Getting serious about IT security
All of us experience an increasingly complex and dynamic working day where managers, but perhaps especially IT managers, need to be able to address risks, governance and information security at a whole new level. These days it is something we at Harvey Nash discuss regularily as our annual CIO Survey is now open. We took the opportunity to talk to our own CIO, Hans Jagevik, about trends and challenges that he sees, in the CIO role right now.
Hans, you joined Harvey Nash quite recently, can you begin by telling us a little about your background?
Most of my previous job experience is from the consultancy side, having worked as project manager in various companies and industries, but of similar size to that of Harvey Nash and both in the public and private sectors. Most recently, I come from a very similar role to the one I have today and what appealed to me in this role was that the recruitment industry was completely new to me. I find it to be very service-oriented, with great focus on relationship-building, personal contacts and networking being an integral part of business success. I have only experienced this industry from the other side before, so now getting a new perspective, almost being behind the scenes is interesting. I think that much of the experience I have from my past is also applicable in this industry and that’s something I feel has been recurring troughout my career.
Data as a business advantage?
The challenge for many today is to be able to transform data into something valuable for the business. In recruitment, we handle a large amount of data about candidates and clients on a daily basis. This is data that we need to be able to update and maintain in the long term, so that it can be useful for our recruitment consultants. A five-year-old CV from a candidate is of little use to us today, for example, and we must constantly manage these tasks, structure, clean and secure searchable data, while at the same time making sure data security is at the centre of any procedure.
IT Security vs. user friendly?
In my role today, I have spent a lot of time getting to know and understand our customers, users and colleagues. The recruitment industry is historically a very traditional industry, but with exciting developments ahead, we need to challenge our processes without compromising on security aspects of our data. It is a fine boundary between data security and accessibility and there is no pre-determined solution. It is always a trade-off between minimizing the risk of hacking or exposing oneself to corrupt data and at the same time creating user-friendly IT platform that promotes business operations.
Our challenge is to make sure productivity remains at the top, that we are working smarter and more agile in an industry that needs to foremost safeguard the kind of sensitive and confidential data that recruitment entails.
The IT department always needs to be responsive to the users and understand the corporate culture, to find what is reasonable to demand, where we need to improve communication and where we need to support the organization in regards to training and providing support for our users.
There are many ideas about how we can work smarter and more efficiently, in our organization, which I appreciate as I believe that IT should not drive innovation, but rather act as facilitator. Much of the innovations we see now are linked to digitalisation and in finding ways we can automate manual processes and also integrate our various business systems.
What I often experience as the biggest challenge is getting the space and acceptance to test new things. It is often not possible to understand the full implications of what you are trying to do, so testing and experimenting becomes essential. This demands courage and we must dare to start somewhere. From what I’ve seen so far this is something we are pretty good at! Another challenge is to coordinate and prioritize the many different initiatives that take place in a relatively dispersed organization, encouraging entrepreneurship. This becomes more important when looking at Harvey Nash on a global level with offices in over 36 locations around the world.
Nothing is impossible and everything is achievable! But at the end of the day, it is quality of the work that counts. Quality for one organization is not necessarily the same in another. My most difficult task is adapting my efforts to each organization’s unique requirements, needs and resources and before I find that balance I can’t say that I have succeeded or delivered quality. That’s the challenge that drives me!
Thanks Hans! We look forward to following you in the future.
Harvey Nash CIO Survey
In its 21st year, the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey is one of the most trusted and extensive international reports on the business of IT leadership and everything that comes with it. This year we also collaborate with KPMG and MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research. Are you curious about other trends and challenges that IT managers around the world are experiencing right now? Would you like to compare your own IT department and organization in a personal benchmark report? Then we hope you also want to participate in our CIO survey!
Last year, nearly 4,000 CIOs and IT managers from over 80 countries participated and thus benefited from the insights we compiled, in their business and in their own career.
Participate in our CIO Survey, klick on this link.
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