January 13, 2016 - No Comments!


Steve Phillips, the CIO of $28 billion technology wholesaler Avnet, kicked off his 2016 planning cycle last week with an eye toward making IT more nimble and responsive to the company’s evolving requirements. He plans to test a software-defined network (SDN) and a predictive analytics solution that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) for a company that delivers anything from electronic components to enterprise IT services for 100,000 customers.

As CIO.com noted recently, CIOs in 2016 are refining digital transformations they started last year or earlier to press their competitive advantage. Others are playing catch-up or defense against nimble rivals. Whatever the case, CIOs are entering the New Year with laser focuses on cloud, mobile, analytics and security, among other solutions.

Software defined networking

In SDNs, a centralized software controller directs network policies and resources customarily managed by networking switches and routers. SDNs can drive more operational efficiency by optimizing the management of corporate data traffic, which is increasing in size and velocity due to the proliferation of streaming video, cloud software, analytics, sensors and other information-intensive activities.

Internet of Things (IoT)

In 2016, Phillip plans to add sensors which monitor the performance of machines that pick, pack and route products around its fulfillment centers. The sensors will alert employees to potential mechanical breakdowns, enabling the company to pull a machine and fix it, thus preventing unnecessary downtime from occurring.

Agile and bimodal

Like most other large companies, Avnet has operated in he waterfall methodology, in which the business delivered detailed documentation about technology requirements to IT and waited several months or years for projects to be completed. Last year the IT mean realized that its growing job jar to build capabilities fo the businesss was getting full and by the time IT solutions were delievered, the businesses requirements had changed Phillips says.


Phillips a month ago promoted Sean Valcamp to the newly created position of CISO, where he is responsible for Avnets global IT security in addition to his previous responsibilities of managing enterprise IT architecture and strategic planning.

These drills, which include technical and management tracks, cover communication in the event of a breach, protocols for disclosing and containing the breach, and damage assessment. “You can’t prepare 100 percent in advance for a real breach, but you can familiarize people with the way that you communicate,” he says. “Most importantly, it drives home to everybody the seriousness of cybersecurity and tees up the discussion with the executive board.”

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Published by: RefreshingCities Editor

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