Build strong relationships with the CEO and work closely with customers, Bott advises future CIOs.
Kevin Bott Senior VP and CIO, Ryder System
How long at current company: I joined Ryder in 1995. I've been CIO for two years.
Career accomplishment you're most proud of: I've been lucky to be in charge of teams developing leading transportation and logistics applications that have made significant impacts to major industries. It's a real thrill to know that my team's efforts are helping to make the economy run better.
Most important career influencer: Robert Sanchez, the COO of our Fleet Management Solutions business unit. As the prior CIO, he served as a mentor and advocate. He taught me the value of ongoing communications with the business teams and the importance of a strong financial background.
Major decision you wish you could do over again: I was a consultant for five years at one of the big IT firms, and while it was a great learning experience, it was very stressful for my family and me. In retrospect, I probably should have stayed in my previous job.
On The Job
IT budget: $70 million to $80 million
Size of IT team: 400 employees
Three top initiatives for current year:
RydeSmart, an onboard wireless communications system to improve vehicle uptime, driver efficiency, highway safety, cargo security, and real-time tracking of customer fleet operations.
A new "purpose-built" delivery system for which Ryder designed and operated customized IT systems to provide order visibility, transportation management, inventory management, order-to-cash delivery process, and vehicle and facility security.
Expansion of our enterprise data warehouse and implementation of a financial reporting initiative that will better integrate our finance and accounting teams.
The next big thing for my business will be ... Real-time asset and shipment tracking using wireless or satellite, either via onboard telematics or RFID technologies; increased use of BI technology and executive dashboards to improve business performance; an increase in SOA to simplify how businesses interact.
Advice for future CIOs: Build strong relationships with the CEO and other executives, to strategically prioritize technology solutions and projects; work closely with customers to understand their needs, resolve issues, and strategize on business initiatives.
Colleges/degrees: Doctorate in operations management, master of arts in management sciences, and bachelor of arts in biophysics from Ohio State University.
Leisure activity: Playing basketball and reading science fiction.
Favorite leisure activities: Soccer and the Boston Red Sox
If I weren't a CIO I would be ... Someday, I would like to be CEO.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.