IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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CIO Of UniGroup
CAREER TRACK How long at current company: Nine years at UniGroup, the parent company of United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit.
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Developing a strong architectural and governance framework that has provided the foundation for industry-leading innovation and competitive advantage. The framework has led to a solid partnership between the business units and IT while enabling improved strategic alignment.
Decision I wish I could do over: Earlier in my career, I was in a major company that experienced difficulties, and loyalty to the company prompted me to stay longer than I should have. You have to be objective about the future and understand that nothing is forever--particularly when it involves your career.
ON THE JOB IT budget: $30 million
Size of IT team: 180
Rollout and expansion of a new sales management system
Continued growth and exploitation of the enterprise business intelligence initiatives
Expansion of the SOA-based architecture, allowing us to develop innovative systems and improve the quality of IT delivery.
How I measure IT effectiveness: There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of IT. From a financial perspective, running IT like a business and managing to the bottom line provides a strong foundation. Operationally, delivering projects on time and below budget is essential to build credibility with business partners. But the foremost measurement of IT effectiveness is your business partners' assessment of whether the technology investment is generating the expected business value.
VISION Advice for future CIOs: CIOs have to not only be part of the executive team but provide a key enterprise leadership role by developing a unique understanding of the business issues and finding solutions where technology can better enable the business. It's equally important to surround yourself with dedicated people who can execute technology to achieve the business vision.
The next big thing for my industry will be ... changing the business model. The need for process change and innovation is great, and as nontraditional companies find more effective ways to service customers, competition will get more intense.
Best way to cope with the economic downturn: It's important to remain focused on adding value to the business while at the same time paying attention to resource management and continuous improvement opportunities.
Kids and technology careers: Opportunities will be abundant for those who choose to pursue tech careers. Even if kids are unsure, the analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills learned in math and science course work will serve them well in any career.
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: Webster University, MA in computer systems management; Murray State University, BS in agribusiness and systems management
Favorite president: Ronald Reagan, because he understood leadership in that he led from the heart, but with strength and conviction
Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Warren Buffett
Pet peeve: Those in leadership positions who don't have a sense of urgency
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.
. We've got a management crisis right now, and we've also got an engagement crisis. Could the two be linked? Tune in for the next installment of IT Life Radio, Wednesday May 20th at 3PM ET to find out.