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Forum on World Class IT - 350 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.

Keith Collins
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February 27, 2017: Keith Collins, EVP and CIO, SAS Institute, Inc.

Among other topics, Keith discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:

• Orienting IT towards value
• Differentiating IT within a company whose business is technology
• The transformation and evolution taking place in the data analytics space
• Perspectives on the cloud first strategy
• Being “Customer Zero”
• Internal and external security concerns
• Eye on the trends: sensor-enabled IoT; the continued use of data to provide a holistic view in order to improve companies’ forecasts and decision-making

Keith Collins Biography:

Keith is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of SAS Institute, a $3.2 billion revenue private software company which specializes in innovative analytics, business intelligence, and data management software and services. SAS software is installed at more than 83,000 business, university and government sites with customers in 148 countries and roughly 14,000 employees worldwide.  Keith directed R&D at SAS for most of his career, including 13 years as Chief Technology Officer. His latest charter is to redefine the role of IT from tactical to strategic, and to accelerate SAS in cloud computing, topics we cover in some depth herein.

Keith has a bachelor’s of science in computer science from North Carolina State University, and he is a founding member of the computer science department’s strategic advisory board.

I recently caught up with Keith by phone in his office in Cary, North Carolina, and our conversation covered World Class IT principles two, Infrastructure, as we discussed his cloud first strategy at SAS, principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, as we covered how he has developed a culture within IT to be customer zero in the company, working with colleagues outside of the function to fine tune the offering. We also covered how his previous roles in IT have informed his understanding of his current role as CIO; how to differentiate IT when technology is the business; the transformation currently underway in the data analytics space, among a variety of other topics.

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