IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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VP and CIO, Healthways
CAREER TRACK How long at current company: Five years at this health-services software company
Most important career influencer: Dr. Adrian Lewis, professor of military history at the University of Kansas and graduate program director at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He provided a lifetime of advice on how to take one's skills and passions and direct those toward some meaningful good.
ON THE JOB Size of IT team: Size of IT team: 750
How I measure IT effectiveness:
Confidence is the only metric that is of consequence. I'd gauge confidence across three domains:
• Board, senior management, and peer confidence that you're an astute and trusted business partner who understands and supports the mission, vision, and goals of the company.
• Customer confidence in your strategy and ability to execute.
• IT organizational confidence that your leadership and commitment will provide a directional beacon in good times and bad.
VISION The next big thing for my industry: Healthcare reform will change many aspects of healthcare. Risks, financial burdens, accountability, and business models will be in flux for a few years. I also look forward to advancements on the Web, in the 2.0 or social space, and in mobile computing impacting healthcare. We may be developing a generation of Americans who will see technology as a cornerstone to their well-being, the way past generations viewed doctors, nurses, and hospitals.
Advice for future CIOs: Lead, don't manage. In the early days of the job it will be necessary to use your management acumen. Over time, those instincts must be displaced by a higher calling to organizational leadership, and management must be left to those whom you trust.
The government's top tech priority should be ... The federal government has the richest computing capabilities on the planet. Pointing that portfolio toward one, two, or three specific opportunities would do great good for our nation. It would be a powerful statement to say, "in the next four years, we will ensure taxpayers receive the maximum potential value of the money already invested in our technology portfolio."
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: BA, MS, and MBA from James Madison, North Texas, and Maryland, respectively
Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Mark Cuban (Broadcast.com, HDNet, and Dallas Mavericks)
If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... I spent the first third of my working life in the military. Beyond being a CIO, my passion for the middle third, I still fully intend to spend the back third of my working life teaching, writing, and coaching.
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.