This CIO interview was held with Grant Hodgkinson, CIO and VP of Digital operations at Mimecast. Founded in 2003, Mimecast offers security, archiving and continuity cloud services to protect business email and deliver comprehensive email risk management in one fully-integrated subscription service. They have over 18,000 customers and millions of users worldwide. Hodgkinson joined Mimecast in 2008.
Tell us a bit about your role at Mimecast.
“I am Chief Information Officer and VP of digital business within the operations group. My role is to look at processes within our business. The role is about connecting people and processes and then looking at the technology stack.”
What holds your interest in your current role?
“The ability to resolve friction internally. We have had technology in our organisation for a long time. That has created a patchwork of systems and processes as the business has grown. That patchwork is not friendly to customer or to the user. It could be that it is difficult to do something or that it takes a long time to do something. Resolving that gets me up in the morning.”
Google Apps or MS Office.
What are the key challenges faced by your industry?
“Everything’s moving to cloud and that’s great. It will become very interesting. How do we get all of these applications talking to each other completely seamlessly and efficiently all the time, as these vendors develop them in their own time and their own way.”
What are your challenges for the next 12 months
“Finding agile and incremental ways to continuously make improvements to the business systems of our organisation.”
Given the rising cyber security threat, what key things do you think your company and the industry should be doing?
“We are in the fortunate position where security is the top of our mind set. It has to be. I have a dedicated team at my disposal at all time. There is no way you can take any risk. You have always got to be sensible”
Do you have any tips for new CIO’s
“You should not expect business to define innovation. It is up to the CIO to define innovation and obtain buy in from the business. The CIO needs to sell that innovation to the business in terms that they understand, and work collaboratively with them.”
Do you have a tip that you can share about transformational projects?
“Think customer experience, think agile.”
Do you consider yourself fit to be a CEO?
“No – The CEO has to have the ability to define a vision for an organisation. I’m not sure I am that imaginative. I can look at different situations and how they work and I can compartmentalise them so I am probably more of a COO than a CEO.”
What’s the one question you’d like to ask another CIO to answer and can you answer it yourself?
“How they prioritise work and projects with limited resources: The operational and transformational workload.”
“We started to look at the quick wins in our business, how to grow the top line of the business. We looked at the revenue lines, we looked at the processes that support the revenue lines and work with those. We also had conversations with our governance teams about what keeps them awake at night.”
Thank you Grant.