CIOs Mexicanos & LATAM: A Community of Expertise and SupportBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:48
Q: How do CIOs benefit from involvement in the association?
A: One of the greatest benefits from being a member of our almost 200-member organization is the ability to draw on their collective wisdom and career experience, which can help inform everything from channel referrals to business challenges. With such a diverse portfolio of expertise, our organization can help reduce business risks, which we aim to bring down to zero as we add more members to our organization.
This is compounded by a learning community that does not singularly discuss industry trends and challenges related to tech, but also finds value in the deliberation and contributions of other key industries and social issues. This multidisciplinary approach makes our organization one of the most important in Latin America.
At an individual level, however, members can take advantage of master classes offered by their colleagues, attend conferences and receive access to CIOs Mexicanos al Rescate, which is a specialized committee that is committed to helping individual members overcome unique issues.
Q: Amid the digital transformation, how much flexibility should businesses be prepared to grant their CIOs?
A: Despite the digital push that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, CIOs in Mexico and throughout Latin America still struggle to open their organizations to technological innovation and digitalization, especially within legacy industries that cannot change without the initiative of top leadership. We find that technology directors are often tasked with multiple responsibilities, including technology initiatives, security and intelligence, but they lack the decision-making authority that is necessary to modernize the technical infrastructure they oversee.
One of the principal objectives for CIOs Mexicanos & LATAM is to evangelize the benefits of digitalization to all heads of businesses, not only externally for consumer consumption but internally as well to support and enhance internal operations. Although this can be a painful process for companies, it is essential if companies want to survive in the long term.
Q: What do legacy companies need to understand about adopting technology and digital solutions?
A: It is crucially important for legacy companies to understand that although IT and OT technologies are fundamentally the same, their internal function should be specialized according to operating function and should always be adapted according to individual business needs and operations.
For example, applying IT technologies in the retail industry entails various points of sale, physical stores and consumer databases that require completely different adaptations than the use of OT technologies in the oil and gas industry, which has a completely different operational infrastructure that includes atomization, drones, pressure measurements and so on.
Overall, there is a vast difference between the use of these technologies and it is crucial that as businesses consider the adoption of new technologies, they intrinsically understand that they will need to mold these solutions according to their industry sector and operational flow.
Q: What role does your organization want to play in the development of a national cybersecurity infrastructure?
A: The importance of cybersecurity has only been recently understood by private and public institutions alike, in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Consequently, before a physical and legal cybersecurity infrastructure can be built, there needs to be an extensive and thorough investigation into all related matters, including defining terminology, outlining methodologies, considering the implications of emerging technologies and identifying risk. This step is foundational to building a security infrastructure with permanence and scalability.
Q: What objectives does the association look to accomplish in the short and medium term?
A: Our task is to remain two to three steps ahead of evolving technologies in addition to keeping tabs on industry trends that stand to revolutionize the technology industry so we can swiftly adapt to the changes that take place.
Moreover, we wish to continue growing our organization’s membership so that we can continue expanding our expertise, which retroactively feeds our partner relationships.