Tony Tocco is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Sodexo, Inc., a leading food and facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In this capacity, Tony provides strategic direction and leadership to the Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) teams who work in Applications and Development, Information Management, Customer Service, and Operations & Infrastructure.
Tony has been with Sodexo for 10+ years serving in various IS&T leadership roles, including CIO since 2007. Prior to his CIO role, Tony was Vice President of Operations & Infrastructure (O&I) where he led Sodexo’s IT team through a period of rapid growth and change. During this period, Tony’s IS&T teams designed and implemented technical platforms to support the company’s networks, data centers, information security, and customer service infrastructure. Under Tony’s leadership, Sodexo IT has attained ISO 20000 certification, a worldwide standard for IT Service Management.
As CIO, Tony has led the development of new IT strategies and application architecture designed to meet Sodexo’s business objectives. He has led the transformation of the IT team in order to achieve the progressive IT strategic goals. Tony has instituted key process improvements and metrics for project delivery, business engagement, IT Governance, and project portfolio management to ensure achievement of the IT roadmap. Key accomplishments include design and delivery of a global enterprise asset management tool based upon IBM Maximo, enterprise-wide reporting and dashboard platform, and establishing a target IT architecture that enables integrated business processes using enterprise application integration technology.
Prior to joining Sodexo, Tony spent 12 years with Electronic Data Systems. He began his career as a practicing engineer in the aerospace and automotive industries. Tony is a graduate of the State University of NY at Buffalo with a Master of Engineering degree.
Information is the next big frontier in STEM. Success will belong to those who can find it, understand it and know how to use it. Organizations need to identify new ways to harness more and more information. There is an ever-increasing demand for highly skilled computer science, IT and data experts to make to make that happen, all while remaining competitive and agile in the marketplace. In fact, InformationWeek just reported that a recent report from CEB predicts up to 19 million new tech- and engineering-related jobs will be created worldwide during the next 15 years. Guess what area tops CEB’s list? Big Data! CEB’s report said the Big Data talent pool will increase more than 500% by 2030, which would make it the second-most popular STEM field.
So what is Big Data and why is it critical? Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, according to IBM. This massive accumulation of information is commonly referred to as Big Data. Predictive analytics or other advanced methods are used to extract value from Big Data that has the potential to help organizations make faster, more intelligent decisions. And better decisions can mean greater operational efficiency, cost reductions and reduced risk.
Organizations have an unprecedented ability to capture data about both their facilities and their workforce’s activities and parley that information into greater performance. As CIO of one of the largest facilities management outsourcing companies in the world, I have a keen interest in how Big Data will improve facilities management (FM), particularly how Smart buildings, Smart management and Smart behavior will all work together to raise performance levels and improve quality of life.
According to a recently published white paper entitled Enhancing Employee Productivity and Quality of Life with Big Data, the most exciting aspect of Big Data is the potential for remote sensors to capture and transmit useful information automatically (and at very low cost), enabling all kinds of predictive and preventive intelligence to enhance employees’ performance as well as their quality of life, and to reduce risks. For example, though not technically a workplace example, consider smart concrete that can warn drivers of ice patches on the road ahead. What could this technology, utilized in a smart building tell us about their physical condition that would help determine preventive maintenance, minimize costs, and reduce the risks of accidents and physical deterioration?
From a behavioral perspective, there are now smartphone apps that can monitor and report on the tone of voice that individuals use during phone conversations. That may seem a little unsettling and more than a bit invasive, but it is also possible to imagine that a group-based emotional assessment could alert management to a brewing controversy or lapse in employee engagement. The important management question, of course, is how this kind of data collection enhances individual and organizational productivity as well as positively impacts employee quality of life.
The promise of Big Data is powerful; it presents opportunities for deep learnings about how, where and why work gets accomplished – learnings that can lead to significant redesign of work flows, office layouts and dramatic improvements in office ergonomics. It also offers the ability to enhance the quality of the work experience and to mitigate workplace risks (e.g., liability insurance costs, health insurance costs, business continuity planning).
For facilities, there are also significantly more opportunities to closely monitor building data, producing more effective management of variables like air quality, temperature variations, energy costs, lighting impact, and a wide variety of safety and maintenance issues. These environmental factors can have a major impact on performance, productivity, satisfaction and engagement.
When organizations implement Big Data strategies, they must build commitment and understanding of its implications across the entire organization. Management must ensure that there are proper controls and comprehensive supervision policies and practices in place, both to leverage the data and to be certain it is interpreted and applied in a meaningful way.
Big Data also presents an opportunity for FM to become much more forward- looking, offering strategic counsel and anticipatory leadership to the larger organization rather simply reporting historical data. The past is far less important now because conditions are changing so rapidly. Research and benchmarking have taken on a different focus; the kind of research we do, and the things we benchmark, must be re-examined from the ground up.
Just as consumer product companies have learned to define and market to small market niches, Big Data is helping FM learn more about the connections between workplace design and individual work styles and their association to greater productivity. In the future FM may find itself under pressure to provide custom-fit (but cost-effective) workplaces for specific project teams and even individual knowledge workers. The exciting aspect is that data to inform those design decisions will be plentiful and readily available.
In the end we want to enable FM leaders to be more successful at ensuring that the built environment provides cost-effective support to their organizations and employees. FM will be judged on the outcomes it produces relative to the cost it takes to achieve those outcomes.
Sodexo, Inc., the leading Quality of Life services provider in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc. is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md. and funds all administrative costs for the independent and charitable Sodexo Foundation — granting more than $25 million since 1999 to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.