Join Hassan El Bouhali, Head of Technology, MasterCard Foundation, who discusses the role of the CIO building value for organizations, and how AI and automation is transforming business.
00:00 [This transcript was auto-generated.]100:00:03,240 --> 00:00:05,400Welcome to CIO leadership Live Canada.200:00:05,400 --> 00:00:09,840I'm Lee Rennick, editor of CIO.comand I'm very excited to welcome Hassan300:00:09,840 --> 00:00:13,000El Bouhalihead of technology MasterCard Foundation.400:00:13,080 --> 00:00:15,600Hassan please introduce yourselfand tell us a little bit500:00:15,600 --> 00:00:17,040about your current role.600:00:17,040 --> 00:00:18,720Thank you, Lee, for having me here.700:00:18,720 --> 00:00:19,840So. Hassan El Bouhali.800:00:19,840 --> 00:00:21,360Yes, I'm the head of technology900:00:21,360 --> 00:00:25,560at MasterCard Foundationand oversee the technology.1000:00:25,800 --> 00:00:28,440Everything about technologyat the foundation today.1100:00:28,440 --> 00:00:29,040Fantastic.1200:00:29,040 --> 00:00:31,720Well, I really appreciate youjoining us here today, Hassan.1300:00:31,720 --> 00:00:35,160We've created the series to supporttechnology leaders in their own tech1400:00:35,160 --> 00:00:36,360and career journey.1500:00:36,360 --> 00:00:39,160So the first questionI ask everyone this question,1600:00:39,160 --> 00:00:42,000can you please tell us a little bitabout your own career path1700:00:42,000 --> 00:00:45,000and perhaps provide some insightsor tips on that road path?1800:00:45,360 --> 00:00:47,840Are there any lessons learnedyou could share?1900:00:47,840 --> 00:00:48,600Yes, definitely.2000:00:48,600 --> 00:00:49,560I can do that.2100:00:49,560 --> 00:00:53,880So for me, basicallymy background is an engineer machine.2200:00:54,000 --> 00:00:59,040By training back from Montreal,I started making R&D in aerospace2300:00:59,040 --> 00:01:04,080and this actually for almost ten yearsbefore jumping into it by accident.2400:01:04,440 --> 00:01:05,440I loved it so much.2500:01:05,440 --> 00:01:10,120So I made a career out of itand it would go from from from aerospace2600:01:10,120 --> 00:01:15,480to manufacturing, then to miningended up a select few to Alcan,2700:01:15,840 --> 00:01:19,680and from there had a few CIO gatesat the bottom part of the education2800:01:19,680 --> 00:01:24,560products and and Woodbridge Automotive,mainly in heavy industries, as you can see2900:01:25,400 --> 00:01:27,560before doing3000:01:27,560 --> 00:01:30,000it made of COVID don't MasterCard3100:01:30,000 --> 00:01:33,000Foundation, which is very differentfrom everything I've done before.3200:01:33,240 --> 00:01:34,800This is a passion project for me.3300:01:34,800 --> 00:01:37,360I really love doing thatand decided to do that3400:01:37,360 --> 00:01:41,000and take two or three yearsof my professional life3500:01:41,000 --> 00:01:46,280and give them to a different organizationor an organization with a clear mission.3600:01:47,200 --> 00:01:50,200So so in terms of advice, I would say3700:01:50,280 --> 00:01:54,920to anybody who's interestedin carrying i.t at first independently3800:01:54,920 --> 00:01:59,360of your background, don't limit yourselfif you have interests in the industry3900:01:59,360 --> 00:02:04,440and just have a wide variety of rolesand capabilities and interests.4000:02:04,440 --> 00:02:07,320So if you're interested, just go for it.4100:02:07,320 --> 00:02:10,440Say never take and no foreign minister.4200:02:10,720 --> 00:02:13,960You'll have 15 goals and ten maybesbefore you get the first. Yes.4300:02:14,280 --> 00:02:15,840So don't stop at the fifth.4400:02:15,840 --> 00:02:17,520No, and they'll stop at the fifth.4500:02:17,520 --> 00:02:19,920Maybe keep going until you get there.4600:02:19,920 --> 00:02:20,840That's fantastic.4700:02:20,840 --> 00:02:23,920And interesting that you startedyour current engineering so many people4800:02:23,920 --> 00:02:25,440and it did start in engineering4900:02:25,440 --> 00:02:28,480and now you've transferred those skillsover into your ice T skills5000:02:28,800 --> 00:02:31,520and obviously as well worked acrossa lot of different sectors,5100:02:31,520 --> 00:02:35,760which I know based on many skillsI speak to, that's a super important part5200:02:35,760 --> 00:02:40,000of their career journey, is having thatopportunity