CIO Strategy and IT Investment Planning in 2021 - CXOTalk #687

CIO Strategy and IT Investment Planning in 2021 - CXOTalk #687

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How should CIOs prioritize investment during  2021? To learn more, we speak with Bill Briggs,   Global Chief Technology Officer of Deloitte.  This is CXOTalk time number three or four?  Three. Three, I think. For sure three. Okay. For sure three.  Who knows, Michael. [Laughter] 

I told you, if we get to five, I expect the five  timers club, like Saturday Night Live, some kind   of a special celebration. It's great to be here. Well, you know, if we get to five, then that will   hopefully mean that we're out of this pandemic  and maybe we can get together and have a cup of   coffee, a beer, or something like that. Amen. In fact, the last time we spoke   was in March of last year, and it was  right before my last flight. I went from   a different city every day to within this ten feet  off of my office since March. Anyway – [laughter] 

Well, Bill, tell us about the Tech Trends report  with an emphasis on the implications or the impact   on chief information officers. It's the 12th year we've done   our Tech Trends research. We've always said,  "Let's take an 18- to 24-month view, so it's   pragmatic in its prognostication," so things you  can look at. Real examples of real organizations  

around the globe harnessing the technologies. The mission started with the CIO of the tech   executive just to help navigate through the chaos  – How much is happening? How much is changing?   – and help short-list the things that  really matter and you should take a look   at. It doesn't mean you always should invest.  Every organization is a different place.  At least have a deliberate response,  right? Doing nothing can be strategic   if it's intentionally undertaken. That is a tool to help a CIO have  

a different kind of discussion and spawn new  investments. It continues to be really useful.  In the last several years, especially this year,  the elevation of technology in the C-suite, in the   board, as made it so it's equally important to arm  the "business" (the rest of the leadership team)   to be savvier in technology, so use Tech Trends  as a bit of a guidepost of, "Hey, what questions   should we be asking?" Maybe more optimistically,  "What ambitions should we be trying to spark?"  What's great is, in this year, even  as the world turned upside down,   it hasn't dampened the enthusiasm to say, "We  need to invest for growth. We need to invest   for innovation." It's also, in a way, ended the  debate of whether or not technology really does  

belong in that top strategic frame. Absolutely  emphasize, underline – there's no question now.  When should we invest? How should we  invest? What has your research taught you?  The agility a lot of organizations were able  to show when they had to, including Deloitte's   own. We went from 300,000 people working at  client sites, working at delivery centers,   working from offices, to 100% being  remote/virtual over the course of 7 days.  Our CIO, as we tried to give him accolades for the  heroics, what was great is partially him saying,   "Listen. This was all the investments I've been  making and fighting for over the years paying  

off." Right? It wasn't like, in the week,  we miraculously were able to pull this off.  Also, the pace of our ability to go and stand  up the small business loans and the Payroll   Protection that went from policy to funding, and  we had to have it within weeks for banks to help   them process it. Now, Operation Warp Speed  and the vaccine, the ability for us to drive   change in a timeframe that would have seemed  impossible, we've challenged a lot of those   constraints. The flipside is, in this last  year, the ability for most client CIOs (tech  

execs) to focus—to just shut down everything  that wasn't critical and have that laser-like   focus on things that were needed to respond, to  recover, and now to thrive—that was empowering.  As you say, "When to invest now?" part of the  question is, how do you not lose the new muscle,   the new speed that, in this moment  of necessity, we've proven we can do   as we take on more? It varies sector-to-sector  depending on where you are in the recovery stream,   but we won't have that same luxury of shutting  down so much as we take on more and more.  I think many of the trends are kind of  in the heart of, how do we think about   the foundational investments we need, because we  know there's more to be done? We can dig into a   few of those if you want, but I just love that. There's a message of hope in what we've proven   we can do now and how important  it is. Now, let's go after it.  How can CIOs invest for innovation? We  look, historically, at the amount of money   that CIOs invest in innovation versus,  can we say, maintaining the status quo. 

