'I Only See Security Being A Larger Concern'

We sat down with Don Welch, Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Michigan


Donald Welch, Ph.D has a deep background within information technology and security, gaining in his roles as a CTO, CIO, CISO and CEO. Currently, Don works as Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Michigan, where he is responsible for the university's information assurance (IT security, privacy, IT policy, compliance, and enterprise continuity) program and identity and access management (IAM) program, including Ann Arbor, Flint, Dearborn, and the Health System. His charge also includes direct responsibility for the Information and Infrastructure Assurance and Identity and Access Management teams.

Ahead of his presentation at the Chief Technology Officer Summit in San Francisco this November 30 - December 1, we spoke to Don about his role, the changing landscape of the technical executive and the incoming impact of the Internet of Things on business. 

How have the main responsibilities of the role of the technical executive changed over the past year?

The trend has been happening for more than a year, but it has been accelerating. That is that technical executives need to understand and manage more 'managed' or 'cloud' service providers. This means better contracting and partnering skills. Different to understand the pros and cons of a cloud provider than to understand an on-prem product.

What trends can we expect to be of primary concern for technical executives over the next year?

I focus on security, and I only see security being a larger concern. We still don't do it well enough.

What is your industry doing to better meet consumer expectations?

In education, IT has always been decentralized. There has been an effort over the last decade to centralize more and I think that will continue for on-prem services, but for 'cloud' services we are seeing a move towards decentralization.

How will the Internet of Things challenge your business?

There is so much data, and so much that we are collecting and cloud collect. We have to come up with a coherent strategy towards privacy. There is a lot of good that can be done with this data, but it can also be misused. 

You can hear more from Don, along with other industry-leading technology executives, at the Chief Technology Officer Summit this November 30 - December 1. To see the full schedule, click here

Spreadsheet small

Read next:

Excel: Secrets And Top Tips On CSV