CIO Role and Strategy: Enterprise Technology Trends 2021: - CXOTalk #700

CIO Role and Strategy: Enterprise Technology Trends 2021:  - CXOTalk #700

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Technology planning and investment with Paul  Daugherty, Accenture's Group Chief Executive of   Technology and their Chief Technology Officer. Our Accenture technology business that I'm   responsible for was $25 billion of the  $45 billion or so of Accenture's revenue,   so it's a big part of our Accenture  business. In my role, I'm looking at   the strategy and kind of what we do with the  business, as well as being responsible for   all the capability and innovation on how we  drive the business for our clients every day. 

When I think about that in the context, like  how I think about our business, then how we   help our clients think about what's happening with  technology and how to plan for it that there are   two truths that I keep talking about that I think  help me make every decision. I would say there   are two truths that I think we need to incorporate  in decision-making as you think about technology.  The first one is the exponential pace of  technology advancement is accelerating.   We've been talking about that for years.  COVID didn't slow it down, despite all  

the impacts of COVID. That's still a reality  for clients, and it has massive implications.  The second truth is that every business is a  technology business. I think this is a realization   that many companies are coming to. I'll  talk about this a little bit more later   (depending on where we go in the conversation). Back in 2013, we came out with a provocative   statement that said every business is a digital  business. A lot of people challenged us at the   time and we had to defend it. People said, "No,  that's not true. Our industry is not digital."  

It became widely accepted that every  business in every industry was going digital.  We might have gotten a little bit wrong or just  missed a point, which is, to be digital you need   to master technology and be as good at technology  as a digital native. That's the journey that every   company is on right now. When you think about  technology planning and what you're doing, I think   you have to throw away some of the old mindsets. There used to be this thing we had in technology.  

Everybody has seen the chart. We have technology  in business and an arrow drawn from one to the   other and back. You say, "Technology drives the  business," or "Technology enables the business,   and business drives technology." You've just got to throw that aside   because technology is the business. Technology  is the foundation of the products and services   of the digital world. I think that's  what you need to integrate into your  

technology strategy and planning. Simply  put, that the way we think about it.  Paul, how is that different from  traditional technology procurement?  I think you need to think about technology in a  few different categories. You need to think about   what we've typically thought about in IT,  which is, how do you support the business,   which are the typical things you do  to support the business. We need to  

equip people with technology and provide the  technology workplace the PCs, the basic access   to systems and such, but that's just the basics. Then the question is, how do you use technology to   improve the business? How do you run your supply  chain more effectively? How do you transform   your channel engagement with your  consumers, your CRMs systems, processes,   and the like? That's improving the business. The other obligation, I think, of any technology   executive is an active role in growing the  business and looking at ways you can drive growth.  Think about companies like Marriott who launched  their Home Suites platform, a new business   to compete with companies like Airbnb (in  the experience category) around homes. It's   a technology-enabled business, along with  other aspects of a digital business model. 

Think of Unilever with Blueair and  connected air purifiers and how   that creates a different experience and  different connection with their consumers.  Increasingly, technology (across every  industry) is about growing the business as well.  What are the implications of this  for chief technology officers?  You need to stretch the eye. We think  of CIOs as chief information officers;   what it typically means. The CIO needs to be about  innovation. The "I" can be for innovation. The "I"   needs to be about inspiration as well. I think the CIO has to play a role around  

the inspiration and the evangelism of technology  and the education of the rest of the organization.   The education of technology, certainly, but  the education of the rest of the organization.  We've got a program at Accenture we call  TQ, which stands for Technology Quotient.   It's for all of our people. It's not just for  the technologists. All of our 500,000 people   take TQ and have TQ goals to learn about  different topics that are important. 

I think that's the kind of role the CIO  needs to play so that, again, it's not   just supporting the business and improving the  business. It's growing the business, inspiring,   and leading the organization through  the appropriate use of technology.  I think that's a key change in the role.  I think it's been changing, so some are  

certainly approaching it that way.  There are so many great CIOs, CTOs,   CDOs out there. I think that becomes an obligation  for everybody that's in this type of role.  In a way, you're talking about the natural  conclusion, the natural extension of how   the CIO role has been evolving for some  number of years now. It's not a new thing,   but it's now being more fully realized.  Would that be an accurate way to put it?  I think, for a lot of years, if you think about  a rock concert analogy – I like to go to rock   concerts. You can't do it right now, but in normal  times – I think IT has been kind of the roadies.   They've been following the band around, setting  up the stage, making sure everything worked,   and supporting the stars that are  going to go out there on the stage. 