Yeah, and one of the trends (we'll  start last and first out on),   core revival is its own trend. If you think a Tech  Trends report has to be a parade of shiny objects,   you might say, "Wow, that's an interesting  place to start." But this idea of, we have to   get out of the feeling of the sort of Damocles  hanging over us with our core systems that we   can't do the things we need to do to innovate  and grow, and the ability to elevate that into   a very business, very strategic conversation.  Including, how do we think about funding   it differently so the relationship of the  CIO and the CFO on, "Hey, how do we make   the necessary foundational investments and make  sure we've got a portfolio lens in investing in   the horizon, the things that are driving  adjacent transformational growth,   and not have the same expectations for ROI and  timing? Truly handle it as a portfolio mix.  That core, the story of the core like: How do  we advance the migration to the cloud? How do we   simplify a lot of the legacy systems  that are around us? How do we make them   open, interoperable, able to be the backbone  to drive more front-office, customer-facing,   new products and service offerings?  That is such an important conversation. 

I was just at a collection of board members  together with CIOs this week for CES.   We were talking about how  successfully has that been elevated   to understand why and to get support for what.  It was almost every hand went up saying, "Yep,   that's something that's on our agenda.  We're actively making investments in it." 

What I love is, you can't talk about  innovation and growth without having that.   In a way, the back office is the new front  office that you can't think about smart   factories and how do we automate drug discovery  and distribution without having some of the deep   work done and the foundation. But there's now (as there always   has been) the even stronger need to link the  ideas and innovation, plan and aspiration,   to what's actually going on in the business. It's not science fair projects   off in labs waiting for eureka moments. It's  the idea of intentionally sensing, scouting,   shaping strategy. We have a team that  all they do is engage with ecosystems,  

startups, VCs, PEs, and academia to be  able to bring ideas into the business.  More importantly, how do we incubate with the  goal to scale, not the goal to do a prototype   that is interesting but not useful?  [Laughter] Right? It's this intentionality   of the innovation process that has  to be rooted in a business problem.  Lead with need, right? That's the  missing link to a lot of innovation.   It's not interesting technology and potential  wizbangery. Let's identify an unmet need.  If we can imagine, then we can actually  cobble together a solution to do it right.   Again, not to pilot, but to production;  how do we really ramp it up and scale it?  What recommendations do you have for CIOs to do  this? At the same time, what are the challenges or   the headwinds that CIOs face when they attempt to  take on this type of role and set of activities?  The tech executive has to be seen as a part of  shaping that strategy. If the lines have been  

drawn and a CIO is nothing but the technology  voice of record and the operational expert   but the back office CIO, it's always going to  be hard to show up and be heard differently.  Part of this is to help elevate, "Hey,  as technology elevates the strategy,   so does the role of the technology executive."  That doesn't mean it's the dominant voice that   owns strategy, but it's a very active voice. Then the "how." One of the first trends in the   report this year is around strategy engineer,  which is about the chief strategy officer   setting up technology to help with some of that  sensing, scouting, and scenario planning. Also,   understanding that the innovation function of  understanding of what's coming next and how it   applies to your organization, your business,  your market, and then being able to craft   the right investments to go and prove it. 

We don't need PowerPoints and perspectives. We  need assets and progress. [Laughter] Progress over   process but, in that, there's an untapped need. Last year, we had a trend that talked about the   relationship of the CFO and the CIO and  how that's changing. Think about funding,  

allocation, scheduling, and that portfolio return.  I think, with the CSO is a really important way   to formalize the new normal. The technology  voice has to be an important part of shaping   the strategy and future of your organization. Bill, in order to accomplish these types of goals,   you need to have the right people in place, as  well as the right organizational environment.   You're really talking about, in a way, the  cutting edge of innovation for the CIO role.  I would say to a person, it was some  combination of team and culture.  

How do we continue to navigate through this time  we're in and whatever the new normal looks like?   There are actually three trends in the  report that hit different dimensions of   this that I think come together beautifully. There's one around the digital workforce   and rebooting the digital workforce,  which is, how do we think about   how people are engaging now,  especially with deep technologists?   How do we understand the flexibility that is  suddenly unlocked? How do we tap into that?   The ability to actually understand (at  a very personal level) how you work,   what motivates you, and spur some of the things  that we were used to in a physical setting   as far as connectivity. There are a ton of   interesting technology behind the scenes. But  then it also is about, what's the culture of  

embedding technology from education, tech-savvy,  tech fluency across the teams to the deep? How do   we actually help our people learn new technology  deeply like machine learning and neural nets, and   up to quantum computing? That one is really  interesting and it's really about the individual.  Then there's another that's Bespoke for Billions,  which you kind of have to decode what that title   means, but it's about the physical and the digital  with a heavy emphasis on work and workplace   and how the new configuration is going to still  have face-to-face as a really important element.   Instead of it being all of my workforce all of the  time in headquarters, it's thinking about, well,   what other types of space interaction  do we want to be able to cultivate?  Then you put it out into retailers and banks.  It has a client lens, too. How do we really   think about it? It's likely going to have  more of an emphasis on deep collaboration   versus individual work zone. Those two come  together and I think it could be interesting. 

