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IT execs: Salesforce, FB Workplace among top new tech investments

As CIOs know, digital transformation inevitably requires new tech investments. Of course, what those investments are and how many varies widely from organization to organization. At the CDM Media CIO Summit in Boston, SearchCIO staff asked three IT leaders what new tech investments they had made in 2017 and how those investments were helping their organization's digital transformation journey. Their responses ranged from using Salesforce and customer-empowering tech to utilizing Facebook's Workplace platform to enable more efficient collaboration.

What are some new tech investments you've made in the last year and how are they helping you thrive in the digital economy?

Wendy Cofran, CIO, Century Health Systems: The two [technologies] that we've probably invested in and will continue to invest in is, first, our EMR, and, secondly, Salesforce. We are an independent; we are not affiliated with a hospital today. For us, it's about tracking our patients -- where they go and how they like what their experience has been. That's how we use Salesforce: As a CRM in a very different way.

We did build ourselves a platform on Salesforce that is basically a referral management platform. It allows us to track patients because they often don't come home, there's usually a stop in between. As for our EMR vendor, the more intelligence that we can put in the clinician's hands when they're in the home, the better off they are. It's a very logic-based system, and we continue to work with their developers. Our clinical staff works with their developers to give them that feedback about what's really important as they're building the technology, and what is the stuff that seems great from a tech perspective, but it's not what's going to make the biggest difference when you're in the home trying to make a critical decision.

James Staten, global head of vertical market development, strategy and planning, Equinix Inc.: A huge focus of Equinix is on customer experience and making sure the customers not only have a really good experience with us but also are allowed to do more on their own. That actually delivers greater customer experience, so one of the things we've added to the user experience through our portal has been this thing we call SmartView. What this technology allows you to do is look inside your use of our resources and see how optimally they're being used.

A relatively small technology can completely influence the way an organization lives and breathes.
Matt Griffithsvice president and CIO, Stanley Black & Decker Industrial

For example: Do you have a cage that's been designed for 400 servers and you've got 10 servers in them? That's probably not your best investment. If you filled the entire thing up but only about 30% of the capacity is being used by these but more than 100% capacity is being used by those, you might want change those interconnections. You might want change the workflows between them. We want our customers to be empowered to do that directly, and that's what we're doing.

Matt Griffiths, vice president and CIO, Stanley Black & Decker Industrial: The most impactful example is a technology called Workplace, which is actually Facebook designed for the workplace. It's a cloud-based solution and it's subscription-based. It has transformed the way in which we are communicating within our organization as a whole. We can talk about success stories. We can talk about the company's strategy. As people go out and visit sites or visit customers, they can provide real-time insight into what they are seeing or what they're hearing. It has completely changed the way in which our employees are engaged, which increases moral and increases awareness. It means people are more aligned to the goals of the company, whether that's the company as a whole or the particular business unit that employee works in. It's a great example of how a relatively small technology can completely influence the way an organization lives and breathes.

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