CIO Investment Strategy (with CTO of EY) - CXOTalk #738

CIO Investment Strategy (with CTO of EY) - CXOTalk #738

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The work of the CIO has always been very strategic  for every enterprise. We shifted 350,000 people   from 85% of the people being in the office on a  Friday to having everyone work from home on Monday   morning. That wouldn't be possible without a  significant technology infrastructure investment.  We're discussing technology investment planning  for 2022 with Nicola Morini Bianzino. He is  

the global chief technology officer at EY. You were a professional basketball player before   you became the CTO of this huge company. Yeah, I was. I was. It feels like   in another life now, right? I spent 15 years of my life   playing in the professional basketball league in  Europe. From there, I started my consulting career  

and then my last job, this one, as the CTO of EY.  Very different but also similar in some respects.  People talk about our modern work life as going  through different phases of their career but   going from being a professional athlete to  being a global CTO, that's a real shift.  I had to make a little bit of a jump, right? Was  I equipped perfectly when I started my consulting   career? Probably not, but I think sports  is kind of a microcosm of life in general.  I know it sounds a little bit cliché, but there  are lots of similarities in the way you approach   a sports performance and what you need  to do, for example, corporate strategy,   how you interact, teamwork, the fact that  you're trying to be an organization that strives   for a vision and ambition, which in sports  is like winning a game or winning a season.   In the corporate life, maybe it's to  achieve some specific performance target. 

There are similarities. There are, of course,  things that are different. I don't need to take   care, fortunately, of my body the same way I  had to do when I was playing basketball, but   the competition is out there no matter  where you are in the world. And so,   I think that was a great school for me. You're in a very competitive environment now   in enterprise technology. To start, give us a  sense of your role as global CTO, what do you do,  

and just a little bit of context about EY. EY, as you said, we're   about a $40 billion company. Our employee count  changes on a daily basis, actually, but we're   about 350,000 people. We operate in almost 200  countries, so a very, very large corporation.  We have four main businesses. • Tax is one, so tax consulting, and also  

we do a lot of tax prep work for our clients. • Assurance audit is our largest business.  • Then we have a very strong consulting practice  that has effectively three divisions. One is   specific on business. The other one is on  technology, and the third one is on strategy.  • Finally—I think is part of still  the consulting organization—we are   in a business called transaction, which is  focused on M&A, so a very, very large portfolio of   businesses across a complex environment globally. Of course, EY is a professional services  

organization. In your role as a global chief  technology officer, what does that encompass?  The way we have organized technology  at EY, effectively we had divided   into two areas which, when that decision was  made, I think it was very forward-looking.  We have an organization under my colleague Steve  George, the CIO, that is specialized in the   operations of the enablement technologies  that we use in the firm. For example,   our ERP implementations internally, our billing  systems, everything to do with productivity suite,   networks in the offices, and so on. Then I represent another part of the business,   which is connected to the growth. I'm responsible  for all the technology that generates revenue for   the firm. My job is to work with our business  organizations to build technologies that they  

need to deliver the services, which is very  interesting because I think it shows that   the future of technology in our organization  is made of these two different dimensions,   the dimension that is focused on operations  and another one that is focused on growth.  The other interesting thing, I think, for my  role is that I sit on the board of the firm,   which was a very important statement that our CEO  Carmine Di Sibio wanted to pass to the markets,   but also internally, the fact that technology is  so important that we have a representative for   technology sitting on the board at the same level  as the leaders of the business organizations.  Your part of technology is extremely strategic  to the firm. Obviously, as evidenced by the   fact that you sit on the board. That was the key message. I'm the  

first technologist, actually,  that sits on the board of EY   from the beginning of the firm. And so, that was,  of course, not about me. It was about the message.  We believe that technology is  a factor of production for us,   and so the same way that labor and capital are.  And so, that's why the message was that as we   launch our strategy for the 2020s was to underline  the importance of technology in that context. 

