Innovate Digital Services To Accelerate Business Growth and Opportunities

Scott R. Carl, CIO, Parsons
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Scott R. Carl, CIO, Parsons

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014

Creating and maintaining an environment that is conducive for collaboration with our businessinterests worldwide is a challenge.With the fragmentation of information sharing across business ecosystems, collaboration requires adopting tools that conform to those of our partners, orchestrating work processes by moving information out of silos, addressing computing performance on a global playing field, and providing a cyber security umbrella that guarantees confidentiality. The rapid pace of advancing technology in the areas of data analytics, cloud computing, mobile computing, and social networking make collaboration a continuously moving target.

Expectations from technology providers

With regard to Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) tools to create 3D infrastructure models, there should be better data integration and visualization tools that aggregate data feeds and allow end-users to analyze the information for their discipline-specific needs. In addition, there should be integration of cloud computing solutions with network end-point performance acceleration technologies to manage large datasets across the enterprise.

Solutions that would make my job easier

The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry does not have a unified, enterprise resource planning solution that federates the disciplines that manage designbuild-operate activities for large capital projects. Compounding this lack of uniformity, many projects today use a non standard set of tools with non standard data models. Solution variability is also accelerating due to the adoption of cloud and mobile technologies. The pressures have never been greater on IT departments to independently integrate the many point solutions required to deliver all aspects of a major capital project.

"Create an IT roadmap business strategy, and practice sound IT governance and project management to deliver projects and services"

Trends impacting enterprise business environment

Cloud computing will be the corner stone for our business in the near future. The cloud paradigm allows us flexibility in tailoring custom solutions while achieving faster results to meet project requirements. Services such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (laaS) will play a bigger role as we move on. We are eager to explore the advantages of Storage as a Service (StaaS) used in tandem with edgecaching technology to solve file access latency issues experienced by our global workforce.

Changing role of CIOs

With changing times, my responsibility as CIO has evolved into innovating new digital services to accelerate business growth into new and expanding markets and geographies. In addition, securing the integrity of our intellectual property, sensitive information, and our brand requires equal priority and focus. Ultimately, my role must respond to the major forces of change that include social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies, which collectively call into question every device, system, and process that IT has implemented over the previous years of my tenure at Parsons. My role has changed to include taking on direct business line responsibilities, negotiating competing priorities, and managing change across the business.

Lessons learned and advice to fellow CIOs

Of the wealth of lessons learned, I will mention those that stand out: align IT services and solutions to business services, provide cost show-back for all services rendered, compare internal IT service costs with external providers to  stay competitive, create an IT roadmap based on the multi-year business strategy, and practice sound IT governance and project management.

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