I truly believe that the pivot we're in is the  CIO and, really, technology being the stars of   the stage. It's not about the role specifically,  but technology is the star of the stage and what's   going to differentiate companies going forward.  We can get more into that. We have a lot of   evidence around this. When you move from being the  roadie to the star of the stage, you take on other   obligations around how to put on that performance  and lead the business in the right direction. 

Paul, this CIO role, what does it take for a  CIO to fill those shoes that you're describing?  The technology capability of a CIO is really  important. We have our new Technology Vision out,   and one of the technology trends that we talk  about, we call it "stacked strategically."   What we mean by that is the technology  stack is strategic to what the company is   doing and the way that the company operates. It used to be that, hey, however you got it  

done was fine as long as you generated the  business outcome (to a certain extent). Not   for everybody, but that was the way that,  in a lot of cases, IT was thought about.  Now, how you build it matters. That's why we're  having discussions with CIOs but also with CIOs   and their CEOs, their C-suites, and their  boards about technology because it matters.   How they compete matters. Who they partner  with, how they develop the technology,   what streaming service do they use, what kind  of cloud data services they use could impact   how they can compete in their industry. The technology really matters. Obviously, you  

need to know the business. That hasn't changed.  That's always been a key trait of the CIO.  I think you need to be a learner and a teacher.  This education aspect becomes important because   the technology continues to evolve. I think the  role of the CIO or the senior technology leader   in any organization needs to be to teach others;  to be able to learn fast and to teach others.  Then the other element of it is being  a change agent. The title of the vision  

that I just mentioned, the title of our  Accenture Technology Vision this year   is called Leaders Wanted: Masters of change at a  moment of truth. I can talk about why we believe   it's a moment of truth, if you're interested. I think it is a really important moment for all of   us that are in leadership positions in technology  and masters of change is really a key skill   that leaders need because it's not about creating  a static technology platform. It's about building   a platform for change of technology and to allow  the business to change more rapidly. That's   harder to do and different than some of the  ways we've approached things in the past.  We have a comment on exactly this point  from Twitter. Khwaja Shaik makes the point  

that it's all about the people, aligning people  towards a common purpose, developing the skills   and the talent, which seems very much in  accord with what you were just describing.  Talent is really pivotal and critical. I  think it's the right kind of talent, too.   If you think about this moment  of truth and building the future,   you need the right talent and you need  an inclusive and diverse set of talent,   which is something we talk about in  our vision. We've been talking about it   for a while and it's something I've been  involved with at Accenture and across the   industry on is looking at how we build inclusive  and diverse opportunities around technology.  The reason that's important is we're rewriting  the future with technology. It's not just about   applying technology and doing things to  automate business and such. We're enabling  

the experiences of the future across every  business and across every sector of the economy.  We're only going to get that right if we have  the right talent (to the question) and the   right workforce involved in doing that. That's  why we're so committed to things like our 50/50   gender diversity pledge. We've been one  of the first (if not the first) to come   out in our industry with specific targets  for underrepresented minorities in terms of   hiring and advancement, in addition to women. We think it's not just good for people, which   it is. It's not just good for communities, which  it is. To make sure we're creating opportunity  

for all is just the right way that we need to  operate to create the right future for all of us.  Certainly, in the many years that I've known  you, this theme of diversity and creating diverse   teams, and creating opportunity has been a  constant for you. Paul, a lot of what you're   talking about is digital leadership. What are  the characteristics of a digital leader today? 

I think the roles of a digital leader and  technology leader are converging. A lot of   organizations are converging their digital  and technology organizations for the reasons   that I said earlier that digital  leadership requires technology.  It's not just technology. There's the  business model. There's the business   and all sorts of things you need to drive  the experience, et cetera, with digital. 

A lot of that is converging as we go. Not saying   it will in every organization,  but that's a trend we see.  The other point that's important to realize  is most organizations are not very far along   on their journey to be digital. This is  getting embraced throughout the business. 