As you talk with your various clients across  many different industries, many different company   sizes, as you look across EY, how do you start to  break down the thought process of planning for the   investments that you make in technology or that  we, as business people, should make, in general?  Of course, this is something that  we have to deal with at EY a lot,   right. I have to speak to a lot of clients all the  time, and they always ask me the same question,   "How should I look at investments?" Honestly, I don't think I have figured   it out completely. [Laughter] But there are some  things, I think, that we need to take into account   as that thought process gets executed. The first one is that we always say that,  

but I think it's more true now than it was  probably five or ten years ago. We live in a   macroeconomic environment that is complex, super  dynamic. The pandemic is one element, but there   are also a lot of other things in the way. If you think about, for example, even   ten years ago, right after the financial crisis,  the markets experienced, I guess, a starvation   of the demand for goods and services. Now, the  problem is the supply of goods and services.  We live in a constantly evolving economic  environment, and so being able (these days) to   use a traditional approach to budgeting,  which is usually based on the fact that   IT is considered a function within an  enterprise on a 12-month lifecycle,   yearly lifecycle, it's not sufficient anymore. The market moves fast. The macroeconomic framework   throws unexpected things at us every day.  Inflation is rising, supply chain problems,  

and so on. We need, I think, all of us, to think  about how we deal with that level of complexity.  When I talk to a lot of my colleagues, they  all say, "I don't have the flexibility anymore   to be able to plan for an investment that  is two, three years down in the future,   so I have to do it almost on a quarterly  basis. Even on that quarterly basis,   I have to be able to adjust and constantly  evolve the direction with the business." 

The need for speed dynamism, I think, is calling  for a different approach than the traditional   approach to the budgetary IT function. Which, of course, then begs the question,   what is that approach? What we have done is that we've   been disciplined in terms of establishing the  dichotomy in the sense that, of course, there   are lots of operational costs that we have to deal  with every year. Those don't change that much year   after year, but we manage to set them in a place  where we can control them, we can manage them,   and most importantly we can forecast  what the impact is going to be.  Then everything that is related to growth, we  are treating it in a different way, meaning we're   shifting from a mindset focused on the function  of technology to the business of technology,   which means that our investments are very much  anchored on specific products that are embedded   in our service offerings. That means that we  are creating pro forma P&Ls for each one of  

the products that then will tell us if the product  is driving those benefits it is supposed to drive.  We went from a mechanism where we were allocating  – effectively, giving a check – to all the   business functions to do their own technology  development to forcing the business functions   to adopt a product-centric approach. In other to  get the funding, they had to show that there is a   product that they want to build. The product has  to be compatible with our technology platform.   And that product has to have its own business case  and lifecycle (like any other product). If the   product is not driving those benefits that it's  supposed to drive, we're going to terminate it. 

I don't think it's a particularly  genius approach or radically different,   but it's an approach that requires a lot of  discipline. But when you get that discipline   in place, I think the benefits are really great. Well, it seems like this approach would force an   alignment between the technology and the desired  outcomes. We all know the history of large,   failed IT projects where, in too many cases,  IT says, "Oh, we did this great project. It  

was on time, it was within budget, and a win to  the business." You said, "IT did this thing. I   don't even know what it is or why they did it." I have always had that kind of a little bit   of a problem with this concept  of the digital transformation.  

Not that we don't need the digital transformation.  Of course, every organization needs to become   digital, so that goes without saying. But the  way sometimes these initiatives are managed,   first of all, are open-ended and they're very much  focused on, I think, to find a good technology,   a cool technology that we want to adopt  but without really linking it with that   level of discipline to a business outcome. If you think about our services, especially   our jobs are very much judgment-based across  all of what we do, and they require a lot   of data analysis. They require a lot of  intelligence and expertise. And so, if we  

don't use technology properly to deliver those  services, we're going to be at a disadvantage.  But that kind of an understanding and awareness on  the business side, that link has to be in place in   order to be able to fund and develop products.  I think is something that not always is present.  As you work across multiple clients and you  see patterns and trends across the industry,   do you see a growing recognition or  awareness that this link must be there?  Absolutely. I see it, for example, as one  of the most sought-after skill sets in the   technology marketplace, funny enough, these  days. There are effectively two, I think. 

