An excellent interview over on ZDNet with  JP Rangaswami, managing director of BT Design. He used to be the CIO but disestablished that title to better reflect the roles people play at the global Telco.

Some interesting quotes;

“at BT we’ve done away with the CIO title at our levels. We call ourselves MDs because we’re fundamentally managing directors of certain businesses …..Part of the reason to get rid of the CIO title was effectively to say that we represent disciplines far beyond just was in IT in the past or in IS, that we represent networks, we represent products, we represent processes. What we represent is design so it made sense for us to come together and converge on that title”

I agree entirely- information management is all about data – it’s about finding solution centric answers to the needs of the organisation – it’s not about being a “geek”

In a comment related to the recent discussions about Fonterra here in NZ outsourcing some of its IT, he said;

“if the problem is truly generic, then we use open source to be able to solve it because that’s where the market tends to persist at the highest quality. If the problem is contained to a limited marketplace, we use closed source because the economics of finding such solutions work best for a firm that has N customers, N being a relatively small number. And if the problem is unique to us as BT, that is the place where we put all the focus of our best resources our internal guys, those are scarce, rare resources and we’d like to apply them on to scarce rare problems.”

Which in some way begs some questions about enterprise SaaS – where is the point at which internal solutions are best and where will SaaS become the preferred option for enterprise software delivery. Thoughts on this anyone?

Full video interview over here.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • I believe the biggest driver to moving to SaaS enterprise solutions is TCO. Organization’s internal operating budgets are growing by leaps and bounds. In years past these budgets were not that visible but as software maint. costs have increased so has the attention !

    CIOs are being challenged today to find solutions to reduce costs while increasing value. SaaS market share lives with these decisions.

    As long as a SaaS provider can add value while ensuring that necessary infrastructure and security controls are in place there’s no reason to migrate from their legacy solutions.

    Probably the best example that I’ve seen is in the travel expense management area with Web2Expense.

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