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Optimizing The Performance Of Assets Through DCIM Solutions

Eloise Young, CIO, Philadelphia Gas Works
Eloise Young, CIO, Philadelphia Gas Works

Eloise Young, CIO, Philadelphia Gas Works

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs

Cyber security is a huge challenge. Threats are increasing in both frequency and sophistication. Every end point must be protected. At the same time, we must strike an appropriate balance between the security measures we put in place and productivity.

I am very excited about mobility. It enables collaboration in ways that simply were not possible 10 years ago. I am looking forward to leveraging this platform to take employee and consumer engagement to new heights. One of the ways that can happen is through the integration of transactional legacy systems with social/mobile customer engagement systems.

The areas in the utility sector where solutions do not yet exist

The rigors of IT staffing definitely keep me awake at night. PGW is municipally owned and must compete with private companies for talent. That means we have to fight hard to attract and retain skilled people. While compensation is certainly a huge factor, there are big cultural challenges as well. For example, techies expect more flexible work conditions than a 175+ year old public utility is poised to provide.

Technology trends impacting the utility sector

The move to smarter, more dynamic networks is very impactful. The unending array of devices people expect to be able to use for business purposes heightens the need to be able to seamlessly and securely connect across platforms, networks and technologies.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications in general are fascinating. Bi-directional smart meters empower consumers and utilities. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions allow companies to optimize the performance of IT assets. Smart lighting systems detect natural sunlight levels and automatically dim or brighten electric lights as required to reach the desired illumination level.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

Line of business executives can acquire technology solutions without having to interact with corporate IT at all. As a result, I spend a lot more time developing guidelines that address questions like: when should we build in-house? What criteria should we use to evaluate potential vendors? How can we tell whether proposed vendor-managed technology enabled services make sense for our portfolio? I work with the business to ensure that there are clearly defined businesses and technical requirements; that proposed solutions get thoroughly tested against those requirements and are delivered on time and within budget.

Lessons learned as a CIO

Have lots of integrity – be someone people trust. Find new, fun ways to connect with other people, including employees in your own organization. Play an active role in the recruitment process; get out there and attend job fairs and external events. Get actively involved in professional organizations – they are a rich source of information. Reach out and build alliances with other IT leaders.

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