One is cloud architecture. Cloud architecture  is a hot commodity in the marketplace.  But the other one can be surprising. But  if you think about it, it's understandable,   is product managers. A good product manager  is critical, and so it shows that there   is more and more understanding and demand  in the market for this type of skill set.  Then everyone in the market, as well, talks about  platforms. No matter what business you are in,  

having a platform strategy is key. These types of discussions were very common   years ago, of course, in the technology  companies, but I'm starting to see that shift also   in other sectors. Let's talk about the   CIO role. Many of the folks who watch CXOTalk  are involved with IT. You've kind of laid out   a general set of priorities and approaches  but, as a practical matter, how does this   impact the work of the chief information officer? The work of the CIO has always been very strategic   for every enterprise. It's very important.  Sometimes there is not that full acknowledgment,  

but we all know. Especially for us, we are in  the position (for enterprise) how important it   is that the IT systems are working as expected,  especially if you think about the pandemic.  For us, we shifted 350,000 people from 85%  of the people being in the office on a Friday   to having everyone work from home on Monday  morning. That wouldn't be possible without a   significant technology infrastructure investment. But unfortunately, what happens in some companies  

is that there is still the kind of push of,  "Oh, yeah, but that's IT. It's a function," like   talent. It could be procurement and others. There is that kind of an assumption that   it's a function. It needs to be funded  as a function. I need, in that position,   as a CIO, more an administrator of outsourcing  contracts than a partner of the business.  To me, that is what is the challenge moving  forward is that we need to evolve and our role   of CIOs and CTOs in the enterprise to become  more and more partners of the business.  

That requires, in some cases, a different  skillset or an evolution of ourselves towards   that direction. But that's what effectively the  business needs. Much less they need the operator.  I think the operations, it's important, but in  a cloud world, I think those things are going   to become a little bit easier for us. Should take  less time. And so, we need to focus more on that   kind of support and partnership with the business. When you talk about the need for the CIO to be   closely aligned with the business, it seems  like such an obvious kind of statement. 

Yes. What are the obstacles, the impediments, or   the challenges that interfere with that happening? A couple of things. If you think even about the   title, the chief information officer, it's a  title that shows how do you use information   in a way that is strategic within the enterprise. This is happening at times. Sometimes it's not  

happening because I think we get bogged  down a lot by the operational issues.   Most of the CIOs that I know and work with,  they all have struggled with the same problem.  It's all good and great. I want to be a partner  of the business. I want to work with the business   to change and to evolve this enterprise but,  at the same time, you know what? I have lots   of tickets that I need to address for my ERP  systems or my network and security and so on.  We get dragged down into that endless cycle of  operations that subtracts time from our ability   to be dedicated to more strategic topics.  That's why we have split the function.  I don't deal a lot, fortunately,  [laughter] with operational issues.  

Steve does it with me. But that frees up my  time. There has to be that acknowledgment that   if you really want technology to be evolving as  one of the drivers for growth, we need to give   the opportunity to CIOs and CTOs to really work  in that space versus being dragged down by that.  I suppose also when there's an overabundance of  technical debt that has to be recovered, that   takes time, energy, and resources  away from innovation as well.  Exactly, so that's another issue. I've seen  organizations where up to 85% to 90% of the budget   of the year is consumed by technical  debt. This is a self-reinforcing  

issue because, every year, it becomes worse. What we have done, I can tell you what we have   done internally. I don't know if it's  the right answer, but it worked for us.  I went to the board. I said, "If we continue  with the growth of our technology," which is   a great thing, "we'll end up having to use  all our budget to pay for cloud consumption,   and so we will not have the resources to  dedicate to the build of new technology."  The board decided, "You know what? We're going to  change the way we budget for variable consumption   of technology resources." Instead of being funded  through the yearly budget, it gets distributed and   allocated based on consumption. And so, it becomes  a variable cost, but at least we don't have a  