We took an interesting step. Some may be aware  of this. We had an organization called Accenture   Digital. We had that for a number of years. We  created it back when we said every business is   a digital business. We created Accenture  Digital to build our digital business.  About a year ago, we actually said  Accenture Digital isn't needed anymore   not because digital is not important because  digital is more important than ever and we're   just getting started. But it's because it became  embedded in every part of our organization,   so having a separate organization wasn't the right  approach anymore. I think that's an important   thing to think about for a lot of organizations. We did a survey and a whole research  

study that studied (I think it was) 6,000  organizations around the world. We talked to many   people, many executives at these organizations.  We released this research just before COVID,   last January, 15 months ago, in Davos. The research highlighted a digital achievement   gap. What the research showed is that the top  10% of digital leaders were outperforming the  

rest by 2X. The top 10% outperforming by 2X. Largely, it was because of talent (which we   just talked about), the mastery of technology,  governance in digital around the organization,   and their ability to drive change. Those were  the characteristics of the digital leaders.  You might then ask, so what happened with COVID?  We're about a year after COVID. What happened?  Well, we just recut the research and redid it.  What it showed is the gap widened. The top 10%  

of digital leaders widened the gap from a  2X performance gap to a 5X performance gap.  I think this is intuitive for a lot of us,  all of us who have been living through this   crazy time of COVID that those who had  better digital foundations were able to   adapt better. Think about Starbucks who did  relatively well compared to competitors. They   enhanced their mobile app, pushed out  millions of new downloads, enabled   new remote ordering capability so consumers  could still shop, used APIs and microservices   to expose and develop new capabilities with  partners like UberEATS to enable new in-home   delivery experiences. That shows the point  about the digital leaders widening the gap   in what's important going forward. To your point on digital leadership,   it's those characteristics around the talent,  the technology, the governance, the change.  

We'll talk about experience maybe a little  bit, too, that are really important in this.   Increasingly, the digital and technology  really come together because you need the   technology and the mastery of technology  to create the leading digital experiences.  We have a couple of questions from  Twitter on some points relating to this.   Let me couple them together. Chris Peterson asks,  "How is the CIO role changing, focused on the  

business and focused inward on the  technology versus focusing outward on   the customer?" Constance Woodson  asks, "How does one become and what   are the qualifications for being a CIO today?" The CIO can't be just focused on the technology   alone and can't just be focused internally. I  had a very interesting session with one of our   large clients earlier this week with the CIO.  This happened to be the CIO and the C-suite.  The whole theme of it was thinking about it from  a customer perspective. How do they create the   right experiences for their customers? Some of the  learnings coming out of this session were about   the importance of understanding the customer,  the experiences that the customer needed,   and then the data around that because the data  is essential at driving those experiences.  I think the CIO absolutely needs to be outward  focusing from that perspective and understanding   that working with their peers in the business  to do so. Then it'll tie back to some of the  

core competencies that IT has to deliver  like the data, cloud, and key capability   that they need to make that happen. I think, to the second question, to develop   these kinds of capabilities, what's really the  most important trait (not just for a CIO but for   any leader in this environment) is being a great  learner and being a bit empathetic in terms of   understanding others. You need to be a learner  to learn the business, learn about the consumer   angle in your company (or whatever it might  be). Learn about new technologies and then   be empathetic as well because if you're trying  to create experiences, if you're trying to move   an organization, create change, and these other  things, some of those types of skills around being   able to lead with empathy in this different  way becomes a really important trait.  "How does one become a CIO in today's  world?" That's from Constance Woodson.  I think there are a lot of different paths to  get there. I know a lot of CIOs, talk to a lot  

of them, have many friends who are CIOs, and  support and mentor some along the way as well.  Some come from a technology perspective and are  extremely successful. If you're coming from a   technology perspective, I think it's about how you  round that out. How do you learn the business? How  

do you think about being a change agent and  develop some of these other capabilities?  Then there are others who  are extremely successful,   leading CIOs, who don't have a strong technology  background, who came in from the business and came   into IT from a different perspective. For them, I  think, in the era we're in, mastering technology   is really important. I'm doing a lot of work  with some CIOs kind of coaching and helping them   on the mastery of technology. I think the answer to the question   on how do you become a CIO, it depends on  where you're starting from and making sure you   round out those skillsets to develop the full  capabilities that are required to be successful.  Paul, let's shift gears slightly. You  mentioned the term customer experience earlier.   Again, as I talk with CIOs, this seems to be a  common refrain among the most innovative CIOs.  

