Business & Finance
06:15 PM

CIO Values: Tom Gosnell, Senior VP & CIO, CUNA Mutual Group

"IT leaders must innovate and drive business results."

Career Track

Tom Gosnell Senior VP and CIO

Senior VP and CIO CUNA Mutual Group
How long at current company: 18 months

Career accomplishment you're most proud of: Most recently, my team and I delivered over $60 million in projects for 2007, and we met all of our service agreements and delivered impressive financial results for our businesses. Our IT organization received several major IT industry awards and recognition last year.

Most important career influencer: One of my previous managers was able to tell stories that won over the hearts and minds of others, and these stories motivated me and hundreds of others to be high performers. His energy, enthusiasm, and positive attitude toward people and life were incredibly motivating.

Decision I wish I could do over: Looking back, I would have sought out more mentors and sponsors, asked more questions, assessed the risks, or asked for help in order to be better prepared. My results always delivered successful outcomes, but sometimes the road traveled wasn't always the most optimal.

On The Job

IT budget: Approximately $90 million

Size of IT team: 900 to 1,000 total--540 people, internal; 400 to 500 multiple sourcing resources

Three top initiatives for current year:

  • Partnering with Customer Operations to improve the customer experience through people, process, and technology improvements.
  • Transforming IT to run like a business through changes in leadership, culture, process, metrics, and delivery.
  • Assessing and delivering improvements in our IT infrastructure, including storage, new phone and e-mail systems, and overall infrastructure.

How I measure IT effectiveness: We use a Balanced Scorecard to measure our success.

The next big thing for my business will be ... growth, new products and services, diversification.

Advice for future CIOs: IT leaders must innovate and drive business results, as well as lead change and manage IT as a business. It is important to continue to hone and challenge your leadership and business skills. CIOs must grow business acumen, understand the customer, take educated risks, step out of their comfort zone, learn to be influencers within a matrix environment, and develop great relationships with other leaders.

Colleges/degrees: BS in computer science from Arizona State University Engineering School; MBA with an emphasis in international business and finance from the University of Pittsburgh

Leisure activity: Kids, kids, kids, then golf, golf, golf.

If I weren't a CIO I would be ... run a technology business, or run a golf course and play more golf!

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