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By Luke O'Brien, CIO, ISS Facility Services Australia & New Zealand
In light of your experience, what are the implications that technology implementation can make in terms of advancing your industry and upscaling the services that your organization provides?Being the CIO of an organization, my experience is that the implementation of the right technology in a systematic manner does help the company become more efficient and manage risk better. Importantly it has to be the right technology and to get that demands close partnering with the business so it is appropriate and practical. I think it can be too easy to push the wrong technology solutions on to a business. As a company, ISS Facility Services provides services like security, facility management, catering, and cleaning to large clients across the health, aviation, education, mining, and commercial sectors. For some of these sectors in particular, compliance and risk management is absolutely critical to ‘safe’ service. If things are not done properly, the consequences can range from user physical safety and health through to brand risk and insurance claims. An obvious example is if someone slips and falls in an area inside the hospital, which is not cleaned properly, exposes the hospital management to an insurance claim. A more critical and complex example is the serving of food to patients in hospitals. The food delivered at hospitals needs to be clinically correct with the right dietary requirements for each patient. In this scenario, technology allows us to control and manage all those risks much more effectively compared to the manual processes, which were in practice just a few years ago. Manual processes in risk management had proved inefficient, considering the possibilities for serious errors associated with them. Therefore, it is imperative for us to deploy advanced technology solutions to manage risk, compliance, and security. On the efficiency front, similar trends prevail in other industry sectors as well. All of these examples convince me that the deployment of the right technology needs a proper understanding of the demand in the market through surveys and data analysis, as well as the needs of our business. From an operational perspective, what are the significant challenges that CIOs face? For a CIO, most days first begins with addressing high priority operational challenges. My team of course help in this, but as we are close to the business, that also means we cannot insulate ourselves from the business! So first is operational priorities, then longer term planning and management. In general, the challenges we face are related to the industry that we are serving and our position on the technology curve. Technology is becoming more affordable and relevant to us, but we are going through a learning process and culture change to do it in a smart way and help users who might not even own a personal smart phone. We see part of this challenge through very high support desk calls from inexperience users on things like resetting passwords.
It Is Important For All Enterprises To Have Reliable Business Partners, Who Can Understand The Business Needs And Support The Operational Requirements