Share with us your thoughts.  I know your Tech Vision report   spoke about human experience. Talk about  customer experience for us, if you would.  I've been obsessed with this idea of experience  for over 30 years or more – 35 or 40 years now.   I read a book a lot of years ago by a guy named  Don Norman called The Design of Everyday Things   and this is back when the PC was new. It wasn't really talking about computer   technology at the time. It was talking about  how the design of things changed human behavior.   That book deeply affected me, and I  got into this idea of understanding   the impact of things and technology on people.  I've been studying this for a long time. 

We're at a time now where it's essential and  experience, I think, is what makes the difference.   Think about it in the context just of the past  year and what's happened. We're roughly a year   after the big shocks of COVID and the terrible  things that happened, not to mention all the other   unbelievable events and some of the catastrophic  events of the past year with systemic social   injustice, racism, political chasms,  all sorts of challenges we dealt with.  COVID, if you think about it as a specific thing,  what it did is something that's never happened   before in the history of human experience, human  civilization. Billions of people changed their  

behavior instantaneously. Ice ages didn't do  that. Plagues didn't do that. The flu in the   early 20th Century (in the 1920s) didn't do  that. Wars didn't do that in the same way.  Instantaneously, people had to adapt to a new  reality, and the new reality was fundamentally   different. In my experience, and I'm sure  with many of you, I'm now using Teams, WebEx,   Zoom, or Hangouts, whatever, to communicate  with relatives. Kids are going to school in  

that way. Telehealth visits for primary care  are up 350 times. Online grocery shopping from   your home went from less than 40% of people  in the U.S. to over 80% in a matter of weeks.  Dramatic changes in human experience that I  don't think we've fully absorbed these yet. I   think anybody who says they understand how this is  going to change our human experience permanently   can't possibly know the answer because we  don't know the answer yet and kind of our own   expectations of how this is going to change us. Experience was important. But in the post-COVID   era, it's essential. How is health going to  be part of every experience going forward?  

I believe it will be, and we'll be  thinking about that more profoundly.   Things like that become really important. Anyway, that's maybe a long lead-in to the   question, Mike. We've been getting into  this in a lot of different ways. I think   experience just needs to be part of your strategy. Experience is part of the architecture. We talk   about stacked strategically. One of the layers  you need to look at is your experience layer.  It's about your worker experience. It's about your  consumer experience and how you create the right  

experiences there. We're doing some very  interesting work with clients on that front.  We saw this change happening. Again,  it's driven by technology. In 2013,   again, when we created Accenture Digital,  we also launched Accenture Interactive.  Our bet was technology. It was a simple bet. We  could have been wrong. It turned out to be right.  We made a bet that technology was going to disrupt  the advertising industry and that technology was   going to turn it from advertising to experience  and that experience was going to disrupt   the whole notion of marketing. That  was the bet of Accenture Interactive. 

It turned out to be right. We now have the  largest digital agency business in the world   that's a technology-powered experience creation  business. It's all about assembling these types   of new experiences for customers. What I find quite   fascinating is you're a technologist and yet,  the conversation that we're having is talking   about empathy. It's talking about leadership.  It's talking about how you create experiences.   How do you reconcile what historically  were two very different sides, empathy,   and leadership against hardcore technology? Just to be clear, I have my micro-drone here and   my VR headset here, so I'm never far from gadgets  and technology. I love technology. I have my   AI-powered Einstein that I can program with Python  (behind me), so I'm never too far from technology. 

The reason I'm at Accenture – I joined Accenture  35 years ago. I thought I was going to be a   research scientist at university and teach. That  was what I thought the path was going to be.  What got me hooked and why I love what I do at  Accenture is it's the opportunity to create the   impact of technology, which is a lot more fun than  just building technology. If you're talking about   impact of technology, then you have to understand  the human dimension of how it's going to be used.  Don Norman and Ed Tufty (if you follow any of his  work, which is amazing) – experience and design,   that's what's important if you want  to apply technology effectively.  I think it's interesting. If you look at the  founders of a lot of the top unicorns that  

have been public, the top successful  companies, the Airbnb type companies,   most of those weren't technologists. Reed  Hoffman at LinkedIn wasn't a technologist.  It's these other skills that are important  to understand how people will use   technology. That's why I think it's a  fascinating time [to] think about the future.  I was doing an exercise earlier. I was thinking  about something. I starting counting up the  

number of chips and sensors that are within  my site in my office here. I stopped at 30   different chips and sensors. That's not by  trying to have a lot of things. It's just by   what's here in all the devices  and things in my office.  That's true across everybody all around the  world. We're pushing out more and more devices.  

