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, UniGroup
How long at UniGroup: About a year at this logistics services company.
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Making the transition from the business to IT. Education in IT made me a better business leader; business experience makes me a better IT leader.
Decision I wish I could do over: In the past, I made the mistake of chasing technology. There's a balance between implementing new technologies that offer a competitive advantage and developing reliable, consistent systems.
ON THE JOB
IT budget: $30 million
Size of IT team: 180
Building a supply chain management system.
Moving more systems to an open source stack from a mainframe.
Engaging a colocation facility.
One thing I'm looking to do better: I want to improve collaboration. We just have too many walls today.
How I give my team room to innovate: I ask for individuals or teams to present ideas to me that they feel have potential to make a difference. This demonstrates initiative and passion for the idea. If an idea has merit, I free up their time to pursue the idea and ask for regular updates.
The most common cause when IT projects go wrong: A breakdown in communication between IT and the business or a lack of support from the business is usually why projects fail.
What I want from tech vendors: We need truly unique, innovative approaches to problems from our vendors instead of another repackaging of the same old ideas.
The most overrated IT movement: Cloud computing. It's not that I don't support it or believe that it's going to happen, it's just that there are so many case studies that are simply not true. Let's face it, there is still a lot of work to be done to make it easier and more affordable.
Kids and tech careers: I'm definitely trying to steer my kids toward technology careers. They're still young, but I believe that technology will always have a future.
Degree: Creighton University, BS in computer science
Favorite pro sports team coach: Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, because he coaches his team like I feel I coach my team -- we're both involved and personal
Best book read recently: Unbroken, a well-written and incredible story about Louis Zamperini
If I weren't CIO, I'd be ... a COO -- I love operations
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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