CIO Perspective: Why Software Intelligence is Imperative in a Digital World


Software may be the most ubiquitous thing in modern society, yet it may also be the least understood. It’s for this very reason that Software Intelligence – insight into complex software structure – is becoming increasingly important to business success.

Forbes recently reported four priorities for CIOs to manage software complexity following the Equifax breaches. Among those is understanding what you have in your software portfolio. Too often, breaches and service disruptions occur because of software complexity or vulnerabilities that have been unidentified by traditional code checking tools.

Cristina Alvarez, former CIO of Telefónica, the largest Spanish telecommunications organization in the world, recently spoke with CAST to give a CIO-level perspective about why Software Intelligence is imperative in today’s digital world.

“Software Intelligence is very relevant because we are living in a world where software surrounds all of the things,” said Alvarez. “Not only the device or the application, but also all of our human and business interactions; there is software behind all of this.”

With software having such a significant impact on a business, CIOs need a concrete idea of what is happening with their companies’ software. Getting that insight, however, is not as easy as it might seem.

The majority of software systems are complex and obscure, making it difficult for IT executives to manage delivery teams and outsourcers with transparency. Armed with the truth about software performance, CIOs can make smart decisions, communicate more effectively up and down the organization, and measure team performance.

“That’s why Software Intelligence is so important,” said Alvarez. “Because you can put a number behind it. It’s a way to really put concrete ideas to the software you are using with your teams.”

The need for Software Intelligence is particularly apparent during digital transformation. Alvarez explains that when a company’s teams have separate goals – like with DevOps – but then bring their efforts together for the final product, there needs to be a way to analyze the software to ensure its viability. However, the company also needs to be cognizant of time, so application analysis cannot cause undue delays. Weighing quality versus time is the lifelong dilemma of CIOs.

“When putting DevOps into an application, the challenge is how you put different ideas coming together to make sure they are delivering a real business benefit, but still protect stability and quality, because they are so relevant for the customer,” said Alvarez. “We cannot afford for a company like Telefónica to have a crash in any application in front of the customer, but at the same time you really need to have a good time to market.”

“For me, that is the challenge – how you combine both,” she added. “And that is why Software Intelligence is so relevant.”

You can watch the full video of Alvarez’ feedback on Software Intelligence and Digital Transformation here.  

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Jonathan Bloom
Jonathan Bloom Technology Writer & Consultant
Jonathan Bloom has been a technology writer and consultant for over 20 years. During his career, Jon has written thousands of journal and magazine articles, blogs and other materials addressing various topics within the IT sector, including software development, enterprise software, mobile, database, security, BI, SaaS/cloud, Health Care IT and Sustainable Technology.
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