Ian Cohen JLT

The Internet of Things will not only transform the business processes of organisations, it will transform the way organisations behave in society, says CIO Ian Cohen of broking financial services provider JLT Group.

“I work in an industry that is going through fundamental change from what was once international to today truly global,” the top 10 CIO 100 business leader told the Harvey Nash CIO Survey event in London yesterday.

“The internet of things means the world of actuarial is becoming actual,” he said of the increasing connectivity that exists across organisations and society. “We are being told what is happening right now.

So for CIOs that means how do we adapt our business? More importantly how do we act responsibly with that information?”

Cohen, always a CIO that challenges doctrines and thinks of the bigger picture than the implementation of a technology, neatly connected the issues surrounding privacy, such as raised by CIO reporter Tony Westbrook today in his analysis of privacy from search engine results, through to concerns from some groups that public sector data should not be made available to private organisations. Cohen was asking the audience of IT leaders to consider the implications of the rising tide of information they can and will collect.

On the subject of talent retention and management, a key part of the Harvey Nash research Cohen said to the audience and on social media: “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.”  Fellow CIO 100 leader James Thomas also speaking at the event agreed.

Cohen also challenged the view that enterprise technology is broken. “There are certain analysts and media companies that say it is broken because it sells good copy. There is not a two speed IT, as some analysts suggest. I have multi-speed IT and I’m sure that is the same for all of us.  Different markets operate at different speeds. Legacy technology has to travel at the fastest part of the organisation.”