IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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Senior VP of Corporate Service Center and CIO, Del Monte
CAREER TRACK How long at current company: Eight years
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Partnering with Del Monte leadership to dramatically transform our supply chain planning, management, and execution to be best in class over the course of two years. Effective partnering allowed us to take prudent risks and deliver improvements in terms of service and cost reductions.
Most important career influencers: My father (an engineer) and my wife (a psychotherapist). My father taught me to explore new things and not to fear early adoption. He got me my first warehousing job and also encouraged me to take my first computer course. My wife taught (and continues to teach) me to listen and to be sensitive to the individual.
ON THE JOB Size of IT team: 130 employees
• Continue to increase our supply chain and operations speed and responsiveness to drive out cost and improve service levels, for ourselves and our customers.
• Provide improved analytics and predictive capabilities to fuel innovation, marketing, and sales growth.
• Bring social media trends into our business to positively transform the way people work, fueling innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness.
How I measure IT effectiveness: We measure IT effectiveness through direct alignment of our initiatives with delivery of our corporate business strategy, the Accelerated Growth Plan. Each project in our portfolio is prioritized against growth drivers--productivity improvement, building core brands, and accelerating innovation--and measured against specific business benefit targets.
VISION Advice for future CIOs: Identify the one or two areas where you can make a strategic impact on the business, partner with winners, and make it happen. Business performance is primarily driven by focused, highly successful execution--not by being adequate across the board. The CIO's value to the business is to create that focus and success.
The next big thing for my industry will be ... true collaboration across the food supply chain powered by shared visibility from field to shelf.
Best way for CIOs to cope with the economic downturn: Continue to emphasize a balanced mix of efficiency and effectiveness of IT delivery. It's imperative to get the most out of the resources at hand. An increasing portion of the funding to implement and support new technologies and to deliver new business capabilities will have to come from efficiency gains in other IT service areas. Using methodologies that focus on efficiency such as lean performance improvement can help drive this message throughout IT.
Kids and technology careers: I haven't steered my two teenage kids toward a technology career. They need to explore a wide range of opportunities that they might enjoy so they can gravitate to what makes them happy. Success will follow.
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: Carnegie-Mellon University, BS in civil engineering; Kellogg School at Northwestern University, MM in marketing and operations
Leisure activities: Golf
Favorite pro sports team: Pittsburgh Pirates--how sad is that!
Tech vendor I respect most: Apple's Steve Jobs
Business-related pet peeve: CYA behavior by people who are supposed to be leaders
If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... spending more time with my family and relaxing
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.
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