We have 5G technology, edge devices,  sensors, et cetera all over the world,   which can be used in one of two ways. It can be used to overwhelm people, frustrate   people, and used for the wrong way. Some of the  debates we're having around technology now are   because of decisions that certain companies make  that are kind of working against human desires.   We see that dynamic playing out. The other perspective you can take is,  

how do use technology to create better experiences  for people and create trust with them so that   they trust the way you're using technology? Those  businesses that understand that will get it right.  Think about Amazon and Walmart now who are  doing in-home grocery delivery. They'll actually   put groceries in your refrigerator  or put packages inside your home.   Think about the trust you need to engender to do  that, how quickly it can break the trust, and how   every single interaction you have needs to build  the trust to be able to deliver those services.   Those that can create the experiences that build  more trust will get more data, more information to   create increasing services that have the trust. Those that abuse the trust and think about   click-throughs and think about optimizing views,  clicks, and those sorts of things will destroy   trust longer-term. That's the dynamic that's  playing out. That's a long way to come back  

to your question of why these other factors  around leadership and technology interest me   a lot more because we're going to be able to  use technology a lot more effectively for the   benefit of people and humanity if we understand  a lot of these other issues around leadership,   empathy, understanding, experience, et cetera. We have a very interesting question from Twitter.   This is "a nerd question" for you. New technology  investments that are being planned will affect the   company's technology architecture going  forward. What do CIOs and CTOs need to do now   to be thinking about that, the  implication for their architectures?  Architecture matters in technology, how you  architect the systems. I think we're in an era   of the renaissance of the technology architects. Good technology architects are hard to find.   How you assemble the technology, how you  create the microservices, how you build the   APIs out around your technology is really  essential. I think it's a great question. 

I think that's critical for organizations. The  way you're able to get your MVP (minimum viable   product) out quickly to allow for extension  and agility to build on it going forward is   going to depend on architecting it properly. I think that's one key point I'd make and I   do encourage all the clients I talk to, all  the companies I talk to, to really focus on   finding and nurturing the best architects. It's  a huge focus for us. We've got something called  

our Master Technology Architect Program, which  is a rigorous, long-term development program   to build those types of architectural skills  and capabilities. That's one answer to it.  The other is, I'm hugely sympathetic  to technology leaders in organizations   because it's hard to create the new while you keep  the business running today. The legacy is a real   issue. The legacy debt issue is a real issue. I think it's about getting creative. How do you   start to do feature extraction from your legacy  systems and do it in a way that allows you to   use them more effectively in the context  of your new architectures? How do you get   creative around techniques like that? How do you move to the cloud, which we   haven't talked about a whole lot now? There's a  massive, very compressed acceleration to cloud   going on right now. How do you do that in an  environment where you know you can't just pick   up and move all your legacy overnight? Some  things don't move to the cloud that well.   Is there a business case to move it or not? I think it's a combination of thinking about   the right architecture and target  state and then getting creative   in exploring some techniques. We talk about  digital decoupling and a variety of things to use  

to try to enhance the modularity and ability to  move some of the legacy and extend the life of   it as you build on the new platforms as well. The future of work, where do you see our work   environment going? You mentioned earlier that  healthcare is going to be woven into the fabric of   everything we do. What's happening with work and  what should we be thinking about regarding that?  The reality is, I don't think anybody knows. I  think if you say you know, if you say it's going   to be 15% or whatever – make up a percentage –  I don't think anybody knows that at this point.  We do know some things. We know, in our  organization and through all the work   we've done for our clients, everything we  do can be done virtually. Everything we do  

can be done virtually and we've enhanced our  ability to do it virtually over the past year.  There wasn't a single project we couldn't  do because the technology wouldn't allow   us to do it. Yes, there were some clients who  couldn't afford to continue because of COVID,   but there weren't things that we couldn't  figure out how to do in the environment. 

