Relying on High Quality Data to Expand the Business

Gerrit J. Schutté, SVP & CIO, ConAgra Foods
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Gerrit J. Schutté, SVP & CIO, ConAgra Foods

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014 and expectations

ConAgra Foods has been and remains focused upon working with strategic software suppliers to co-develop and implement information technology capabilities that truly impact top/bottom line performance and help to shape financial outcomes. Through exploitation of a combination of in-memory database technology with advanced business analytics, we believe we will see deliverables as early as the fall of this year that could prove transformational for our company.

Areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist

To spike major technology advancements in cloud and other arenas, there are really no plug and play solutions. Everything still takes too much time to implement. Change is difficult irrespective of how “easy” an IT solution may be to use. As markets and shopping experiences become more digital, large enterprises are becoming and will continue to become more dependent upon high quality master data to succeed and grow. The future volume of master data and lack of innovation around how to manage it better is an increasing concern.

Trends impacting enterprise business environment

I think consumer based technology devices are and will intensify altering how people (and it varies among generations) make decisions about what food they buy, where they buy it, how much they are willing to pay for it and even how  much or little they should be eating. The role of CIOs today
The job is much more focused upon making IT capabilities relevant to solving real business challenges (such as growth) and less focused upon just reducing costs.

My word for a CIO

I would say that a major lesson that every CIO must learn is that he/she needs to be able to tell effective stories and do so in the language of the business they serve. These stories need to be relevant, understandable, interesting and tailored to fit the specific audience to which you are speaking. The days of one size fits all messages made up of highly polished PowerPoint slides filled with technical jargon are long past.

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