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Increased Diversity And Quantity Of Challenges: Industry's Biggest Hurdles

Juan Benitez, CTO, Braintree
Juan Benitez, CTO, Braintree

Juan Benitez, CTO, Braintree

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

The biggest hurdle we have faced during a period of rapid growth is increased diversity and quantity of challenges, both from the product development side and internal IT. The best solution to solve both of these problems is to increase the breadth and scale of the team. The need for distributed workforces and the ability to tackle markets across the globe at an early stage is critical.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improves efficiency in the financial sector

At Braintree, our customer base has grown rapidly, now serving more than 4,000 merchants across the globe. With an increase in customers, the demands on our support and product development teams have also grown, and a differentiator of Braintree is our business model is built to scale– both for our merchants and internal team. We regularly develop tools to reduce support overhead and improve efficiency so that we can continue to introduce innovative new products for both current and new customers.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

For Braintree, data is now a key differentiator. On the technical side, we use data to monitor system health, plan for capacity and explore opportunities for optimizing and developing new products based on product usage. For our service and support teams, data is essential in helping us identify business trends for our customers so we can help them proactively address  ssues such as decline rates, charge backs, etc.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier 

The significant macro shift in computing where mobile devices are becoming the dominant computing platform impacts internal IT processes, product development and the end user experience. Evolving our internal IT processes and tools to meet the ever-changing needs of employees is a big part of our 2013 wish list. From the product perspective, the Braintree team is ahead of the market, understanding that our customers need mobile platforms so they can  deliver great mobile experiences.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

As mobile devices become the primary computing device, we are focusing on developing new products to help improve the checkout experience on a mobile device. Currently, more than 30% of e-commerce sessions happen on a mobile device, yet conversions fall off by more than 75% without a mobile optimized site. With Venmo Touch, consumers can enter payment information in one app and check out in one touch.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

The role of the CIO is ever evolving as open source and cloud platforms have changed the way software is developed, delivered and serviced. With that change, there are now fewer barriers for competition to enter and it is essential for the CIO to focus on building teams that can execute at a faster pace and can adjust more quickly to changing demands.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

Change is continuous and always challenging; great teams must embrace that change. In my experience, leaders must provide significant context and communication to organizations and also be willing to listen to their teams to succeed. Instead of only providing direction, CIOs need   to create a strong partnership with their teams.

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