disincentive to the adoption of technology because  we cannot afford to pay for the consumption cost.  I think this is a problem. It's common to a lot  of organizations. But I think the cloud can help   because it helps to variabilize a fixed cost. If you had to manage a data center, you don't   really have a lot of options. Of course, you can  pro-rata the cost across different indicatives,  

but it's much more difficult. With cloud  billing and economic models, I think that   becomes much easier. We are in a situation  where most of it is variable, so it depends   on the level of adoption of the technology itself. We have a great question coming in now from Wayne   Anderson. He says that the CIO role has  been changing so rapidly over the last four  

or five years. How does this evolution change  the nature of the relationship between the CIO   and the CTO to position the CIO  for success in 2022 going forward?  We talked about the CIO, but if you look at the  role of the CTO, I think there are major changes   there as well. Traditionally, at least in my  experience, the CTO has been always like sort of   a chief architect of an enterprise for technology. The CTO was the one to decide which kind of   technology we should use, not use, and so  on. A lot of the time that was available   was invested actually in software selection  or other types of activities specifically   targeted on architecture-related topics. I think, with the emergence of the cloud,  

what happens is that – at least this is what we  do at EY – almost by default, we revert to the   particular technology component that is available  to the main cloud that we have adopted. It doesn't   mean that we are a single cloud. No, we are  multi-cloud and hybrid cloud at the same time. But   if we are on one of the main clouds, by default,  if we had to do some AI work, we tend to use that   tool. If we need to do data work, we tend to use  the tool that that particular provider offers. 

That, I think, actually streamlines a lot of  the software selection process. There is way   less work that needs to be done in  terms of technology strategy in detail.  The role of the CTO becomes more of almost (I want  to say) an internal consultant for technology. And   so, it's more about the vision and where we want  to go versus should I use product A or product B.   That decision is kind of made already by the cloud  provider or the cloud stack. I don't want to use   this like a blanket statement, but it's that. If you think about that evolution of the CTO  

role, maybe you need also different  types of people in that position as well,   people that are more kind of truly at the  intersection of the business and technology.  We have a question from LinkedIn that touches this  precisely. This is from Anshuman Das, who says,   "Aside from hiring new talent, what is your  advice regarding closing the talent and skill gaps   with existing practitioners  in a technology organization?"  What we had done internally, it worked for us.  Again, it depends on the specific situation.  One thing that I noticed (when I came over in the  role) is that we had a cultural gap. We had a lot   of people that were really good at doing very  specific tasks, and they can operate very well.  We were incentivizing them based on  operational metrics. Can we meet the SLAs?  

Yes or no. If we can, great job. If we  cannot, we need to do something about it.  The world, I think, in the  future would be different.   We focused a lot on giving people an opportunity. The other thing that happened was happening before   this. We had a lot of specialists, so we had  DDAs, we had system engineers, and so on.  What I noticed is that people want to  learn and want to grow in their careers,   so what we did is that we offered two things. One was a tech MBA. We gave the opportunity to  

all the technology people. We had a collaboration  with academic institutions to learn more about   the business. We've been focusing on getting  technology people to move on the business side,   as well as giving them the opportunity  to learn more about the business.  The second dimension is that we came in and,  using the same approach that we had took for   our consulting organization, created a technology  career path that was much more defined. People   felt that, yes, they were great at doing  what they were doing, but also they had   the opportunity to grow. That empowered them (with  tools, capabilities, and so on) to actually grow. 

