Bringing her talents and vision to EY, Maureen G. “Mo” Osborne is the Global Chief Information Officer and a key member of the EY Global Services (EYGS) executive team. Comprised of more than 4,000 employees in more than 150 countries worldwide, the IT organization has direct responsibility for resources, assets and all IT activities within Ernst & Young’s global network of firms, including IT strategy, with an annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion.
Prior to joining EY, Mo was a valued leader at JP Morgan Chase (JPM) where she played a number of strategic roles. Mo served as the Chief Operating Officer for Treasury and Securities Services, one of JPM’s largest global businesses. She was responsible for improving efficiency, driving results and setting the future Technology and Operations strategies. During her tenure at JPM, Mo was also the Global Chief Procurement Officer where she streamlined processes, delivered significant savings and set the overall procurement strategy for the firm.
With an expertise gleaned from thirty years of business experience, Mo has a reputation for leading large complex global organizations that are going through significant change and transformation. She is very results-oriented with a key focus on building strong teams and gaining operational efficiencies. She graduated from Loyola University in Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, and subsequently earned an MBA in Finance from Loyola’s Graduate School of Business.
Mo lives in Chicago and has been married to her husband John (Ozzie) for 27 years. She has two children – Colleen and John.
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over, and we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
We base our business on sharp analytical skills, and offer diverse career opportunities to STEM-educated professionals, with degrees in accounting, engineering, finance, mathematics and technology. In addition, EY has a strong commitment to STEM education. Our Academic Resource Center develops time-critical learning materials for university faculty. Many of our corporate responsibility initiatives aim to strengthen education and build STEM skills. For example, we are a sponsor of Cyberchase, the PBS award-wining series that teaches math and problem-solving. Our professionals bring those lessons to life through the Cyberchase Volunteer Program.
Today’s CIO: it’s a different world
Although my current role as EY’s CIO lies within the professional services industry, I have seen how the global financial crisis affected everyone and changed the role of the CIO completely and across all industries.
The response to the unprecedented global downturn was a sharply increased focused on cost savings, rationalization and consolidation — everything possible to make IT operations more efficient and cost-effective. Then, as we came out of the financial crisis, we found ourselves in a “perfect storm” that has completely changed the role of the CIO. We are seeing the “consumerization” of IT and the market response to the generational shift as children raised in a digital, media-saturated world enter the workforce. IT has emerged as a “service” with the speed and capability to fuel the highly competitive race to “digital” within the corporate landscape.
Today, as EY CIO, I oversee a global workforce of more than 7,000 with objectives of market and service growth, globalization and investment in people across our four service lines (Assurance, Tax, Transactions, Advisory). My team heads up our global IT function, which has direct responsibility for resources, assets and all IT activities within EY’s global network of firms, with an annual budget of approximately US$1.5 billion.
Technology as a competitive advantage
Within the professional services industry, EY has been rapidly globalizing. We are becoming more acquisitive, building new services to take to market and embedding new technology into all our services. Technology is increasingly becoming a competitive advantage for us, rapidly evolving from its historical position as a back-office function. And technology is playing a more integral role in the services we sell to our clients. Today, we have moved away from investing most of our IT dollars in such back-office functions as finance and HR. We are now in the front office, where technology is embedded in the client solution itself and helps drive revenue and improve our employees’ productivity.
IT as a differentiator
The role of the CIO has been elevated within EY because there is an acknowledgment that IT is fundamental to everything we do now — it will be key in differentiating ourselves in the market and winning new business. Every year, we increase our IT budget with the focus on our service lines and the business looking to the CIO for leadership, education and innovation.
Shaping business strategy
Today’s CIOs and their key leaders must have a seat at the business leadership table. This is because the CIO is now expected not only to design, build and operate systems that support our clients to the highest standards, but also to play a significant role in helping the business understand the opportunities new technologies provide. And, perhaps most importantly, the CIO must now demonstrate how these can be shaped into new or enhanced services that contribute to the bottom line. The only way companies today will really innovate and leapfrog their competition is through new and disruptive business models where technology is at the center.
A vision of the future
Today’s CIO also needs to think about the workforce of the future and the importance of STEM education — and to look at the basic building blocks in developing our future IT leaders and employees. For this reason, I’m extremely pleased to be a part of EY’s College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence) initiative, another powerful example of how radically the CIO role has expanded to include participation in corporate responsibility initiatives.
College MAP provides essential support to underserved high school students as they consider the dream of higher education. The program helps students navigate the application and financial aid process, provides access to resources, and exposes them to the benefits of higher education. The College MAP curriculum includes monthly workshops, college visits and tutoring tied to financial skills that will help students succeed in college and make the most of their financial futures in general. The program has a unique approach — it matches small groups of EY professionals with groups of students, so all volunteers work in teams.
Since launching the program as a pilot in 2009, EY professionals have mentored more than 850 high school students. The program is having an impact — more than 90 percent of students who have participated in College MAP have enrolled in a two- or four-year institution. In addition, the EY College MAP Scholarship Fund, introduced in 2013, has distributed more than $220,000 to College MAP graduates to date.
A key role across the organization
Today’s successful CIO needs both business and technology. Increasingly, the position requires an ability to play a key role in driving new business services and contributing not only to the bottom line but also to the organization’s overall mission. In this new definition of what it means to be CIO, I am excited to have the opportunity to lead a truly global IT function and play a part helping EY deliver its ambitious and exciting vision to help build a better working world.