IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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Sr. VP and CIO, Automotive Resources International
CAREER TRACK How long at Automotive Resources International: I've been with ARI, which handles fleet leasing and management, for over three years.
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: I was part of a very motivated team at Commerce Bank prior to obtaining my position at ARI. In a two-year time frame, we developed and implemented a new teller and customer relationship system, which supported 2 million customers in 500 locations. This system helped the bank win several awards and secure new business.
Most important career influencer: My parents, for instilling in me the Golden Rule--"One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." They taught me to be a good person and that everything else will take care of itself.
Decision I wish I could do over: Early in my career, I didn't recognize the plus side of failure. If I made a mistake, I'd either ignore it or, even worse, hide it. Now I stress the importance of learning from mistakes. On a weekly basis, my team holds an incident and problem management team meeting to identify areas where we can improve.
ON THE JOB
Size of IT team: 140 full-time employees and 25 contractors
IT budget: $26 million
Enhancing our real-time and predictive analysis tools for customer use through our Web-based fleet management system.
New product development and innovation.
VISION The next big thing for my business: The integration of technology in vehicles will give fleet managers more real-time data, from notification that something in the engine needs attention to alerts that a driver is speeding. That information will increase their ability to control operating costs and improve driver behavior.
One thing I'm looking to do better: More tightly aligning the IT team's focus with the company's business plan and increasing their understanding of how their day-to-day activities support ARI's business.
Lesson learned from the recession: Always invest--in your people and yourself--in all economic cycles.
Kids and tech careers: Most professions today are tied in some form or fashion to technology. The stronger kids' base knowledge is tied to technology, the more opportunities will open to them.
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: Drexel University, BS in finance; Phoenix University, MBA in technology management
Leisure activities: Coaching basketball
Best book read recently: Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones For Success, by John C. Maxwell
Smartphone of choice: iPhone
Personal computer: Mac
If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a grammar school principal
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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