Today, technologies are those that enable Digitally Driven Business—social, mobile, cloud and analytics. These technologies clearly aren’t new, but the extent to which they are leveraged within businesses varies. Epicor is making the pivot towards enabling these technologies internally and externally in our ERP and other products.
Generating Current Technologies
Based on past trends, organizations today are generating and collecting a significantly larger volume of structured and unstructured data. The ability to mine data and use it more effectively to drive and improve business decision making and predictive analytics is, and will become, increasingly important.
I think technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing offer tremendous promise for manufacturers, among other industries. However, the vast majority of manufacturers won’t be first-movers in adopting these technologies because many—particularly small-to-midmarket manufacturers—don’t have the IT infrastructure and resources to evaluate and implement them (yet).
Cloud adoption continues to be a general trend across many organizations and industries. The value proposition for Cloud, particularly for small-to-medium size companies without a large IT staff, makes it an attractive alternative to on premise models.
Role as CIO
Historically at Epicor, IT was seen as a back office function. When Joe Cowan, our CEO, joined the company a couple years ago, he recognized IT is critical to the company’s success and future growth—particularly growth of our SaaS and hosted offerings. My role now reports directly to him and IT is closely tied to the company’s strategy and direction.
My focus, and I think the focus of many CIOs, is on innovation, meeting customer needs, and providing high quality customer experiences. It’s the balancing act of Bimodal IT—ensuring you are meeting the existing service delivery expectations of internal and external customers, while driving the adoption of new technologies and capabilities into the organizationin an agile way. Both “modes” are equally important.
As Epicor continues its growth as a cloud-first provider, the IT organization is putting significant focus and execution on providing high quality customer experiences and continuing to drive innovation.
Tuning and Elevating IT's Relationship With The Business
When I join the company a little over a year ago, we had 28 data center globally, no standard operations model, and business leaders owning and managing their own customer-hosted data center environments. We decided to create and are implementing a global data center and hosting operations shared service function, reporting into IT. The implementation of the new shared service organization includes consolidating our global data center footprint to 8 (from 28) over 24 months, standardizing our infrastructure, implementing consistent infrastructure and application monitoring, etc. My internal business partners can get out of the business of managing technology, hold IT accountable, and focus on growing their business.
Security Issues that Demands Attention
Data breaches or security incidents are almost daily occurrences in the news. The role of a CISO in partnership with the CIO is critical. At Epicor, we have a highly experienced VP of Global Security and associated team of security and business continuity professionals who report into me. I feel strongly that security needs to be a fulltime focus in our global company, particularly given our position as a Cloud and Hosted provider, as well as consumer of many cloud services.
At Epicor we’ve made a significant investment in security over the last 12 months—focusing on tooling, monitoring, internal and external scanning, establishing a Global Security Operations Center, and building and bolstering our business resiliency and redundancy across sites and systems.