We say there's a war on talent, but what are  the trenches that this war is being fought on?   How much we embrace this dynamic and  how much we create the infrastructure,   which is the physical infrastructure, the  technology tools, the incentive talent model   structures, all those that come together.  What used to be a stocked fridge full of   craft beer and food suddenly might become the  flexibility to work wherever you can with the   places that you come together with being  something completely unique and different.  Then the third one, which is near and dear to  my heart, is the DEI tech. How do we actually   create tools and programs to make progress on  something that people respect as fantastic,   as such a part of the dialog? But then how do  you take that ambition and translate it into   actionable plans and progress?  That's the third flavor.   I think those will come together to  define the workforce of the future. 

Simone Jo Moore (on LinkedIn) makes the  comment that even in an agile organization,   she says there's effort and deep work required.  Sometimes it seems that organizations don't   understand this and their attempts at  agility are really just on the surface.  Agility, as the goal, is a fantastic thing. That's  the rallying cry without real change that happens,   that is common, or an over-indexing onto a  specific dogma: Capital A, Agile, the manifest,   and what that needs to look like. The way I measure it is, how do teams   come together and how are they working beyond the  boundaries, the walls, the silos? If I walk into a   scrum team and I ask, "Who is from the business  and is from IT?" and they look at me like,   "You just spoke nonsense," that's a good sign. The other thing is people get over-enamored  

with the tools themselves to drive  collaboration. There are pluses and   minuses of all the different collaboration  productivity, engagement tools out there.  To me, this is literally about culture,  about talent model and incentive paths.   If our goal is agile—we want to do things  faster, we want to get to value faster,   we want to understand to potentially pivot or  stop what we're doing—that's very different than   some rigid ceremonies and tool-based processes. Thanks for your question. I love it.  Where should CIOs be investing  during this coming year?  The trinity of cloud, AI, and cyber  still hold true. There's a piece in the  

report (upfront) around macro forces. We try to  just talk about the biggest thing that matters   now, new, and next – so that  combination of cloud, AI, and cyber.  Part of this, back to the cultural,  are the investments that we need to do   to be able to take full advantage of those  macro forces. DevOps evolved into DevSecOps.   We have a trend this year about MLOps—because it's  really bringing together cloud, cyber, and AI—to   say we expect the solutions that we're  building, the things we're bringing to market,   they have flavors of those, all three. How do  we actually be intentional about the lifecycle,  

about the pipeline, about how people  work, and make that something that   can be a bit democratized, more people can  participate, and we can actually industrialize,   so we have automation, tooling, controls,  and policies built into the end-to-end?  Take the full potential of  cloud, AI, and cyber, and then   make it real into this one-two punch. MLOps is  the embodiment of DevOps, DevSecOps, and MLOps.  Then there's another trend around the machine  data revolution, which is the data management.   How do we get our arms around ingesting,  classifying, managing, and governing data,   and data that is coming from a lot of different  sources we never really worried about before:   sensors, video and audio, image, and third-party? But then also,   Michael, the dirty secret of data management over  the years is, there's always a bias that there's a   carbon-based lifeform who is the prime actor  we were trying to make this data ready for.   Make it consumable, understandable by humans.  Increasingly, there is a lot of data where the  

primary actor is going to be a machine. It turns out, the structure we need to   make sense of it is different. It doesn't  mean the human element isn't important.   We have to be able to explain and make  transparent the decisions we're making in AI. 

