To a certain degree, every company is now a technology company. Even the industrial manufacturing division of consumer technology giant Toshiba is viewed through the lens of an expectation of advanced technology, which VP and CIO Allen Wuescher says does affect operations.\nToshiba is clearly a technology company. How does that affect IT operations at Toshiba and your role as the chief information officer?\nThe broadest U.S. audience knows of Toshiba in the consumer electronics space, so we are often looked at as a pure technology play. And that influences all the operating companies (including industrial manufacturing) in terms of customer expectations. It is expected that Toshiba has technologically advanced products in mind, so we have to be poised in that position.\nWhat have been some of major initiatives within your IT operations recently at Toshiba? \nAll (divisions) of Toshiba have recently implemented Oracle EBS (E-Business Suite). That is evolving into another major initiative, which is evaluating the processes with which we identify other efficiencies, leverage the functionality of the system, and implement other modules.\nAnother major initiative we have under way is continuously evaluating third-party providers to leverage any outside expertise for a co-sourcing arrangement to add expertise in areas we don\u2019t have in-house. Like most, we\u2019re shifting outward. We\u2019re interested in getting our IT folks integrated with the business to push business initiatives, not just IT initiatives.\nIn what ways are IT operations at a technology company similar and how are they different from IT at a similar-sized enterprise from another industry sector? \nWhat Toshiba does is create, so there\u2019s a lot of R&D investment. We are similar to most traditional IT. What it does require is more joint investment and relationships with IT, R&D and the business as the inventive component is something unique to us. The anticipation with the Toshiba name is we\u2019re going to be in the forefront. People are always looking to us to lead the pack in terms of what we\u2019re doing from a technological perspective.\nHow is your relationship with the rest of the C-level executives at Toshiba and what sort of impact does that have on your IT operations?\nThe relationship has greatly improved over past three years because we\u2019ve become more transparent as an IT organization. There have been efforts to mature the IT group to be more business focused. The business now knows more than ever the value IT brings to the table. That recognition is a top-down approach. It helps to have my peers trust in what we\u2019re doing from an IT perspective.\u00a0\u00a0\nWith so many evolving technologies, how has Toshiba evolved to remain competitive?\nToshiba tends to support itself internally. Now we\u2019re looking at what other third parties can potentially do somethings better than us and move in that direction when it makes sense. So we\u2019re currently looking at a lot of hybrid approaches. We want to take advantage where we can, so what that takes is \u00a0a constant evaluation of third parties and their value to Toshiba and our customers.\nWhat can we expect to see over the next few years from Toshiba, and how will Toshiba\u2019s IT support that?\nThe expectation in the consumer and industrial markets is the products Toshiba provides should be agnostic in their ability to talk to other devices. Devices have to talk to one another. The term is \u201ccoopetition.\u201d You have competitors, but you have to cooperate in this world in order to survive. So that\u2019s where IT can best support the business, because our R&D and engineering teams are putting together new and best of breed products, but they have to communicate in safe and secure way.