Marcelo Sales

"Business Defined CIO", that's what LATAM region needs.

Blog Post created by Marcelo Sales Employee on Jan 30, 2015

One of the most interesting aspects of my job as CTO at Hitachi Data Systems is the constant contact I have with the heads of IT at the most important companies in Latin America operating in the most diverse range of sectors.


Our conversations go way beyond discussions about products. During meetings, lunches and chats in the corridor, we talk about management strategies, the commercial value of information, trends and new demands, as well as music, soccer, current affairs, politics, the economy… And I’ve noticed how there are some conversations that take place amongst these groups that never seem to come to an end. And there are others which never go as deep as they should. And this is exactly why I have decided, finally, to start this blog.


Here, I intend to share my opinions on what I see and hear, but above all, on what I might manage to foresee due to the nature of my work. This blog is dedicated to reflections on, and trends in, the area of IT, technology, solutions, data, mobility… Once again, I’m following in the footsteps of the Global CTO and Vice-President of HDS, Hu Yoshida.


As even he calls himself, Hu is a veteran of the business, and one of the most widely respected IT executives in the world. His blog is considered by specialists as a “must read”, and in it, year after year, he reveals his top ten tendencies in the IT sector for the period that’s starting. For 2015, he placed ‘Business Defined IT’, or IT aimed at business results, as the focus of what is on its way. This means that the interaction between business and technology is, more than ever, crucial for any IT strategy to be able to aggregate value and a competitive edge for organizations.


As such, CIOs have more responsibility than ever before, which contradicts the general belief that “CIOs become more obsolete the more IT evolves”. Even though some corporations are adapting the classification of the position to Chief Digital Officer (CDO), for example, research shows that these modern executives play a strategic role in their organizations. One recent study, performed by the ‘Economist Intelligence Unit’, highlighted the fact that nine out of every ten (89%) of those interviewed believe that the CIO plays a strategic role that goes beyond simple management of the function of IT.


In Latin America, however, I feel that CIOs are removed from the business and other C-Level managers. What I can see is that the CIOs in the region are so focused on the operation, on how to keep the IT area up and running, that they don’t have enough time to provide the necessary support for the planning and development of the business.


In order for IT to truly assume its role as something that makes innovation possible, they should react proactively to these trends and become architects of the mobility of businesses and the services they provide, identifying and generating opportunities, transforming IT into a profit center. As Hu said recently, “IT needs to guarantee storage, protection and security for the data as well as provide a competitive advantage for organizations". So, CIOs should be trusted advisors, the digital leaders for these objectives to be reached.


To read all of Hu Yoshida’s expectations for the IT sector in full, in Portuguese, access Hu's Place


And bring on the challenges for 2015!