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BIG THINKER
“The CIO must be instrumental in building the trust portfolio of the company.”
Dr Joseph Reger, CTO of Global Business at Fujitsu
Why the CIO needs to take charge of the ‘trust portfolio’
Image: Dominik Gigler
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Why the CIO needs to take charge of the ‘trust portfolio’

January 2014
IT leaders need to play a pivotal role in establishing their organization’s trust profile, says Dr Joseph Reger.

The reputation of organizations increasingly rests on how well they handle their data, how well they secure it, where it is stored, the ways in which they gather and exploit it (especially if it’s sensitive customer data), and to what extent they share it with partners.

In the eyes of customers and citizens, that behaviour determines the organization’s ‘trust profile.’ And, in the view of CTO of Global Business at Fujitsu, Dr Joseph Reger, IT leaders have a central role to play in the orchestration of such a trust relationship.

“The CIO must be instrumental in building the trust portfolio of the company,” he says. And it is now indeed a portfolio. “Whether we are talking about data protection, privacy or sharing data, smart CIOs should be analyzing all aspects of what needs to be done to secure customer trust, carefully determining what level of technology and management they need to apply and where.

When it comes to data, the key is to focus resources where they will be most effective, he says. “I don’t subscribe to the view that everything needs to be at the highest trust level, the highest encryption, the highest data security,” says Reger. “It’s very unlikely that that needs to be the case even for the most sensitive organizations.”

Such an approach would be so expensive that it would deter adoption unless companies were compelled to do so by law, he says. “I’m a big promoter of taking the problem apart, looking at its pieces and analyzing what level of resource any part needs in order to attain the kind of trust we’re seeking to apply.”

To achieve that the CIO must build a portfolio of technologies, services and partners, he says, and manage and apply those very astutely to the different loads and business processes. As such, the CIO becomes the manager of the trust portfolio.

There are, however, a few areas where over-zealous protection can be a negative, he advises. “When it comes to ideas generation and innovation, stimulus — both internal and external — is the most important thing. In that area you’ll probably want to open things up, but may want to put such teams in a separate environment so that they can experiment and do whatever they want.”

• Dr Reger will be delivering a keynote on Open Source at Fujitsu Forum 2015 in Munich, November 18 and 19
First published
January 2014
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About: Dr Joseph Reger
A renowned visionary, Dr Reger heads up the Technology Office of Global Business at Fujitsu. He applies the mind of a theoretical and computational physicist to how cutting-edge ICT delivers value to business and society.

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