Jaume Santos, CIO at Alzamora Group
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Jaume Santos, CIO at Alzamora Group
What does the main part of the company’s IT budget go to?
The most significant part of the budget in Alzamora Group is assigned to innovation, improvement of processes and infrastructures. Even though the item allocated to everything related to cybersecurity is gaining more and more weight.
In which area is the most being invested this year?
In process improvement, above all we are focused on reinforcing our production units to provide them with more and better technology, in this way being able to assume the great growth that we have experienced in recent years.
Which project are you most satisfied with?
Throughout my professional career I have accumulated several projects that I am very proud of. If I focus on the 3 years that I have been part of the Alzamora Group IT team, in which we have promoted many projects, and all of them very interesting and technologically disruptive, it would undoubtedly be the set of tools that make up our collaboration platform. and shared information, this is the basis of all the developments we are carrying out to improve communication, both internally and externally, whether with our employees, customers or suppliers.
If all the benefits of the company were put in charge of the IT department, what would you like to implement?
Robotization and investment in technology applied to our production plants is the key to assuming the strong growth that we are experiencing and, above all, being able to better face the macroeconomic scenario that we are experiencing, so in short, not much would change with respect to what is already we are implementing for this exercise. In this sense, the company is very much in line with what I myself think should be the priorities of my department.
Is security an issue?
Security is not a problem, it is a basic need for any company in the 21st century. I think there is still a long way to go at the national level for cybersecurity to acquire the importance it should have today. I believe that the coming years are going to be especially convulsive in many aspects, especially with regard to security and privacy of information, companies must be aware of how important it is to prevent, train and promote a culture of cybersecurity among your employees.
What challenges does a sector like yours have?
Technology advances at an ever-increasing rate, and this trend will increase even more over the months, I’m not saying years or decades. The main challenge we have in the ICT sector is to reconcile the population with all the changes we are introducing in people’s lives. From my point of view we are totally immersed in the third industrial revolution, it is a pride to be part of the sector that is transforming our society in all its strata, but it is also a major challenge.
Can you work from home?
Undoubtedly. In my opinion, teleworking is here to stay, we have to take advantage of everything that technology offers us to improve the lives of people and consequently of companies and society as a whole.
What main trends do you observe in the ICT world?
I see a clear trend towards the “Cloud” concept, which by the way I do not share at all. It is evident that maintaining on-premise servers is more inconvenient and laborious than simply assuming the cost of software in SAAS mode and dedicating yourself to maintaining an internet connection paying monthly fees for services that you could perfectly host on your servers with a little dedication and desire. It seems to me absolutely reckless to transfer critical systems to a Cloud platform managed by third parties, I know, I am brave to say this in my sector.
Under no circumstances on your mobile can you miss…
The application where I keep all my double authentication codes (2FA), without that I would be totally disconnected from the world, basically because I could not access any service.
What is the tool that really changed your life?
My first contact with a computer was when I was 5 years old, then it was 1989 and it was a 64Kb Amstrad CPC 464 that had the misfortune to fall into my tender hands. Already at that time it was a somewhat obsolete pileup, but for me it was a revelation. I spent many years messing with it, disassembling it, finding out how it worked, even after years I managed to convince my mother to buy me BASIC manuals that for me were absolute fascination and science fiction in equal parts. Something changed inside me thanks to that fortuitous encounter.
Tired of solving the technological problems of family and friends? What do they usually ask for?
Not at all, I love to help mine in any way I can. They often ask me for help with anything that works with electricity, in fact, people assume that a computer scientist is a kind of Leonardo Da Vinci who knows everything and fixes everything. I like to feel useful.
What about extracting the value of the data, will it really mean the evolution of companies like yours?
Absolutely. Big Data is the key to the industrial revolution in which we are immersed, Industry 4.0 is made up of smart factories that classify, store and above all exploit data to eventually predict based on trends generated from their own data, this has a incalculable value and is absolutely key to improving business processes.
What is this digital transformation? Slogan or need?
I believe that it is mostly a slogan that is overused by everyone, my sector is plagued by dimwitted sell-outs who try to seduce managers who are somewhat out of date and therefore vulnerable to all this modern verbiage. Digital transformation yes, but based on facts and adjusting it to the exact needs of the company.
The R&D&i thing. Is it an urban legend?
In the company where I work, absolutely no. We understand the IDi as an investment and the only way we have to really satisfy the needs of our clients. At the state level, much to my regret, we are not at the level we should be, there are sectors of Spanish society that still do not understand the need to commit to innovation and technological development.
In the cloud or on-premise?
I’ve already answered it before, definitely on-premise. The cloud has its advantages, but you have to know how to differentiate fashion from true necessity. Every step we take towards the cloud takes us away from control of our data, and in a society that is moving towards total digitization, these will acquire more and more value.
Is the lack of security knowledge of customers and employees the main challenge?
In cybersecurity, yes. Most cyberattacks happen due to employee carelessness and poorly planned network infrastructure. Perimeter security is worth nothing if your employees do not have the necessary training to distinguish between legitimate email and email with malicious content.
Is paper going to disappear?
For our day to day, yes, totally. In other areas, such as printed books, it can happen as with vinyl records, they will become collector’s items for lovers of reading. But inevitably we are going 100% digital.
Is the supply chain a problem? How can ICTs help improve their management?
I do not consider that the supply chain is a problem beyond the short term. The problems derived from the stoppage and subsequent reactivation of the economy are a direct consequence of the physical limitations that producers have to produce as asymmetrically as demand has required during the last two years. I am a firm defender of the free market and this, if you let it regulate itself, always readjusts itself to satisfy the needs, covering new business opportunities derived from the increase in demand. ICT, through data analysis, can help companies to extrapolate their possible needs in the short and medium term to minimize the peaks in demand derived from all this maelstrom that we have gotten ourselves into.
Is sustainability one of the axes of your department?
Undoubtedly, sustainability is the present and the future of all of us, my department exerts pressure and influences the rest of the company to digitize and therefore reduce energy consumption derived from obsolete or poorly optimized business processes.