It's been something that's been a challenge  forever. It's no longer a choice. We've   got to invest in that core data. If the first one  is cloud, AI, and cyber (in this DevOps, MLOps)   to be able to say, "We have the engine  to go take advantage of those forces,"   this one of data management and that  core needs to be top of the agenda.  Now, just humor me for one  second. The other piece is the  

horizon next that we think is going to matter   if not now then really soon. 5G and Edge, not from  a consumer, "I can download the entirety of the   Sopranos in 30 seconds," – that's interesting,  especially once we start traveling again – but   the protocol and the enterprise connectivity that  allow us to do things we could never do before   at an individual product level, at a facility,  or a fleet. 5G and Edge has massive potential.  Hardware-driven AI supercomputing has massive  potential. That's here and seeing great advances.  Advanced robotics, depending on  your industry, physical robotics,   and moving in and out of a confined shopfloor,  how does that translate from drones to   autonomous fleets and vehicles? Then quantum. We've got teams deeply   inventing, investing, and incubating quantum  computing, which is a little bit further out   than the other ones I just said, but it's going to  be real, especially in things like drug discovery,   portfolio management, and financial services.  Those are just the easy ones that we can say,   "Hey, we recognize the types of problems  it's ideal for from today's paradigm. We  

can apply it to quantum." There'll be a whole set of   new use cases that get invented that wouldn't have  been possible without it. It doesn't mean quantum   replaces cloud, replaced distributed assistance,  but it means it's a really important, new tool. 

That last category of all of those emerging  things, you as a leader need to be confident in   what's real now, how important it might be  tomorrow, and then back-cast in what level   of investment is appropriate. That might be in  your own shop or it might be making some really   important strategic partnerships with individual  technology providers, firms like Deloitte,   startups, or elsewhere. But how do you arm  yourself so you're not beholden to the opinion of   product marketing [laughter] hype-cycle? This is the week of CES, so you see a lot   of headlines that never see fruition.  You don't want handwaving potential and   rhetoric. We need to get to real concrete,  what matters, and what do you do now.  Bill, it seems very easy, in a way, to talk about  technology investments because it's so concrete.   But realize the benefit of those technology  investments also requires investments in   talent, in organizational structure, and  resiliency. Maybe talk about those issues with us. 

I would say the scarcity of engineering  architecture, and then specialists in those   emerging areas that are coming, are real.  Part of it is, how do you think through   recruiting, the beacon you have, of how  important technology is to your business,   and how that's showing up? If it  continues to be kind of a back-office   operational excellence kind of  posturing, it's going to be hard to get   any of the people that you need. You also have a lot of   talent on the books already that probably have a  deep interest in exploring some of these spaces.   How do you harness that? How do you shape it? In Deloitte, we call them the Guild Programs.  

It was an idea over a scotch one night and asked  the team to come up with a better name. It was   structured after the medieval guilds to say,  "For topics that we know we need more people,"   so from neural net, deep ML, to cloud-native  development, to now blockchain and quantum, "it's   the clubhouse of people that are interested." They might not have any background or expertise,   and they might be doing something  completely different in their day   job. They might be a tax professional. They  might be someone in our infrastructure group,   in our internal IT group. But they let them raise  their hand and say, "I'm a quantum enthusiast." 

Then how do we guide them to becoming a  guru: certification program and experience?   I think that's something that every  organization could try to co-opt.  I mentioned tech-savvy, tech fluency before.  How do you raise, especially in the business?   How do you get people understanding why  this matters and how to lean in and help?  People throw around "ecosystem" as a lazy  word, but it's a really important one.  

I think it was Bill Joy (years and years ago)  who said, for Sun, "No matter who you are,   more smart people don't work for you than  that do." He probably said it more poetically   than that, but that still holds true. How do you tap into, instead of thinking   about vendors, thinking about partners? How do  you think about non-traditional relationships?   It could be consortia. It could be  co-investment. You need to tap different—  Then once you're thinking about it, like in  Deloitte, it used to be a behavioral interview   and a case interview, and only certain  schools with this GPA with these majors.   For a lot of our roles, we were shifting to, "I  want to see your GitHub repository. I want to   know what you can do, not what you've heard." It means going to different campuses. It means  

going to different potential sources of talent. Then, once they're here, how do you make sure   you're celebrating that culture? Even if you  can get them, getting them to stay and flourish,   it needs to be a core part of what  you value and how you show it.  The @CXOTalk Twitter account, Lisbeth Shaw,  asks this very good question. She says,   "The report identifies diversity,  equity, and inclusion as a prime area.  

These are not technologies. How do they  factor into CIO investment strategies?"  They're a key part of innovation. We've  done study after study to prove that   getting diverse actors helping shape innovation  agenda absolutely pays off in every kind of way. 

