Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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10/1/2009
04:32 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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CIOs In The Hot Seat

Anytime you put a "C" in your title, your shadow grows and there's no place to hide. We decided to put three CIOs in the hot seat, in front of their peers, and in front of a board of directors, American Idol-style. The board was tough, but the CIOs were phenomenal.

Anytime you put a "C" in your title, your shadow grows and there's no place to hide. We decided to put three CIOs in the hot seat, in front of their peers, and in front of a board of directors, American Idol-style. The board was tough, but the CIOs were phenomenal.You can watch the video below.

We heard several themes from these CIOs. The one that stood out: the customer matters most. Mike Cuddy, CIO of Toromont Industries talked about the need to invest in virtualization technology, not because it would save cost or boost productivity (both of these would be accomplished), but because it would allow a more flexible architecture to deploy the applications that his company's customers were demanding.

Forbes CIO Mykolas Rambus wants his company to be ahead of the blazing trend of e-readers, like Amazon's Kindle, and a slew of similar competitors. He pointed out that Amazon sold more of them in the first year than Apple did iPods.

And finally, Aviva CIO Toby Redshaw put together an aggressive collaboration project that would change the way internal employees work, and would extend to the company's customers.

Every single one of these brave CIOs made the customer the centerpiece of his proposal, each asked for not only the board's approval, but also their support and weight behind that approval. And each of them made sure the plans had a distinct and measurable return. One of them -- Redshaw -- even put his job on the line behind the numbers.

Now there's a bold shadow.

Fritz Nelson is an Executive Editor at InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.

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