by Dan Muse

Insider Insights: Freeman CIOs on security, IT skills and more

Mar 20, 20153 mins
CIOIDG EventsIT Skills

In our latest Insider Insights, senior writer Lauren Brousell talks to IT leaders at Freeman about security, the changing CIO role, IT talent challenges, what keeps them up at night and more. Register for a free Insider membership to watch these videos.

In the latest installment of Insider Insights,’s Lauren Brousell talks to Richard Maranville and Michelle Johnson of Freeman. Maranville is the company’s executive vice president and CIO. Johnson is senior vice president and CIO of its Audio Visual Solutions group.

insightsjohnson cio

Senior writer Lauren Brousell talk to Michelle Johnson, senior vice president and CIO of Freeman’s Audio Visual division. Become a Insider member to watch the video.

In these videos, Brousell asks Maranville and Johnson about tech innovations, how security concerns have escalated in the post Sony-hack era, the evolving role of the CIO, the IT talent gap and much more. (To watch their videos, register for a free Insider membership below.)

insightsmaranville cio’s Lauren Brousell talks to Richard Maranville, executive vice presient and CIO at Freeman about security, tech talent, innovation and more. Register to become an Insider member (it’s free) and watch the video.

Highlights from video interviews

Maranville talks about how the Sony data breach has put security at the top of the agenda of most boards. “The risks of not doing [security] well have just escalated dramatically,” he says. He advises fellow CIOs to ask for everything they want. “I’m going to put everything I can from a security standpoint in front of the board and we’ll together chose what makes sense.” Maranville also discusses where the CIO role is headed. The days of building your own data center and your internal apps are over, he tells “Focus more on things that make a difference to your company — whether it’s operational systems, your customer-facing systems … Integrating all that stuff together because that’s when the value is harvested. [It’s] not having a standalone system that doesn’t  talk to anything.” Johnson says she likes the idea of I in CIO standing for Integration. “I do like chief integration officer. It makes sense, she says, because what takes up the majority of her time is bringing the right people together to talk about how to solve business problems.

Maranville and Johnson also talk about what keeps them up at night?  For Maranville, it’s two things:  security and innovation. “Basically, they are opposites. How do we protect the company and how do we make sure we’re innovating for our customers and that we are thinking of the next thing.”

Johnson says, “Right now, it would be stabilizing and getting my own head around the digital products are that I’ve recent taken over.”

Both Johnson and Maranville talked to about the talent challenges facing IT leaders. Johnson says her focus is on “finding those resources that are comfortable [in business settings] — a lot of people can do it but are they comfortable with being in front of business partners, having hard discussions and also being able to talk and work with customers?” Maranville says business analysts and project managers are in big demand — even more so than developers.  Watch the video reports for more from both Johnson and Maranville on IT talent, security, innovation at Freeman and more.