing end to end visibility over the customer’s supply chain with short times for integration at a reasonable price will be the one to conquer.
The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist yet
Big Data is upon us and many will say that it’s not the lack of data but lack of the right data that is a problem. I see a shortage of big data “masters” – not the analysts that pull KPI's out of textbooks, but the ones that find creative ways to formulate the questions that need answered by data. And the ones that work with the IT teams to help develop systems with analytics in their core and DNA.
Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment
The evolvement of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend and the inevitable BYOA (Bring Your Own Application) will continue to change the way enterprise IT works. People work on their own preferred devices, using their own set of applications and cloud services. They are finding their own ways to be most productive and IT needs to encourage that, to stop being the keepers of the old order. Our IT team is working to allow more flexibility while maintaining security and regulation compliance.
My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
Business demands more service provider attitude from their IT these days. Working for a company that provides services itself and customer satisfaction is paramount, this trend is even more pronounced. The business sees IT as a box full of switches that just need flipped: this can be frustrating, but it can also be a great motivator.
The role of IT and my role as CIO in particular has become one with a lot larger footprint. IT is not a partner to the business but expected to innovate at every stage of the process – from sales and relationship management through the last bit of service delivery.
Lessons learned as a CIO
Many of my peers come from technical background and as their role evolves, they struggle to let go some of their professional depth and see their hands-on skills accumulate some dust. Accept that you will be a mile wide and an inch deep.
Also accept that you will have to make decisions based on limited information and some will be wrong.