Modern digital is transforming industries

Michael Smith
June 2, 2022

The 1990’s were a fun time to be excited about software and technology.  Things were rapidly changing from the classic 1980’s monochrome screens and the command line interfaces to an explosion of new client/server applications and internet/browser driven capabilities that drove the dot-com explosion before the bubble burst in 2001.  I remember feeling a sense of excitement that we were experiencing a real step change in how technology was being used to enhance business outcomes.  While the last twenty years have brought improvements across systems, data, and how we secure and protect technology investments, the opportunities present in current digital capabilities have brought that sense of a significant shift back.  There is a new willingness and desire by business leaders and technology leaders to explore the innovative and agile qualities of modern digital; that willingness is transforming industries.

I consider myself to be a data-oriented practitioner when it comes to the application of technology. My post secondary education was a combination of commerce and software engineering, so I started my journey as a developer migrating data off mainframe systems before taking a keen interest in early business intelligence and integration.  The idea that I could strip away business and application layers to generate insights off raw information became the cornerstone of how I approached problem resolution.  From legal forensic analysis to business process transformation, systems solution design, M&A and beyond, data was the basis and starting point for all activity I was involved in.  As I grew in leadership positions and operated as CIO for organizations I doubled into operational governance and excellence, cybersecurity, infrastructure, demand and program delivery, ERP, systems, compliance, architecture, and ultimately the enhancement of business value through technology.  Through all that, data remained the driving force that led to a core and guiding principle: “don’t use your business to run your data; use data to run your business.” While activating data across a unique network of data domains has traditionally proven challenging, new technology and data patterns coupled with advancing analytical and algorithmic options are opening avenues for businesses to see the information embedded in the organization for what it is, an asset, a differentiator.

Curiosity can be a great benefit in leadership, especially when looking to forge new paths that drive value and investment into brand, digital experiences, operating shifts, information insights, and revenue enhancement. If I’m not searching for innovation in business through data and digital experiences, I’m exploring the rivers, mountains and arenas of Alberta and British Columbia.  Curiously is what gets me up in the morning to trudge through the water to see which dry fly will draw out that “cutty,” what angle of trajectory will produce the perfect ball strike, what is the perfect line of turns through a glade of trees in champaign snow, what rotation will open up the white ice for a lane to the net, and what am I going to discover behind that next bend.

At the heart of digital is the intersection of software and data enabled by modern platforms, underpinning so much of the transformation we see around us.  Arcurve is a company long known as a premier destination for software development.  In a software defined and data-oriented future, we are poised with that software expertise and strength in machine learning and artificial intelligence to drive value. Our advisory services offerings bring it full circle, offering the guidance and direction needed to successfully navigate the shift and connecting the value stream between digital and business success.

The culture at Arcurve has a natural entrepreneurial feel with a genuine desire to support their clients and make a positive difference. As I, admittedly nervously, venture away from an in-industry leadership position, I’m excited to engage with the talent that surrounds me on a daily basis and take that energy and support to our collogues and customers. As a CIO, I knew how important it was for me to deal with trusted partners who had my best interest at heart, so it was very important for me to be in a place like Arcurve where I couldn’t be more excited to immerse myself in their culture. As a natural collaborator, my go-to quote is “A rising tide rises all boats.” Now is the time for people to come together to transform industries.

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