The point of the report is to show tools that  can be used, so we're not doing a one-off annual   report out on diversity of workforce.  Actually, to be able to track, nudge,   and shape the behavior we want from team  composition to making sure we've got   a challenge board on AI models that are  looking for bias (conscious or not).   So, it tries to take something that's really  important and shine a light on some technology,   some tactical things we can be doing to  advance the mission and also just elevate.  If we believe tech and innovation  are at the heart of the strategy,   then doing it without a diverse team is going  to be suboptimal in every day. The flipside,  

how can we use tech to make a real dent in  something that's been systemic for way too long?  We have another question from LinkedIn. Jennifer  Cox has a very specific question. You can see,   I try to prioritize the questions that come  in. Oftentimes, they're great. Jennifer Cox   says, "What does the future of AR (augmented  reality) look like? Will it continue to grow?"  If you look in the report, there's a nice  what looks like a Star Wars opening crawl   of the 12 years of tech trends research. At the  top, we categorize them in these macro forces.  One of those macro forces is digital reality.  That's where we put AR and VR and mixed reality.   Those continue to advance. The technologies  themselves mature and new form factors evolve.  The broader definition includes conversational  voice, so voice-driven interface.  

It includes computer vision, so vision  systems that can actually watch a   production line and see if there's a defect. That bigger category, we're beyond bullish on.   It says, how do you bring the  ingredients together? By the way,   they're probably going to be built along with  AI and cloud, but to think about different   experiences and different engagement patterns. For AR, there's huge potential in field service   to be able to help guide repairs, to help  do diagnostics beyond what an individual   maybe has been certified in. It's something we  love, AR from an actual sales and marketing.  If you look back last year, Deloitte had the U.S.  Open golf tournament where you could actually   have the course AR with the Android/iOS device  on your coffee table and see the layout of the   holes. As you click in, you see a visualization.  It's just a different way to experience the event. 

There's a ton of potential  individually. That collective,   which would include more than just the spatial  computing and devices, were beyond volition.  Let's go to another question from LinkedIn.  Simone Jo Moore not only likes your guitar—  Yeah. [Laughter] [Laughter]   So, that has not gone unnoticed.  She actually wants you to play, but   we'll leave that up to you. Simone – oh, okay. Read your question and see if I can just have  

something strumming in the background. All right. I love it. Okay.  [Playing guitar] Simone asks about—  [Continues playing] No—  Go ahead. You go.  No, no. Go. You ask. [Laughter]  I didn't mean to interrupt you. Yeah. You didn't. No. All right. Simone asks about  

emotional AI and ethical AI. "The ethics are so  sticky, she says. "Do CIOs need to be concerned   about this as they're thinking about investment?" I think that emotional AI is a great segue   into this broader symbolic AI, what  we call exponential intelligence,   and where we're seeing this new. How we do layer  in not just who you are in the content of what   you've done in your relationship, but also (in  some way) to understand emotional state, either   through cameras that can see from your facial  expression, to if you have sensors and things?  There is a ton of potential in that  space. Call it emotional intelligence.   Now, the question of where you draw  the line is really important there. 

That ethics, we have a broad category we call  risk. Security and privacy is a clear line.   Regulatory compliance is a clear line. But then  this ethics and morality of "Just because we can,   should we?" and what's our obligation to our  people, to our community, to our customers,   to our society? That's the  question of our day, and I think   that might be a place that you continue to see  brand lines being drawn on their position there.  Tactically, like I mentioned before  around DevOps, DevSecOps, and MLOps,   embedding that in the thinking of investment and  opportunity is needed. We've got to create some  

guideposts. We've got to create some policies. Ethics, you can't solve for ethics. You can   explore, understand, and commit yourself,  but there's never going to be black and white   like there are for regulatory compliance.  Security and privacy is a lot easier to do.  Okay. [Playing guitar] 