Of course, not everyone can make the leap.  Unfortunately, that is the reality of things.   We had very little attrition. Even these  days when technology talent is in dire   need for everyone, our attrition rates are really,  really low compared to the industry average.   I think we're doing something good about that. Another question from Arsalan Khan is asking about  

the role of enterprise architecture in all this. Yes.  I have to say, I love the questions that come  in from Twitter and LinkedIn. We jump around   a little bit, but the questions are great. I  encourage everybody watching; just keep going.  When the decision of going with one cloud stack  has been made as a primary one, the role of   enterprise architecture changes. It's not anymore  again to choose which API management layer should  

I use versus what AI tool should I use because it  comes kind of with the package of the cloud stack.  The role of the enterprise  architecture, in my mind, is more about   the creation of those templates, methods, and  tools that are specific to the enterprise. It's   less about "let me choose the tool." It's more  about taking the tool that is available and making   it relevant and applicable to our own environment. For example, we have an enterprise architecture  

function, of course, at EY. They're very much  focused on developing the service architecture,   the standards, and the developer experience  because we use a lot of third parties,   actually, to help us do the work, and so we  want to make sure that whatever we develop,   we develop according to those standards. There's been a little bit interesting,   a little bit the opposite of what happened  for some of the other functions. Much more  

inward-focused and really very much directed  towards the establishment of the standards and   best practices around development as we use tools  that are available through the cloud stacks.  We have yet another question coming  in from Twitter. This is again from   Arsalan. The impact of technology on changing the  roles – we were just talking about the roles that   people play – how will technology affect that? Yeah, automation, depending on how we define   automation. Without getting into too much of that  philosophical debate, I think, in general, even   if you think about probably advanced AI, which  is not quite there yet but it's getting there,   I don't think our job will be affected  that much. The tasks that we perform   within our jobs are going to be affected a lot. I'm a believer of the centaur model where you  

have technology plus the human together. I don't  think that technology will ever replace the human.  If I look at our business, I don't see a future  where we have robots doing audits or robots giving   advice to clients. That's not going to happen. However, if you don't use technology to improve   your judgment, then, of course, you're  going to be very quickly nonrelevant in   an economic system. If you are a consultant in  the supply chain, for example, and you don't use  

a decent analysis of the marketplace or flows  of trade and all of those kinds of things,   you're not going to give the right type of advice. I think it's really about combining the human and   the machine. And so, we will do different things  in the future, but our jobs will still be there   – 100%. We have another question on exactly   this topic from Twitter. Again, this is from Wayne  Anderson. Wayne Anderson and Arsalan Khan are on a   roll. They're really into it. Wayne wants to know  how are global skills going to need to change as  

we move forward, and what should folks do today to  break out of this ops view (the operations view)   in order to plan for the future and to contribute  in more innovative ways to the organization?  The global initiative is a challenge. I'm not  saying anything earth-shattering at this point,   but we truly live in a global world and  there is no alternative to global teams.  If I look at the pandemic, I sit in Silicon Valley  or I sit in Switzerland, it doesn't really matter,   right? I'm still working with the same team. One thing that is sometimes missing is the   ability, the cultural empathy. To me, in order  to create the global team, it's less about the   skills, the hard skills for technology. It's more  about the ability for people to be empathetic   and reward diversity, understand cultural  backgrounds so that we can be more effective. 

Still, I think it's a little bit  of a barrier to create efficient,   global teams. The ability of understanding  that whatever I say or I think, as I   perform my duties in the United States, it might  be read in a different way in Europe or in Asia.   That is still something that I think requires  from all of us to get more empathetic about that.  Then in terms of the operation, it's really  complicated. One of the things that we had done   is that it took quite a few months to do it, but  we went to the zero budgeting type of an approach   as well, first. Then we went to the zero budgeting  plus product approach, product-centric approach.  I think it happens to every enterprise. It  requires a lot of support from the top. The  

farther you go in, you had to justify again why  you need to pay for this particular technology.  Usually, the answer is that people say that  because it's sunk cost, right? "I spent,   in these accounts, for the last ten  years. Why do you want to stop now?"  But it's almost a band-aid, right?  At some point, we need to rip it off.  I know it's easy to say, very difficult to do,  but it's inevitable. I think zero-based budgeting,  

for us, has been helping quite a bit. It's very interesting to hear you talk   about technology as being a sunk cost  in that way because that's kind of the   nice corporate way of saying, "You  know, we've always done it this way,   and we're always going to do it this way  because we've always done it this way."  We discover things like, for example, we were  paying for supporting applications that had 2   users – 2 users in our context is nothing  with 350,000 people – or maybe one client. 

