IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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Senior VP and CIO, Acxiom
CAREER TRACK How long at current company: I've spent 18 months at Acxiom, a global intractive marketing services company.
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: At a former company, getting to the No. 1 spot on the InformationWeek 500 ... twice.
Most important career influencer: David Fuente, CEO at Office Depot, because he taught me that there shouldn't be a distinction between the way you treat people at work and the way you treat people at home. He's a great business leader and an even better man.
Decision I wish I could do over: Leaving a CIO role at a Fortune 500 company to chase an entrepreneurial dream.
Also, while every career move was a step up, sometimes I wish I'd moved my family around less. That's the wisdom of hindsight.
ON THE JOB IT budget: About $350 million
Size of IT team: 1,500 employees
Support company Insights Factory strategy
Further the use of infrastructure virtualization
Develop integrated suite of products and services around service-oriented architecture
Cost reduction--expense as a percentage of revenue by line of business
Customer service-level agreement attainment
Fiscal responsibility--consistently beat budget
Security--external and internal vulnerabilities reduced, independent audit confirmation
Project excellence--on time, within budget, goals achieved
VISION Advice for future CIOs: Change careers! Other than that, stick up for your convictions and stand up for the people who make you successful.
What the federal government's top technology priority should be: Vivek Kundra is a great leader who doesn't need any advice from me--our country is lucky to have him at the helm. My advice to our government leaders would be: Listen to him. I've had the pleasure of meeting him at the White House and find him to be singularly impressive.
Kids and tech careers: I wouldn't steer kids toward a technology career. The pinnacle of the career is CIO, which jokingly stands for Career Is Over. I've experienced the pressures generated by the unrealistic expectations behind that joke--needing to be perfect, fast, and cheap in a world where complexity and lack of consensus around requirements work against those expectations.
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: Yale, BA with honors; PhD at Yale not completed
Favorite sport: Golf
Tech vendor CEO I respect the most: Apple's Steve Jobs, for having the consumer's pulse
Favorite president: Abraham Lincoln, for his courage of conviction amid tumultuous upheaval
Biggest business pet peeve: Corporate antibodies that fight change and transformation
If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a Latin percussionist!
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.