Hyped Technologies That Eventually Delivered – Principal Financial CIO

Hyped technologies may deliver real value when ripe, but often in different ways than originally advertised, counsels Principal Financial Group CIO Gary Scholten.

When technologies are hot and the buzz is highest, it’s generally earlier than when you’ll get real value for them. However, many hyped technologies have turned out to play an important role, albeit not necessarily in the way they were originally advertised. Here are a few to consider:

Client/Server affected all business in a huge way. It was very painful early on, and there were a lot of missteps. It took time to get in the right place, but we’re using client/server today.

Object-oriented design was one that was going to solve everything. Now it’s embedded in almost everything we do. It has led to a lot of tools in BI and related areas, but it took a very different form than the early directions.”

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) was another proposed answer to all the complexity and integration. The reality is that it has been a very helpful and important piece of making object-orientation and design. As we get into cloud offerings, if we hadn’t done SOA, we’d be in a much worse place as to how to integrate those solutions.

I think big data will fit the same mold. Data usage has taken huge steps forward in the last few years. Big data involves developing more and different kinds of compute availability to take advantage of data sources that didn’t exist a few years ago. Creating the right business model is critical for that. It’s only starting to make a difference, but within a few years it will make a huge impact. Cloud will help to accelerate that impact.


Table of Contents: IIR February 2014: CIO Survivors

Editor’s Note:

CIO Survivors: Insurance IT Leaders Who Have Endured, and Why That Matters


Why Insurance CIO Longevity Matters

Profiles in Longevity:

Listener, Leader, Mentor – Barbara Koster, Prudential Financial

Survivors: Mutual Interest – Mike Keller, Nationwide

Partner in Growth – Gary Scholten, Principal Financial Group


Hyped Technologies That Eventually Delivered – Principal Financial CIO

Proven Concepts Yield Next-Gen Trends – Nationwide CIO

Prudential CIO on Keeping Technology Fresh

Gary P. Scholten // Gary P. Scholten is the senior vice president and chief information officer of the Principal Financial Group, responsible for overseeing the company’s use of information technology. He also leads the company’s use of offshore resourcing and oversees sourcing and supplier management, and corporate strategic development. Scholten joined the company in 1980 as an assistant planning analyst.  He was elected an officer and named assistant director in 1989, director of Information Systems in 1992, second vice president – Information Services in 1994, vice president – Retail Information Services in 1998, and to his present position in 2002.

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