IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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CAREER TRACK How long at current company: 14 years
Most important career influencer: Our CEO, Jeff Sprecher--the most brilliant business mind I've ever been around. He also had the confidence to let me run our technology from startup and through our most rapid periods of growth.
Career achievement I'm most proud of: The spring of 2005 was the most challenging time in my career, when we decided to move ICE Futures Europe's largely floor-based business to our electronic platform. The plan called for a transition to a new architecture in two years, including new high-performance servers, a new network design, low-latency middleware, a new software architecture, a high-speed matching engine, and hundreds of code optimizations. Today, the ICE platform can handle hundreds of thousands of transactions a second, and at 2.5 milliseconds, the average transaction time makes this the fastest commodities trading platform in the world.
Decision I wish I could do over: At one point, I selected a software product largely based on reputation because it was considered the best in the industry, and because it was what everyone else was using. We wasted a year of development time until we switched gears. Every vendor and product must be vetted, regardless of its past success and reputation.
ON THE JOB IT budget: $30 million
Size of IT team: 250 employees
• We will expand products and services provided by our credit default swaps clearinghouses, ICE Trust and ICE Clear Europe.
• We'll also transition our ICE Clear Europe technology infrastructure away from a third-party vendor and onto our own technology.
• Recently enacted financial reform legislation will require reporting and registration of all over-the-counter derivatives trades at a central trade repository.
How I measure IT effectiveness: Our technology initiatives are aligned 100% with our business initiatives. If we execute our technology, then our business is successful.
VISION The next big thing for my industry will be ... effectively navigating the emerging waves of mobile computing, social media, and financial regulation.
Best way for CIOs to cope with the economic downturn: Understand that, increasingly, technology isn't just a cost center-it's also essential for execution of your business.
The federal government's top tech priority should be ... the security of our networks, energy infrastructure, and other critical infrastructure from cyberterrorism.
Kids and tech careers: Technology is needed in every industry, and that provides you with many options. I also view technology as a creative endeavor.
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: University of Florida's College of Engineering, BSc degree
Leisure activities: Baseball; I play third base and manage an adult recreational baseball team
Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Steve Jobs
Smartphone of choice: BlackBerry Tech vendor I respect most: Google co-founder Eric Schmidt
If I weren't a CTO, I'd be ... a high school baseball coach
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.