Q&A: Daniel Reed, Reader's Digest

We spoke to the man in charge of the technology strategy for Reader’s Digest in Europe and Asia Pacific.

For me it is now even more critical for the CIO/CTO office to ensure that they are at the table partnering with business leadership.

How big a role will cloud computing play in your organisation in the next three years? What other technologies are you watching?

Cloud and the XaaS (anything as a service) type offerings will grow their footprint in most organisations considerably over the coming years as we trend towards commoditisation of IT and other business support type functions/cost centres.

For organisations, such as mine, with a significant legacy IT footprint, one key driver of cloud adoption will be the level of investment and replacement of existing systems and solutions. The option is most viable when new solutions are required.

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Other technologies I think will be key in the coming couple of years include improved digital marketing solutions, web analytics and BI reporting allowing companies to operate and compete more effectively in the web/community based consumer models of today.

I also think architectural advances that support EA (enterprise architecture) and IT application portfolio management will add tremendous value to very large/multi-national organisations with the simplification and consolidation of IT complexity.

What are the most important criterion you use to make decisions that impact your business and why?

Current business challenges now demand more adaptable/flexible strategies that call for decisions to look at both short and longer term outcomes in terms of the usual financial affects of cost, impact on business growth, generating savings and so on.

Anything else you care to add?

So many clichs spring to mind that are actually very valid in the current fast changing and economically challenging times.

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For me it is now even more critical for the CIO/CTO office to ensure that they are at the table partnering with business leadership. [This is key] as we move from a back-office IT focus to a more front-office business partner leveraging technology through any means, driving positive change for business growth and survival as much as cost reduction.

Daniel was a delegate at the recent CIO Event.

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