to work with different sectors5300:02:40,000 --> 00:02:44,560and see how technology really doesimpact across those sectors5400:02:44,560 --> 00:02:45,720also around business.5500:02:45,720 --> 00:02:48,920So one is really dive into a questionwith you around5600:02:49,600 --> 00:02:53,280what the CEO expectations of the CIOor the head of technology.5700:02:53,280 --> 00:02:57,200So in 2023, we did some research at IDC5800:02:57,480 --> 00:03:02,040and mostly I was back the CIO to focus onachieving better business outcomes,5900:03:02,520 --> 00:03:06,680improving business agility and leading theX to create new revenue streams.6000:03:06,680 --> 00:03:10,760CEOs are saying they want CIOsto step beyond an operational focus6100:03:10,960 --> 00:03:13,440and really help to drivemeasurable business outcomes,6200:03:13,440 --> 00:03:16,440whether it's a target of a financialor quantifiable one.6300:03:16,560 --> 00:03:19,920So we had a chance to chat about thata little bit on our last call.6400:03:20,200 --> 00:03:23,400I would love to talk about that as a CIO,an attack leader,6500:03:23,520 --> 00:03:26,400some of the ways you're leadingto improve business outcomes.6600:03:26,400 --> 00:03:27,080Yes, thanks.6700:03:27,080 --> 00:03:27,800Thanks for that.6800:03:27,800 --> 00:03:31,560I'm really glad to hear thatthere is a shift on the way6900:03:31,560 --> 00:03:33,520to see how it all is perceived.7000:03:33,520 --> 00:03:35,400We need organization.7100:03:35,400 --> 00:03:40,840You know, just maybe ten or 15 years ago,what was expecting ceos to run the i.t.7200:03:40,840 --> 00:03:45,720Shop and make sure that the backendinfrastructure runs, that the laptops work7300:03:45,720 --> 00:03:49,600and the phone workand you know where in some organizations7400:03:49,600 --> 00:03:54,400that were mature more than others,they expect you to deploy the ERP systems,7500:03:54,400 --> 00:03:59,200run the business systemsthat the organization needs for the day7600:03:59,200 --> 00:04:03,200to day operationsand in really, really mature7700:04:03,200 --> 00:04:06,200and more progressive organizations,we would involve the CIO in things7800:04:06,200 --> 00:04:10,240like the consumer general customer journeyor things like analytics and7900:04:10,440 --> 00:04:12,000and decision making.8000:04:12,000 --> 00:04:13,120And that was back then.8100:04:13,120 --> 00:04:13,480And it's8200:04:13,480 --> 00:04:17,360clearly that that role is really shiftinto something very, very different.8300:04:17,360 --> 00:04:22,320Now is now a key expectation that the CIOof course runs the I.T shop.8400:04:22,320 --> 00:04:23,160That's the minimum8500:04:24,120 --> 00:04:26,440minimum viable product out of the job8600:04:26,440 --> 00:04:29,680and we still want that that dayto day operations to be stable,8700:04:29,880 --> 00:04:33,760but we expect to see to do a lot more,a lot more really a lot more.8800:04:33,760 --> 00:04:36,800So there are a few things therethat aligned to what you just said8900:04:37,400 --> 00:04:41,400is that expect the CIO and the SAS,the business, how the business makes money9000:04:41,400 --> 00:04:43,560you how the business achievesits objective, whatever.9100:04:43,560 --> 00:04:48,160What are its objective or its mission,and that the CIO is there9200:04:48,160 --> 00:04:52,080to help the organization achievethat mission, to achieve those objectives,9300:04:52,680 --> 00:04:55,720leveraging technology,but also leveraging top leadership,9400:04:56,000 --> 00:05:00,600influencing org models,also operating models and business models.9500:05:00,600 --> 00:05:02,160So there isn't that expectation.9600:05:02,160 --> 00:05:04,680It's a lot higher than it wasten years ago.9700:05:04,680 --> 00:05:09,000There's also an expectation from the CIOto engage with the executives, engage9800:05:09,000 --> 00:05:11,520with stakeholderswithin and outside the organization9900:05:11,520 --> 00:05:14,320to have a better understandfor the whole organization ecosystem10000:05:14,320 --> 00:05:17,320because there are so many risksnow that come with I.T.10100:05:17,520 --> 00:05:20,400Data privacy, risk of reputational risk,10200:05:20,400 --> 00:05:23,520of cyber risk of a lot of the huge risks10300:05:23,520 --> 00:05:26,640that may impact organizationboth internally or externally.10400:05:26,640 --> 00:05:30,600So suddenly the role of the CIO is a waybeyond the pure hard10500:05:30,600 --> 00:05:32,240core operations of I.T..10600:05:32,240 --> 00:05:33,680Yeah, and I'm hearing that10700:05:33,680 --> 00:05:37,440from a lot of senior tech leaders and CIOsis that it's really now about, you know,10800:05:37,440 --> 00:05:39,720technologyrunning across the whole business10900:05:39,720 --> 00:05:42,000security,having to be a part of the whole business.11000:05:42,000 --> 00:05:44,040You know, you're not like in the i.t.11100:05:44,040 --> 00:05:46,920Crowdkeeping it, switched it on and off again.11200:05:46,920 --> 00:05:48,360It's a whole process of ensuring11300:05:48,360 --> 00:05:51,960that everyone understands the technology,how it will improve business outcomes11400:05:52,360 --> 00:05:55,600and that really segwaysquite well into our next question,11500:05:55,600 --> 00:05:56,880because the last time we talked,11600:05:56,880 --> 00:06:01,080we talked a little bit about automationand technology, you know, and how11700:06:01,520 --> 00:06:05,640technology is building and creating value,especially in the area of automation.11800:06:05,640 --> 00:06:08,640So I spoke recently to one CIO11900:06:08,840 --> 00:06:12,440who said that he's working on a projectwith automation in robotics,12000:06:12,760 --> 00:06:16,200and it helped create $1,000,000 in savingsfor the company he leads.12100:06:16,200 --> 00:06:19,360Everyone was quite pleased about thatbecause it's really diving into how12200:06:19,920 --> 00:06:20,880we can use technology12300:06:20,880 --> 00:06:24,560to help create some savings,but also help create better processes.12400:06:24,960 --> 00:06:26,720So just wonderingwhat your thoughts are on this12500:06:26,720 --> 00:06:27,360and how you believe12600:06:27,360 --> 00:06:30,680automation will continue to shapethe future of various sectors?12700:06:30,800 --> 00:06:31,800Yeah, definitely.12800:06:31,800 --> 00:06:35,280You know, I had the I had a chance toto make a previous career12900:06:35,280 --> 00:06:38,280working in heavy industries,manufacturing, mining, aerospace13000:06:39,040 --> 00:06:43,600and a big part of my scopewas automation of operations13100:06:43,600 --> 00:06:47,640and the shop floor of productionlogistics, warehouse management,13200:06:48,680 --> 00:06:52,000etc. And yes, the potential in that field13300:06:52,000 --> 00:06:55,320in that area for heavy industriesis, is, is huge, It's immense.13400:06:55,320 --> 00:06:57,520And the thing is, back then,13500:06:57,520 --> 00:07:00,600just again, ten years ago,automation was very expensive.13600:07:00,640 --> 00:07:01,920Automation, product speed13700:07:01,920 --> 00:07:04,920hardware or softwarepiece of it were very, very expensive.13800:07:04,920 --> 00:07:08,760But since then we've seen software,as we say software, it's in the world,13900:07:08,760 --> 00:07:11,040we've seen softwaregetting into the automation space14000:07:11,040 --> 00:07:14,520and more and more of the impactsof that versus the variety of products14100:07:14,520 --> 00:07:16,800that's out there and solutionsto choose from.14200:07:16,800 --> 00:07:21,320And second of all, a steep reductionof pricing of these products.14300:07:21,320 --> 00:07:23,520So they're becoming moreand more affordable,14400:07:23,520 --> 00:07:27,200which makes the business case forautomation easier to build and to sell.14500:07:27,520 --> 00:07:31,000There is, of course, the issueof execution because using automation,14600:07:31,240 --> 00:07:34,960leading manufacturing companies,for example, is this complexity14700:07:35,000 --> 00:07:38,240is because you're dealing with corebusiness, you're playing to the core14800:07:38,240 --> 00:07:41,240business operationsthat you have to manage very carefully14900:07:41,760 --> 00:07:44,160the operations expectationsand how your payment systems.15000:07:44,160 --> 00:07:45,720But opportunities are huge.15100:07:45,720 --> 00:07:50,040Then there is the automation of thebackend office, the the, the, you know,15200:07:50,040 --> 00:07:54,520the traditional business processesthat I used to work in.15300:07:54,800 --> 00:07:57,600So automation of financeof which are procurement,15400:07:57,600 --> 00:08:01,120and that will be acceleratedmore and more with advance of AI.15500:08:01,120 --> 