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CIO Q&A: Dominic Aslan CIO ShipServ

Dominic Aslan is CIO of ShipServ, a 20 year old online procurement portal for the global shipping. Digital to its core, Aslan’s priority is to upgrade security and infrastructure to make the service scalable.

ShipServ is an e-marketplace for the marine and offshore supply industries that enables customers to search over 54000 marine suppliers by product, category, brand and location.

Aslan has been CIO at the London headquartered marine business since early 2017 he has previously led technology in financial services, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail and information services. He spoke to Helen Beckett.

What are your top priorities for 2018?
Dominic Aslan Introduction of DevOps to increase to speed and frequency of product releases and updates. as well as a focus on  data analytics to understand our data much more intimately and provide new services to our clients. We’re also focussing on cybersecurity to ensure that we are better protected than our competition and to maintain the trust of our clients. 

What is your business looking to do in 2018 to boost Digital Transformation?Dominic Aslan: We are rebuilding our product into a micro service architecture and developing API services to support our product to become an ecosystem to the wider industry. 

My key objective is to change culture. I want all IT disciplines to work seamlessly and efficiently with each other so that we can delivery whatever we need.

What are your key objectives on the Digital Transformation journey?
Dominic Aslan: To cement our position in the maritime procurement industry and ensure we remain competitive and agile.

What are your cloud plans in 2018?
Dominic Aslan: We are moving our production systems into cloud and migrating to containerization. We are moving to containers to support our new micro service architecture and to allow us to dramatically increase the speed at which we can release new applications. We are still debating the final implementation plan but it’s either going to be a ‘big bang’ where we rebuild everything alongside our existing product and then switch everything over, or a gradual approach where we containerize certain components and integrate with the existing stack. 

Do you have plans to use any of the following technologies in your 2018 transformational agenda?

Artificial intelligence
Dominic Aslan: We aren’t considering at the moment.

Data analytics & big data
Dominic Aslan: Yes – intimate understanding of the data we’ve collected over the last 17 years so that we can provide new services and extra value to our clients.

Blockchain
Dominic Aslan:  Under evaluation, we are looking at possibilities around payment and around order management and provenance.

Is your role becoming more business objectives / innovation focused, rather than day-to-day management of IT function?
Dominic Aslan: Yes. As we abstract more and more up to cloud and SaaS I focus more on leading the company towards digital innovations that they may not know exist.

What regulations are key concerns for you?

1:GDPR:  
Dominic Aslan: GDPR is a concern, but we have already taken the action we feel necessary and had an independent assessment of our compliance.

2. Effects of Brexit
Dominic Aslan: Brexit is not a major consideration for us as we don’t do a lot of business in the UK. However there is a concern regarding the hiring and retention of existing EU staff.

3. PSD2
Dominic Aslan: This is not expected to impact our business. However we are looking at trying to make ShipServ a service platform by building public APIs that other companies can leverage.

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