Sometimes, it was easier for us to go to  the client and say, "You know what? We   had discontinued this application, but we have a  new one that replaces it. It's time to move on."  I know it's not that easy. It's one of the most  difficult things that can be done in our jobs. But   the starting point is always that kind of  strong support from the business and then making   them understand that if we do that, then there  will be more money for the growth initiatives.  Chris Peterson asks, "With the shifting focus  and business model of the CTO organization   and the CIO organization, how does EY handle the  flow of new products from one to the other as they   become operational?" In other words, the practical  handoffs, how you work with the CIO organization.  First of all, we try not to have any  duplication. We went through an extensive  

analysis of making sure that, for example, when  we do a help desk, there is only one help desk.   It's managed in a consistent way, so we try  not to replicate that. Second, we tend to keep,   again, the revenue-generating technology  separate from the enablement technology.  There are touchpoints that happen. For example,  if you think about our presence on the Web. It  

could be both. It's revenue-generating because it  attracts customers. Or the CRM tool, for example.   It's revenue-generating and, at the same time,  enablement. When that happens, we jointly manage.  Actually, it happens less than what I thought (at  the beginning) because we built an organization,   the two organizations, as fit for  purpose, so again, avoiding overlap.  Whenever we had this sense that, "Oh, maybe we're  doing these things twice," like it happens when   you manage, for example, workflow tools or things  like that, we had to sit down and be very clear. 

We like to manage in a very disciplined way and  say, "No. If this fits this particular criteria,   it's with you. If not, it's with me." Then on top of it, we create an organization –   we borrowed the concept from technology companies,  so it's nothing new – called Customer Success that   effectively acts as sort of a broker or triage  mechanism. Whenever a demand comes in, the rest   of the business sees it as a technology request  that's going to the technology organization.  

But then, behind the scenes, we triage it  and send it to the appropriate team. There   is a one-stop shop for technology at EY. Actually,  behind it, we created teams to have different   characteristics because the work is different. We have another question from LinkedIn. Again,   this is from Anshuman Das. I'm getting this  question a lot from people, in general,  

recently. That is, can you share the role  of the CIO and CTO in achieving ESG goals?  First, we started thinking about the ESG as  actually different, and so we had to create   the sort of bolt-on that was specialized in ESG.  Then, very quickly, we realized that actually if   we are serious about ESG, it has to be everywhere. What we had done is that we have an organization,   of course, that takes the leadership in terms  of pushing the strategy and the vision that we   have around ESG, but then, from a technology  perspective, we have effectively equipped   all our main programs and activities with an ESG  dedicated person versus trying to do everything.  In some cases, I've seen it in the past where you  have the chief digital officer that acts on top of   everybody, which is difficult to make  happen efficiently because usually,   they don't have a portfolio. The other guys say,  "Why are you intruding in my business?" and so on.  That bolt-on approach didn't really work out  very well for us. We tried. That's why we're  

now reverting to an approach where whenever  we build something or we launch something,   one of the questions that we ask ourselves  is to say, "What is the ESG implication?"   from a conceptual perspective. Are we there yet (across the board)?   No, but I think we like this approach  much better than the previous one.  Essentially, you're trying to build in ESG  awareness and action into what your to-dos are.  The products versus having a team on  the side screaming and saying, "Oh,   you need to do more ESG." No, it's part of the  way we want to develop and deploy products. It has  

to be aware of that with those thematics as well. I suppose when you have an issue that you believe   is strategic, then that's the right  way to do it, as opposed to saying,   "Well, let's have a bunch of ESG activities."  No, we're going to bake it into what we do.  In my life, a lot of AI work, and when you  think about six, seven years ago when there   was this not picking up again of AI as the main  topic, one of the things that was happening   is that people started working on a lot of  use cases. But these use cases were kind of   disconnected from each other. They were not based  on this kind of "we want to have AI everywhere." 