Go ahead. Go. [Continues playing] No,   I was going to put it away, Michael.  We can't do this. [Continues playing]  Okay. I used to play Black River for my kids. It  was like a lullaby. My youngest just got a vinyl  

for Christmas and I made sure she had a Beatles  album as a part of the – yes, yes, yes. Okay.  All right. The role of the CIO in terms of  customer experience, any thoughts about that?  If you follow through from before  of the data investments needed,   so much of the customer experience will continue  to be predicated on understanding of the customer.   It's shocking how many organizations don't own  their customer master or are intentional about it.  I think this idea of, how do you help, as we're  thinking about data, importantly, from a product   service offering customer lens, have that in the  fore. Then help understand those unmet needs.  I think that the biggest challenge with a lot  of technology investments is, we start with   the institutional inertia of how we've always done  something. Then we say, "How do we take technology  

and make that better?" but the same fundamental  thinking applies. RPA continues to be a great   source of investment, but if you take an  inefficient process and you put a bot on it,   you've weaponized inefficiency, in a way. The real opportunity is to say, "Hey, look. Let's   take the combination of computer vision and AR,  VR, MR, and personalized dynamic experiences   powered by AI, and then think about what a new  hospital or doctor experience would look like   – fundamentally different than today."  We wouldn't go and replicate the same   set of things. We could do them completely  differently. In fact, we're seeing it happen   with remote medicine taking off this last year. You have to challenge yourself to say, "Okay,   here are all the ingredients." Maybe this  is the kicker for the Tech Trends report.  

They're all ingredients that we can use to either  cook the stuff we've always done a different way   or come up with entirely new recipes that are  going to surprise and delight customers and/or   meet new needs that are unmet and/or reinvent how  business models, industries, how work gets done.  I'm not, Deloitte's not, our team is not  that interested in the former. There's some   value to be had, but there's a pretty low  ceiling on the value you can have in that.   It sounds cliché, but how do we  transform __________? Fill in the blank.  Okay. Government,   supply chains, finance, what digital business  models mean to traditional companies? Anyway—  Well, we have another question from LinkedIn on  this topic from Marguerite Johnson. Marguerite  

asks, "Does the report talk about digital?"  I assume she means digital transformation   in the context of customer experience.   I'm very glad she asks that because  that seems to be an important topic.  Part of the joy and the challenge of doing a  report year-after-year, sometimes when you've   covered something and it feels like it's still  complete from what you covered in the past,   you don't bring it forward. There's a through-line  that would be the digital transformation,   like, here's how we apply these  things into something more. 

Two years ago, we had one of the  trends specifically on demystifying   digital transformation. One of the important  messages is not just customer and consumer.   It includes the hooks into the back- and  mid-office. They're all still out, I think.  You can tell me if I'm being flippant, but  we didn't make it a chapter because it's a   through-line theme. We've done it as a spotlight  a couple of years ago and it holds true. So,   if you can't find that, just hit me on  LinkedIn. I'll send you a link to it, for sure. 

What advice do you have for CIOs right now? We have a moment now, because of this last year,   where there's a willingness to—I said "elevate"  before—rethink the role of technology.   There's a desire. We did a study with the Wall Street Journal asking   100 CEOs who they were looking for to help them  shape their technology agenda and strategy.   Forty-percent was the CIO, the tech executive,  which was the largest response by far. There's  

this opportunity and, I'd say,  an obligation for us to step up.  I've never experienced a time when the  things that were always sticking points—of   those core investments, the data, the things that  have been hanging over us for so many years—that   there's a willingness to take a fresh look and  say, "We need to invest for real this time."   And so, you've got these great stars aligning  of leadership need, a willingness to invest,   and a willingness to finally puncture the bubble  or the reality distortion field that we've been in   that those things didn't matter, they weren't  holding us back, and do something about it.  Part of it, though, for CIOs and tech execs is,  we have to tell the story of how we want to show   up differently and we need to help inspire. I use  that word very intentionally. We need to inspire  

that agenda – the good and the bad, the hero's  journey of innovation and growth, and the hard   reality of the changes we have to make. I'm emphasizing technology, but the culture   through-line is huge, the talent through-line is  huge. We have to solve for both and you can't just   pretend to chase the upside, the innovation  growth hero story, without actually taking on   the responsibility and linking them together. [Laughter] I used to say, "Core modernization   and data management is like paying to replace  your plumbing. It has to be done. You don't  

want your walls to fall down because of  leaking but, man, it's not something you   look forward to when you're budgeting for the  year." How do we put some hot tubs [laughter],   some steam baths, some saunas, and some  waterslides in as well, along the way?  How should CIOs tell this story, this  inspirational story? It's also aspirational.   I also wonder how many CIOs, quite frankly,  have the chops to execute beyond the story.  Part of it is just being able to   actually quantify some of the things that  they're all over. They just don't roll up  

