Manjit Singh, CIO of The Clorox Company, has successfully led enterprises through scale and transformation. Previously he was an executive at Box and CIO at Las Vegas Sands and Chiquita Brands. Manjit is also an early leader in big data. Recently he shared with me his perspective on the challenges of the CIO role, the transformative potential of the cloud and big data.
Three observations stood out.
CIOs have to make tradeoffs between money and agility. Most of the IT budget is directed towards sustaining the consistency of the infrastructure that supports the business. That leaves only a small piece of the budget to transform and drive agility and responsiveness. Effective CIOs wield this budget sliver as the weapon of leverage.
The cloud is transformative for the CIO. Cloud is breaking up the integrated enterprise stack once again. Different applications will migrate to various best of breed cloud offerings. This creates massive opportunity for integration with existing data sources to ensure acceptable user experience.
Big data will follow applications to the cloud. “Which enterprise will move its big data stack to the cloud?” is not the right question. The question is which specific applications create data in the cloud. Big data will follow such applications to the cloud as more and more of the surrounding ecosystem will demand analytics.
Finally, the CIO’s job is clearly a balancing act. Just check the word cloud on the transcript of this interview. The word “balance” dominates the conversation. See the full interview below, read the full transcript, or listen to the podcast.