Network Security Forms the Underpinning for Every Business

Doug Myers, VP & CIO, Pepco Holdings, Inc.
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Doug Myers, VP & CIO, Pepco Holdings, Inc.

Technology challenges in meeting enterprise needs

Pepco Holdings is one of the industry leaders in implementing Smart Grid technology and delivering the associated benefits to our customers.The AMI Advanced Metering Infrastructure) data that is generated by these technologies can be leveraged to help customers manage their energy usage better, which can lead to saving energy and money. Many opportunities exist for technology vendors to bring innovative solutions to the marketplace that can transform that data into information as efficiently and effectively and as securely as possible.

Current challenges in the business

As the CIO of a critical infrastructure provider that serves the nation’s capital, I believe the biggest challenge is cyber security. Cyber security is a journey, not a destination. I expect that the forces of the marketplace will drive vendors increasingly toward viewing security as a basis of sustainable competitive advantage. Security needs to be viewed by technology vendors as a critical element of their products and services, not a constraint on the functionality of those products and services.

"For a power delivery utility, everything we do is about reliability"

Technology trends that will influence business

There are many trends at play in the Information Technology arena that we are all following–analytics, mobility, the internet of things, to name an obvious three - but cyber security touches all of them. For a power delivery utility, everything we do is about reliability. In IT, we understand that security is essential to the reliability of the systems that enable our business and serve our customers. There is nothing more important to the success of an IT organization than the ability to deliver more and better business-enabling and customerenabling functionality in a secure and reliable manner.

The role of a CIO

Depending on the industry and the company, the CIOs role can range from chief strategist/visionary to critical customer-facing operations leader to  essential “behind the scenes” service provider. For most, it’s some hybrid of the three. A role that has such strong elements of forward-looking strategy, customer-facing service, and day-to-day business process enablement requires the ability to optimize for multiple variables at once. As such, I see the role of the CIO increasingly requiring highly developed collaboration skills and the ability to bring people together in support of the one best approach for the enterprise as a whole.

My word for a CIO

Perhaps the most important thing that I’ve learned in my leadership roles within IT is that while we necessarily have to focus much of our time on process and technology, success in this space is first and always about people. I am very fortunate to lead a group where the IT leaders understand the importance of collaboration across organizational boundaries and building strong relationships based on trust and respect. And I’m equally fortunate to lead a group  where those closest to the work see the customer in everything they do–who see their role as delivering essential services to our customers by way of  echnology, not the other way around.

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