Tools That Allow Us To Turn Data Into Business Intelligence

Philip Garland, CIO, PricewaterhouseCoopers
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Philip Garland, CIO, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Philip Garland, CIO, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Steering transformational initiatives within your business environment that typically required IT

We have embarked on a multiyear business transformational journey at PwC, driven from the very top of the organization. One of our first, boldest steps is into the arena of regulated cloud computing. We’re shifting large, fixed capital expense to fluid operating expense. The future is exciting, improving gradually every day. We’re also getting out of the business of designing user interfaces.

Things you have done to elevate IT's relationship with the business

Our transformation efforts are about improving the technology user experience for our people and our clients. Based on that experience, we must simplify and align our business processes for our lines of service, and our internal firm services functions. Our transformation is focused on improving our business processes, and technology is a part of it.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

Our internal networking site, Spark, allows our professionals to stay in contact with their colleagues across the globe. It gathers information and best practices that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise. We're exploring ways to leverage cloud-based solutions into which we can plug a myriad of vendor devices and systems. Data analytics will allow us to provide a customized experience to each individual based on their usage history and our ability to leverage predictable analytics.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

I look forward to a tool or solution that allows us to turn data into business intelligence seamlessly across 158 countries. We'd also like to see a secure model put in place that addresses key regulations and compliance roles across the globe while allowing us to seamlessly share data. It’s a gnarly problem ripe for
innovation.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

PwC's mantra is to allow our people to work anywhere, anytime on any device. For us to achieve this, we will need to embrace the trends of social, mobile, analytics and cloud, to incorporate it into how we improve the experience for our people and our clients. Social media, mobile, cloud and tablets will be embedded in the way we plan to collaborate going forward. We will transform and improve our business model, focusing on process simplification, collaboration, talent, data and analytics and client experience.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

I was named US CIO in September 2012. My role as US CIO is focused more on enabling our business strategy, and developing a technology strategy to make it a reality. As a CIO, my role is to advise the business, respond quickly to the growing needs of our clients, while delivering continuous, incremental value as we implement the firm’s business strategy. My role as the CIO is also to ensure that our IT team is operating efficiently to enable PwC to be an early adopter of technology.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

CIOs need to play a more strategic role in the organization. The CIO role is no longer about running the IT organization, but providing a point of view to the business on what technologies can do for them. You also need to make sure that you stay ahead of technology trends and the future direction of your clients. CIOs, and any cutting-edge IT organization for that matter, need to be forward-looking.

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