in a way that makes a through-line, a narrative  that the rest of the organization can understand.  Just positioning existing spend into  some categories to better show how   because the tension is, we spend too much money  and we don't get enough out of it. Well, let's   actually show you what we're spending on. Let's  quantify technical debt. Let's try to put a dollar   amount on the complexity, the pain, the cost of  maintenance that we all know is real but it never   shows up in a line item, so it holds us back. It's friction and gravity that we can't   quite get our hands around. Actually measure it.  It doesn't have to be precise – just directional.   It's funny how few organizations  actually have a tech strategy   written down to help be their walkaround  narrative with those pieces, starting with   what we're doing today and having some kind of  picture of what we should be doing tomorrow. 

It's not meant to be a commercial of, "Call  Deloitte to help create that tech strategy."   That's not the point. It's, can you tell  the narrative of the value you're creating?  Ultimately, what you want is to shift from, "Hey,  tech is something we have to constantly fight   to squeeze the budget." A few of our clients  will say, "Your technology investments are the   best return on capital in the entire organization  portfolio, more than any of our treasury function,   more than any of our new business lines, more  than any of our marketing spend. We can show you  

how the technology investment has real return  and you should be in the business of giving   us more, to do more." Arsalan Khan, on Twitter, makes   the comment that when technology is implemented  well, it's scary for the status quo, but that's   a good thing from an innovation standpoint. I used to say the definition of AI is whatever   we can't imagine computers doing and it evolves  every day. You're right, technology seems like   magic. I'd switch out the   "allowing us to do things fundamentally  differently and reinventing" from the scary bit of   "and what do I do now? Where does the carbon-based  lifeform fit in this silicon-based normal?"  One of the emphases we have is the age  of with – not W-I-D-T-H, but W-I-T-H.  

It's this idea of augmenting, shifting work from  rote repetitive tasks that nobody wants to do   into something much different. I think that's another obligation.   Go back to ethics and morality. How do we  think about our people and their future,   purpose, passion, mission, employability? The best  organizations are making dramatic investments in   technology and they're giving a path for  their people to be a part of that journey.  What do some of these things  really have to do with the CIO?  The CIO should be a voice of this  entire conversation. The question of,  

"Is it as a champion? Is it as a strategist?  Is the CIO showing up as an architect   of them?" it might differ depending on the top,  the mixing board we're talking through here.  If you want to see technology, the trends  be individual, piece-part technologies,   that macro tech forces view is a good one  and we've got different lenses to just track.  I think what you see is, these topics are more of  an abstraction and derivative of the individual   tech advances to say, "How do we harness  them collectively?" The CIO needs to be one,   again as not the sole owner of that agenda,  but they should be looked at as the leader that   they are. They are the technology leader of the  organization. How do you show up and represent?  Just a final thought on that,  Michael; the other piece. I know   we covered a lot of ground and none of my  clients are taking on all of this at once.  

These are all places that potentially  could be right for opportunity.  My favorite quote of all time is Lorne Michaels  from Saturday Night Live, the producer of Saturday   Night Live. It's, "We don't go on because we're  ready. We go on because it's 11:30." Right?  Live from New York. It's Saturday Night.  If we've got a script, if we've got a set,   if we've got a host, we're going. What COVID has given us is a bit of urgency  

to that focus bit. We've seen so much get  done, and so how do we create that kind of   impetus going forward? My second favorite quote is Duke   Ellington. "I don't need time. I need deadlines." You can maybe imagine I might be a bit of a   tyrant to work for sometimes because it's,  let's make bold ambitions and go after them.  

We can plot. We can roadmap. We can plan. We can  strategize. Ultimately, it's all potential energy   until you actually do something, so let's go. Bill Briggs, thank you so much for   taking time to be with us today. Thanks, Michael. Great to be here. 

Everybody, we've been talking with Bill Briggs,  Global Chief Technology Officer of Deloitte. You   can find the Tech Trends 2021 report. We'll put  a link on the CXOTalk site or just search for it.  We have great shows coming up. Before you  go, subscribe to our YouTube channel and   tell your friends. Hit the subscribe button  at the top of the CXOTalk website so you can   get our really good newsletter. Thanks a lot, everybody. I hope you   have a great day. Check out  and we'll see you next week. Bye-bye.

2021-01-26 12:09

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