HP CIO Baez Tells Peers Their Challenges Will Never Go Away

HP CIO Ramon Baez

The job of a CIO, never easy to begin with, will only get more complex over time, forcing technology chiefs to look for new ways to better manage their companies' IT infrastructure, according to the man who holds that position at Hewlett-Packard.

Ramon Baez, who as HP's senior vice president and global CIO manages the technology for one of the largest companies in the world, drew from his own experience to help other CIOs better understand the pressures they will face in the future.

Baez, in a keynote presentation at the recent Nth Symposium, an event organized by San Diego-based solution provider and HP channel partner Nth Generation Computing, cited analyst estimates that by 2020 about 8 billion people will be using 30 billion devices and 10 million mobile apps and generating 40 trillion gigabytes of data.

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That will put a lot of pressures on CIOs, Baez said.

"The number one job of the CIO is to make the complex simple," he said. "But 've been in a lot of IT organizations where the opposite happens. We make the simple complex. And that hurts."

Baez said that in his two years at HP he has seen how new technologies make it possible to get a lot more work done with the same amount of resources. "And that's key for IT," he said. "The pressures are not going to go away."

"In fact, [enterprises] will probably be more cautious than ever before," he said. "The dilemma is, we're still dealing with a huge amount of legacy."

Baez cited the Y2K scare of 2000 and its aftermath as proof that legacy issues will be important for as far as anyone can see.

"At the time, we thought COBOL would go away," he said. "But even today, COBOL is a hot skill."

HP is unique in that it not only has a huge IT organization, it is also a large provider of IT technology, Baez said.

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