This disconnect created a situation where  the business value return was not that great.   Some of these roadmaps looked like a lot of dots. I'm a believer, for example, for AI and data (but   also for ESG, these days) that those capabilities  have to be embedded. They have to native   into the products that we build versus bolt-on  with a bunch of use cases around the enterprise. 

Yes, it makes perfect sense. We have another  question from Twitter. Oftentimes, we   hear advice to technologists about understanding  the business, but what can we as technologists   do to help business folks understand our domain? My best example was that I show up and   the business guys say, "Oh, we need  to be more agile," as an example.  I said, "Do you know what that means,  though?" It's nice to say it, but it's not.  Basically, most of my business colleagues,  they said that they wanted agile,   but it was a unidirectional agile, so we want  the technology people to be reactive and do   whatever the business wants, of course, but as  everything had to be delivered by a certain date   with a certain scope and with a certain budget.  It was a combination of agile and waterfall. 

The people that were actually under pressure in  this model were the technology people because   the business said, "Oh, you had to be agile, so I  can change the requirements at the last minute,"   as long as you deliver it by Monday anyway, right? It wasn't really a fair deal,   and so what I did is [laughter] I bought  a bunch of books. I'm not going to say   because I don't want to advertise the book,  but it was a very nice book about product   management that I very much enjoyed reading. I gave it to all my leadership colleagues in the   board and in other forums. Then I said, "You guys  need to read about this because it's different."  Now, are we out of the woods? No, but at least  I think they're starting to understand that   there is another world out there, which is the  world of technology. The world of technology works   differently. When we deliver a piece of software,  it's black or white. Is it working or not?  Sometimes, in the business, especially in  a consulting organization, it's maybe more   shades of gray. But when you think about  that, in order to have that black and white  

outcome, you need a level of discipline and  understanding of the challenges of each other.  Have we solved the problem? No, but at least there  is a little bit of awareness. We spend time to   try to educate the business organization.  I think that is critical, by the way. 

Given all these things that we've been  discussing, what advice do you have   for chief information officers at this time  regarding technology and investment planning?  Sometimes we need to be bolder with the  business organization. Bolder means that   the role that technology has to  play these days, it's gigantic.  We had, in the '90s, the role of the CIO coming  together. A big year of PC systems and all of   that. But I think, these days, the way we  consume technology is really unprecedented   (without even having to go to the metaverse or  these things that are a little bit down the road). 

If you think about how do we interact with  technology and what businesses need to do to be   relevant, there is no business without technology.  And so, be bolder. Ask for the support.  I think, for me, personally, being elevated to the  board has been absolutely critical because at that   point it was a big statement that the firm made  that, "You know what? Technology is so important   that I'm going to put that person at that level." Sometimes, I still see CIOs that are buried   within a corporate structure too  deep. They don't have access.   They're not given the opportunity to be assertive. Lots of business organizations think, "Okay, yeah,   they're the IT guys." It's not the IT guys  anymore. Technology is as important as labor  

and as important as capital. If you don't do it  right, that to me is the biggest thing that we   need to do. Be bold, assertive, make sure, again,  the business understands how important this is.  I love that. If you're a CIO, be bold,   be assertive, take the bull by the horns – as  they say. What a quick conversation. A huge   thank you to Nicola Morini Bianzino. He is the  global CTO at EY. Nicola, thank you so much for  

taking time to be with us today. Thank you for having me, Michael.  Everybody, thank you for watching, especially the  people who asked such great questions. Before you   go, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, hit  the subscribe button at the top of our website,   and we will send you our excellent newsletter  so you know what shows we have coming up.  

Check out and we'll see you next time.  Thanks, everybody. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

2022-02-05 08:37

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