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Places for People Chief Data and Information Officer, Norma Dove-Edwin says her biggest priorities for 2019 are dictated by her business plan and strategy, which includes a complete infrastructure overhaul and move to the cloud.

She spoke to CIO UK contributor Cristina Lago - Online Editor of CIO Asia - at the 2018 CIO Summit event held at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard in London.

Dove-Edwin had earlier taken part in the panel about putting data at the heart of an organisation's strategy, and with CIO UK discussed her aims for 2019, her thoughts on AI - and what she looks to take away from gatherings like the CIO Summit.

"My biggest priorities stem from the business plan and our business strategy," Dove-Edwin said. "For me, I call it the bottom of the iceberg. I need to refresh my entire infrastructure, I need to look at our digital strategy, which includes our move to the cloud.

"And then of course analytics and insight, that's the cherry on the cake, and the rest of the cake base is the foundation," she said.

Artificial intelligence

Dove-Edwin shared what kind of CIO comment she would like to see featured in CIO UK's upcoming report on AI. "I think that it would be good to understand what's the purpose and what's the hypothesis," she said. "What do they actually want to use it for and what's the outcome?

"I think a lot of people talk about machine learning and artificial intelligence - because it's quite a buzz word - but for me, we're looking at the purpose and the hypothesis. What questions we're going to ask in order to get insights from it, so I'd like to understand what everyone else is actually going to use it for."

Dove-Edwin also gave her impressions of this year's 2018 CIO Summit. "I think the conference was great," she said. "I always love coming to the CIO conferences and I always think that if I learn three things and meet at least two interesting people then I've had a great conference, and I've exceeded all of those - that's the minimum."

But which of the topics covered at the event struck her as particularly interesting? "It was great to learn about leadership, it was great to learn about principles, and then also assurance to know that you're on the right track," she said, stressing that the sense of community provided by the event is one of the most invaluable aspects.

"As the same things came out about artificial intelligence, machine learning and the value of data and the cloud strategy, so it's good to know that we're considering all of those things," she said. "I feel reassured that I'm in the same ball park as everyone else."