That tells us it can be done virtually, but the  other thing I'd say is we're not going to do   everything virtually. The future is not about all  of us working from home. The future is one about   giving people more choice and optimizing around  bringing people together to enhance experience.  I have a colleague of mine who I love the way  he said it. He said, "The criteria for getting  

people together physically shouldn't be on  need. It should be based on fun." When you   can enhance the experience, have fun, and enjoy  the human relationship and build relationships,   connectivity, trust, and such,  that's when you should get together.   I think that's an interesting view. We're going to have a hybrid approach   going forward. We're going to have a lot of  people back in office spaces. The office spaces  

will look differently, which is something we're  looking at already in terms of there'll be more   around group work and how people work together. To go to an office to work in a cubical, I'm not   sure will make a whole lot of sense going forward.  But I think we'll be back to a world with a lot of   human contact, human interaction, and  dialog because, for certain types of work,   it is an advantage to being together  physically and we need it to build cultures,   to build trust, to build relationships, et  cetera. That's the way I'd answer that question.  The only other thing I'd say is I think you need  a real-time pulse. That's the way we're looking   at it. We're talking to our employees, getting  input from our employees, getting input from   our clients, getting input from new recruits  and people that are joining the company about   what they want to do, how they want to work,  and how they can work. That continual pulse  

from the people is what we'll use to decide  on the optimal approaches going forward.  Another topic is responsible AI. I know this  is again a topic that's important to you. You   wrote a book about this topic. Thoughts  on responsible, ethical AI today.  It's not a solved problem is what I'd say, I  guess. AI, we haven't gotten too deeply into some   of the technologies, but what I believe is that  cloud and AI will be the two most transformative   technologies of the next decade. They're not going  away any time soon. In fact, we're at the early   stages of both technologies. Both are innovating  rapidly and moving on to different techniques.  

You have to follow them carefully. In AI, specifically responsible AI,   the issues we talk about I talked about a lot in  the book I wrote, which is called Human + Machine.   It's accountability, transparency, fairness,  honesty, and the systems you build.  Accountability so that you  know, at the end of the day,   what human is accountable for key decisions. It's  not okay just to say, "The car turned left because   the machine told us so," or created an accident.  A human is accountable for a design decision or an   operating decision that made something happen.  We need to understand accountability properly. 

Fairness is critical because AI isn't  biased. AI is a very neutral technology,   like every technology. Technology is neutral,  but AI can be trained on data sets that reflect   bias and AI can be implemented in a biased way. There is simply no excuse for it. We know enough  

about AI. We know enough about testing.  We have something called an AI fairness   toolkit to implement AI in ways that are fair,  that are not biased, and that don't have some of   the consequences of gender bias, racial bias, et  cetera that have been problematic in the industry.  Transparency means there are certain things that  need to be explained. You should explain them.  Honestly means you shouldn't use AI to cheat.  Unfortunately, some companies have been caught   using AI to cheat and violate laws or  regulations. That's not appropriate either.  This sounds pretty basic, but that's the  foundation. I think it's incumbent on the leaders  

in organizations that are applying to AI to  have policies in place to ensure you're using it   consistent with these things I just mentioned. If  not, you're going to run into problems and you're   going to be applying AI irresponsibly at some  point and get caught up for it. I think it's in   our control as leaders to get our arms around  this and deal with it in the appropriate way. 

Issues around AI fairness and algorithmic  transparency, do you see these as financial issues   or cultural issues? What's the obstacle? Creating frameworks to ensure that you're   applying it appropriately. The data  sets you're training on, do they reflect   all the qualities that you need to train the  algorithms you're training? Do the testing, the   way you're testing and the way you're evaluating  for potential bias, there are again techniques   we're using – this is possible to do – techniques  that we can test for the bias that might be in   the systems to understand the dimensions  of bias that may be evident in a system?  Are you doing that before you roll out a system  into the wild? Many organizations aren't. It's   those types of things that I think are important. I think, again, in the AI field, we're fortunate   to have a lot of really talented diverse  leaders in AI. I think, in our organizations  

– I get back to my diversity point – if you have a  diverse team of people working on these problems,   they're more likely to come out with  the right answers and test and develop   for the right things. That's part of it as well. There is business model resistance to transparency   and fairness. I recently interviewed, on this  show, two members of the House of Lords in the UK   who are grappling with this from a policy  perspective. What should business leaders do to   reconcile the business model issues, the  attractiveness of non-transparency with the   social desire to have transparency?  there are a couple of things. The first is, as an  example in the U.S., we do not have appropriate   data privacy legislation at the federal  level and we need it. It's something we've   advocated for. We've been active with the business  roundtable and others in advocating for change. 