00:08:03,120And what's happeningwith all this noise around the15600:08:04,080 --> 00:08:06,640automating workflowsand the work of knowledge workers.15700:08:06,640 --> 00:08:09,560That's the reality that is happening,that is coming our way.15800:08:09,560 --> 00:08:10,920There's no way around it.15900:08:10,920 --> 00:08:14,760So yes, automationis there with a clear mandate16000:08:14,760 --> 00:08:18,720of cost reductionof efficiency, acceleration of execution.16100:08:18,960 --> 00:08:23,880But I think it's important to thinkabout it in terms of a new revenue stream,16200:08:23,880 --> 00:08:26,400the new products and servicesthat could be used,16300:08:26,400 --> 00:08:29,760that could be generatedbased on that automation.16400:08:30,040 --> 00:08:32,480And there is a lot of exampleswe could share there.16500:08:32,480 --> 00:08:36,480But that'sI think I will see how you think about it16600:08:36,480 --> 00:08:40,640more than a cost reduction opportunity,but also a contribution to the business16700:08:40,640 --> 00:08:41,880and to the revenues as well.16800:08:41,880 --> 00:08:42,960Now that's really interesting.16900:08:42,960 --> 00:08:44,520So do you think that that shift them17000:08:44,520 --> 00:08:48,280from backend office to the front enddelivery to the customer delivery?17100:08:48,280 --> 00:08:50,120They think that from an automationperspective,17200:08:50,120 --> 00:08:54,120it sounds like what you're sayingis it's all becoming more integrated right17300:08:54,120 --> 00:08:54,800across the board.17400:08:54,800 --> 00:08:57,000Everyone's noticing it rightacross the board17500:08:57,000 --> 00:09:01,000as opposed to it only being with roboticsor manufacturing or supply chain.17600:09:01,000 --> 00:09:05,240It's now you're feeling like it'sgoing to approach the full business now.17700:09:05,440 --> 00:09:06,000Totally.17800:09:06,000 --> 00:09:08,000And that'sthat's back to your first question17900:09:08,000 --> 00:09:11,080about the expectation from the CIO isnow that it's for everyone.18000:09:11,080 --> 00:09:14,800So term is the full business endto end the whole value chain of the of18100:09:15,040 --> 00:09:18,840the company and how the company fitswithin the value chain of the industry18200:09:19,080 --> 00:09:20,400and to be able to come back18300:09:20,400 --> 00:09:24,080and propose solutionsthat go end to end to that value chain.18400:09:24,280 --> 00:09:28,280You know, we will always need to pointto point solutions like an improvement18500:09:28,280 --> 00:09:31,200to the payroll system and paymentto the warehouse management system.18600:09:31,200 --> 00:09:31,800And that's fine.18700:09:31,800 --> 00:09:34,560We'll continue to winthat for the foreseeable future.18800:09:34,560 --> 00:09:38,120But it's very important to step backand look and to enter the value chain18900:09:38,120 --> 00:09:41,120of the organization and see how technologycan change things and move things19000:09:41,640 --> 00:09:43,440forward from one area to another.19100:09:43,440 --> 00:09:44,160Well, I appreciate that.19200:09:44,160 --> 00:09:46,920And that really leads intoour next question, which is around data.19300:09:46,920 --> 00:09:50,040And I so really wanted to talka little bit about that.19400:09:50,040 --> 00:09:50,680As you mentioned,19500:09:50,680 --> 00:09:54,000you know, the generative and everythingthat's coming in market right now,19600:09:54,600 --> 00:09:57,600people trying to understandhow they can create better efficiencies19700:09:57,600 --> 00:09:58,520within their workspace.19800:09:58,520 --> 00:10:01,920So, you know, the integration of dataand analytics19900:10:01,920 --> 00:10:05,760and AI is, you know, really we're lookingat transforming industries.20000:10:05,760 --> 00:10:07,360You know,what are some of the key benefits20100:10:07,360 --> 00:10:11,280you believe will help technologiesand maybe what are some of the challenges?20200:10:11,280 --> 00:10:12,120And, you know,20300:10:12,120 --> 00:10:16,720how do you see AI transforming with datato advance business outcomes?20400:10:17,160 --> 00:10:19,720Yes. So it's it'sthe subject of the hour, right.20500:10:19,720 --> 00:10:20,960So we cannot avoid it.20600:10:20,960 --> 00:10:26,640But yes,it is the next frontier in i.t space.20700:10:27,000 --> 00:10:30,120And if you put that within