The Future of Technology and Business with Brian Leimbach of CIO Advise

By David Thompson

Apr 25, 2023 11:11 AM EDT

Brian Leimbach(Brian Leimbach) (Credit: Getty Image)

A recent letter demanding a pause in artificial intelligence research, co-signed by Elon Musk and many other thought leaders, has caused controversy and sparked debate in the tech industry. Signed by more than 1,800 individuals, including cognitive scientist Gary Marcus and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the letter calls for a six-month pause on the development of AI systems "more powerful" than ChatGPT-4, OpenAI's popular AI chatbot. 

The letter claims that a pause in developing AI systems with "human-competitive intelligence" is necessary to ensure the technology is developed safely and ethically. However, the letter has been criticized by some of the researchers cited in it. Many claim the letter misrepresents their work and that they do not support a pause in AI research. To this point, some signatories have since walked back their support. 

Despite the controversy, the letter has sparked an important conversation about the future of AI and the need to implement stopgaps and procedures that ensure this groundbreaking technology is developed responsibly. As AI systems become more advanced and powerful, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must work together to address the potential risks and develop AI in a way that benefits humanity.

While many of the recent breakthroughs in AI are helping businesses streamline basic tasks and develop creative marketing ideas, AI technology is poised to change how we understand cyber-defense and cyberattacks at both the corporate and national levels. This is precisely why, regardless of how the public feels about artificial intelligence, businesses small and large are scrambling to understand the best way to leverage this technology without being left behind.

CIO Advise is a business technology management consulting firm founded in 2017 by Brian Leimbach, President and CEO. CIO Advise has made a name for itself by analyzing how companies utilize data & technology to improve their business processes, cyber security, and valuation. Since artificial intelligence software continues to progress rapidly, the need for companies to evolve their business processes with technology is as acute as ever. CIO Advise specializes in analyzing businesses in technology & software, healthcare, financial services, and private equity, consulting them on the best way to make technology-impacting decisions.

Leimbach elaborates, "CIO Advise has been a Microsoft Partner since 2017. Microsoft has just announced they are embedding AI into their business products. It's called Copilot and will be in products such as Dynamics 365 and Office products. CIO Advise is uniquely positioned to assist its clients in capitalizing on this technology to advance sales and business processes."

During the pre-sale stage of an investment, M&A, or due diligence, CIO Advise is contracted with a mandate from the purchaser to analyze the technological and business processes of the tangent company. Leimbach and the CIO Advise team assess where the company is, the strength of the technology stack, and its cybersecurity levels to build a technology roadmap that will digitally transform the company and immediately make it more valuable post-exit. CIO Advise works with private equity firms acquiring a new portfolio company and larger companies purchasing smaller companies in similar industries. In the former use case, the CIO Advise team analyzes the technological processes of both the smaller company and how the parent company's systems should intersect with that of the smaller company they are purchasing. The result of this analysis helps set the acquisition price as the CIO Advise team takes technology, financials, and industry comps into account.

The CIO Advise team usually starts with a series of executive interviews, having candid conversations with the management team to understand their perspective on the company's current challenges and pain points. After taking in this human element, the team dives into the business processes, gathering data on operations best practices, software usage, financial health, and more. The CIO Advise consultants conduct a comprehensive analysis creating documentation on what is and is not working to suggest where technology can improve and automate their processes. These suggestions range from day-to-day logistics to high-level cybersecurity as the CIO Advise team helps implement and customize popular business software (Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Oracle, etc), utilize data analytics, and leverage artificial intelligence. The CIO Advise team produces detailed business analytics dashboards and reports so that investors, private equity firms, and stakeholders at the company can easily visualize the business's health from a high level. This saves time during due diligence and provides a clear path forward. 

"We partner with CIO Advise for their technology expertise and to utilize their skillsets to help us institute best practices and drive digital innovation at our portfolio companies. We recommend CIO Advise for any Private Equity firm looking to increase the value of their portfolio companies," Stephen Mashaal, Partner at Fireside Investments, states. 

As technology continues to fundamentally change how companies in all industries conduct business, management teams are feeling the pressure to implement new technology. There is no telling how artificial intelligence will progress nor how it will intersect with various markets in the near future. This is precisely why business technology management consulting firms that are helping private equity firms and their portfolio companies implement new technology, like CIO Advise, are valued at a premium. 

To learn more about CIO Advise, visit the company's website and schedule a consultation here

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