That starts to help because if you have  standardized, accepted rules around data privacy,   that at least creates the foundation. We don't  have that in the U.S. now, and I think that's   a big gap. It's kind of crazy, in the digital  world we live in, to not have that in place.  Then from a business perspective, sure, there are  things that, for competitive advantage, you're   going to want. You have trade secrets and things.  Of course, you can't publicize every part of an   algorithm and such that you have, but you have an  obligation to make sure it operates effectively.  Just like if you build a car, you have an  obligation to make sure it operates effectively.   With an algorithm, unfortunately, it can have more  dangerous connotations than a car or some other   physical equipment, in some cases,  because of these types of bias issues. 

Again, I think what a business leader should do is  make sure you have the principles established of   what defines acceptable use for you and make sure  you have policies in place in the organization   that ensure you'll adhere to what you're  setting. That's what I think leaders need to do.  I think too many organizations, I would say the  majority of organizations, are flying blind.   They have people out there applying the  technology, developing the technology,   applying AI, and putting it out there, and don't  have a prescriptive and defined set of guardrails   as they need to ensure the acceptable use of it. Developing a framework and then   adhering to that framework, in essence. Yes. We've got one we use in Accenture. We do this   for clients. We help them set these things up. There are organizations like Partnership on AI  

that have been doing work in this area. There  is a lot of work in this area. I think too few   organizations are tapping into it in developing  rigorous policies in their own organizations.  Paul, as we finish up, there are a lot of  CIOs and technology leaders who watch CXOTalk.  

How can CIOs ensure the highest degree  of relevance for themselves inside their   organization and for IT going forward? I'd just like to start the answer to it   by giving a shoutout to all my CIOs, CDOs, CTO  friends out there, and those who aren't friends   that I don't know. I have huge respect for  the technology leaders in every organization.  I think it's if not the hardest, one of the  hardest jobs that there is out there when you   talk about everything we talked about, the need  to evangelize and set direction and strategy,   from keeping the lights on, to  balancing the financial needs, to   looking at the talent and developing the talent  across the organization. A big shoutout to the   amazing work that everybody in this industry does. I would say that the three things   that I come back to, to focus on, I'd  say you need to focus on the technology.  

I'd say the main thing there is learning about  things. Really think about the trust and how you   cultivate it. The way that you're using technology  in the organization cultivates the degree of trust   within your consumers, customers, business  partners, as well as your employees   in the way you're applying technology. Then the talent and cultivating the right talent.   I think it's not just in IT or technology, but  cultivating the right talent is really essential.  We're in an era where we're  re-platforming business right now.  

We've been applying technology in businesses for  70 years, since the transistor was invented (not   too far away from where I'm sitting right now).  But we're going through a major re-platforming now   with cloud and AI and everything that's happening. We're creating the new future. You might say we're   creating tomorrow's legacy today, right now,  but it's not legacy. It's the new modern stuff.  

And you need the new talent to do that.  It's creating the talent and the talent   of your current organization transitioned to  new skills that are going to help with that,   focusing on the talent, the reskilling, the  rotating, as well as bringing in the new talent.  Okay. Well, we are unfortunately out of time.  It's been a great conversation. Thank you,  

Paul Daugherty, for spending time with us today. It's been great, Mike. Thanks. Time went by fast.  It did. Everybody, we've been talking with Paul  Daugherty. He is the chief technology officer   and the group chief executive of technology  at Accenture. It's a huge company with 500,000   employees. It's hard to even imagine that scale. Thank you for watching, especially the folks who  

ask such great questions. Now, before you go,  please, please subscribe to our newsletter and   hit the subscribe button at the top of our website  to do that. And subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Thanks so much, everybody.  I hope you have a great day,   and we'll see you again next time. Thanks so much.

2021-04-20 17:20

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