CIO Perspective
CIO Perspective
Rate of Change + Data = Impact to the Business

baskchurchill.JPGEarlier this week, I spoke on a panel at the Churchill Club with CIOs from Google, PG&E and Walmart. Like my peers, I’ve seen a lot of tech trends come and go, whether client/server, ecommerce, digitization…to more recent buzz around big data, BYOD and cloud.


This time something seems different. What I am noticing is the rate of change of technology is actually speeding up…everything is accelerating, all the time, getting faster and faster. I’ve been in an industry used to the mindset of buying an asset and sweating it. But some of these tech trends, like cloud, are enabling us to more quickly experiment with new ideas in shorter intervals of time. Using a small amount of opex budget, any size customer (like 2 guys in a garage or a company the size of Juniper) can harness the elasticity and scale of the cloud. Today’s IT can afford to be more experimental and “rent” a cloud-based service or data center to tackle business pain points. And it’s no big deal if it doesn’t pan out or fails, because not a lot of time or money has been wasted; therefore, we can quickly move on.


Ironically, I see this accelerated rate of change also make its way to overall IT investment trends. Whether within the business, the board room, or even the audit committee, I’ve seen IT move from a support role to now holding a strategic role in transforming the business. Wherever IT can demonstrate increased value to the business, it is no longer a question of how much will this cost…but how quickly can IT deliver this new value. No longer is the talk around how long we sweat the asset, but how can we offload the compute or the app altogether to the cloud.


IT has “become the business”. During the panel, Karenann Terrell explained how Walmart knows the immediate impact a 4 cent price increase has on banana sales in Northern Phoenix. Karen Austin described how PG&E’s gas records are getting digitized via geospatial information. Ben Fried shared how a conscious decision was made to in-source a helpdesk at Google to improve customer satisfaction as well as simultaneously create an on-the-job training program for new IT workers to operate that help desk.


Just like my peers at Google, PG&E and Walmart, we are keeping up with the pace of change at Juniper, whether it’s supporting BYOD, or migrating to the cloud, etc. Where I see us heading is making the work experience on par with the consumer experience, so that the work experience becomes just another app you use on your smartphone. The consumerization of IT has gotten us to this point, we need to continue to innovate further into the business.



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It was great to have attended this event. The honesty from all the CIO's was refreshing and encouraging. Thanks Bask!

This was an excellent forum. Many thought-provoking topics with accomplished speakers. It was interesting to see the challenges each CIO faced were similar regardless of the company size or market. I was intrigued by the conversation related to “consumerization” of IT and the need to drive the advantage it brings into the enterprise as leaders and change agents vs. being dragged in screaming. Bask was very clear on his strategy and dedication to improve the enterprise technology use experience and his down to earth communication style brought credibility to Juniper and the role of the CIO.
Juniper Employee

Link to Podcast.


Link to Churchill Club Blog:


Solutions to dealing with Silicon Valley’s high change rate were categorized into two returns: innovation and outsourcing, both of which Silicon Valley’s technology market thrive upon. “I don't know what it is about Silicon Valley; something’s in the water,” said Bask Iyer of Juniper.


Iyer shared timeless advice, which remains vastly applicable in today’s market: “If you do the same things as last year, you’re going down…no matter where your company falls on the business cycle, you have to do everything ten times better,” he said. “Show revenue, show value.”





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