a context.20800:10:30,120 --> 00:10:33,600So instead what we're talking about,then we move in how we get value from that20900:10:34,000 --> 00:10:35,160and get back.21000:10:35,160 --> 00:10:36,96030 years ago21100:10:36,960 --> 00:10:39,840i.t function was responsiblefor delivering this mainframe systems21200:10:39,840 --> 00:10:42,960where hardware and applicationsand data were all together delivered21300:10:42,960 --> 00:10:47,040by the same OEM coming all togethernicely.21400:10:47,200 --> 00:10:50,200Not, not not separated.And then over time.21500:10:50,280 --> 00:10:54,080So ten years agooversimplify and 1010 years later client21600:10:54,080 --> 00:10:55,120server technology came in21700:10:55,120 --> 00:10:55,920and now suddenly we're21800:10:55,920 --> 00:10:58,920decoupled the application layerfrom the infrastructure layer.21900:10:59,040 --> 00:11:03,720And here we are 20 years later,we're starting to decouple to data layer22000:11:03,960 --> 00:11:05,400from the applications layer,22100:11:05,400 --> 00:11:07,720which is already decoupledfrom the infrastructure one.22200:11:07,720 --> 00:11:10,640And I think that createsa whole set of new opportunities22300:11:10,640 --> 00:11:15,400where you can actually buildsolutions, products out of that data22400:11:15,600 --> 00:11:18,640that will allow the businessto make better decisions faster.22500:11:18,920 --> 00:11:21,560That's that's thethat's really the end game there.22600:11:21,560 --> 00:11:23,800It's not about,you know, running a workflow22700:11:23,800 --> 00:11:27,600or business process anymorethat's expected to be done years ago.22800:11:27,840 --> 00:11:32,720Now it's about optimizing that to the maxusing data and use and algorithms.22900:11:33,040 --> 00:11:36,400So yes, that's the next frontierand they think it's a nice project23000:11:36,400 --> 00:11:39,880that will allow us allow it functionsor are ready for the game23100:11:40,160 --> 00:11:42,600to really up their gameinto using the data23200:11:42,600 --> 00:11:45,840to create additional servicesto improve the customer journey,23300:11:46,040 --> 00:11:50,040to improve the employee journey,and to go beyond just pure hard23400:11:50,040 --> 00:11:53,760core efficiencyand and operational reduction of costs.23500:11:53,960 --> 00:11:56,760And going beyond that in their thinkingwhat they can do.23600:11:56,760 --> 00:11:59,040Really appreciateand I really love that answer.23700:11:59,040 --> 00:12:01,960And I think, you know, in my mindI was going, okay, so it really is23800:12:01,960 --> 00:12:05,560just creating a landscape of opportunityfor any business to be able23900:12:05,560 --> 00:12:09,360to create more productivity,more efficiencies, more learnings, right.24000:12:09,360 --> 00:12:11,200About their internal structuresand systems24100:12:11,200 --> 00:12:13,920that they can benefitthe end user and the stakeholders.24200:12:13,920 --> 00:12:15,480So I appreciate that.24300:12:15,480 --> 00:12:18,480And well,so we have one last question here,24400:12:18,840 --> 00:12:22,800which is I call it my Rapidfire question,but it's a it's a rather fair question.24500:12:22,800 --> 00:12:25,800And and that is what is the future of it?24600:12:26,080 --> 00:12:30,160If I have to summarize that very quickly,I would say the future for I.T24700:12:30,600 --> 00:12:34,360is about turning the back end servicesinfrastructure,24800:12:34,360 --> 00:12:38,640applications system of trackersinto utility that you use,24900:12:38,680 --> 00:12:44,520just like you use tap water or electricityand then work in parallel or grow into25000:12:44,560 --> 00:12:48,120AI and data platforminto a differentiator for the company25100:12:48,520 --> 00:12:51,960because that's what differentiation gamewill be happening moving forward.25200:12:52,080 --> 00:12:54,480Wow. Incredibly insightful.Thank you so much, Sam.25300:12:54,480 --> 00:12:57,480And I really appreciate youjoining us here today.25400:12:57,560 --> 00:12:59,400Thank you for having me. It was fun.25500:12:59,400 --> 00:13:00,600And if you're interested in viewing25600:13:00,600 --> 00:13:04,160this video or others to support the seniortech leader in their business journey,25700:13:04,720 --> 00:13:08,160welcome this interviewand a link at the conference last year.25800:13:08,200 --> 00:13:08,760Thanks again.