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Forum on World Class IT - 354 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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May 28, 2018: Dan Olley, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Product Development at Elsevier

  • An overview of Elsevier’s business, including its focus on the legal field, the academic and health research fields, the business risk and financial fields, and their exhibitions business
  • Dan’s responsibilities as CTO, which include customer-facing responsibilities such as overseeing product development, as well as more traditional responsibilities such as applying technology to internal efficiency as well as revenue generation
  • Dan’s perspective on our rapidly accelerating digital world and the emerging symbiotic era, where intelligent conversational interfaces, mixed reality, and other technologies essentially eliminate the boundary between man and machine
  • The implications of machine learning at Elsevier, such as how it has enabled the creation of a new generation of products that move beyond providing static information and in to real-time recommendation and decision support
  • Dan’s perspective on the human element of AI, such as the idea that the human-machine system becomes greater than the sum of its parts, how digital intelligence can augment human decision making, and how Elsevier creates cross-functional teams with the necessary skills
  • How Dan’s background in agile development prepared him for his current customer-facing responsibilities, and his belief that customers must be embedded in the development process
  • How Dan aligns the fast moving R&D function with the broader, more traditional organizational strategy

Dan is the Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Product Development at Elsevier, the 138 year old, $3.3 billion publisher which is now the science, technology, and healthcare division of RELX Group. As CTO, Dan is responsible for traditional IT, as well as evolving the company’s products in support of its transformation from a traditional print-based business to a digital solutions provider.

Before joining Elsevier, Dan was the Chief Technology Officer of Reed Business Information (formerly Reed Elsevier), a sister company within RELX Group. Dan joined Reed Business Information as the United Kingdom Chief Technology Officer and later became Global Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining RELX Group, Dan held technology and product development leadership roles with GM Financial, Wunderman Cato Johnson, and IBM, as well as a number  of UK and international software organizations.

Dan was one of TechRepublic’s ‘The top 50 CIOs”, and was inducted into the CIO hall of fame in 2017.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview