A.G. Edwards, an InformationWeek 500 company, last month reported quarterly net earnings of $50 million, 23% higher than the same quarter a year ago. CIO John Parker says the IT department has nearly doubled its investment in revenue-producing activities.
Photograph by Austin Walsh
CIO, A.G. Edwards Inc.
"One of my first jobs was driving a lavatory truck in airports, [emptying] toilets on planes. Then, 18 years ago, my first child was born. As I stood holding her in the delivery room, I realized I'd have to do something different. I had to play to win, as opposed to playing not to lose."
Reading The Tea Leaves
Parker spend 17 years at Delta Airlines and then became CIO at Northwest Airlines. Last month, both companies filed for bankruptcy on the same day. "I took all the talent with me when I left."
"I learned to juggle after I got sidelined by a high school football injury. Since then, I've used my juggling talent at management-training events to show the need to manage multiple projects simultaneously. My own job is more akin to ... spinning plates in the air, because you have to keep more things going."
"Of all the places I've done business, Ukraine is the most interesting. The differences in language and alphabet, plus the challenge of trying to negotiate business deals over shots of vodka, make it a fascinating place."
IT modernization and reorganization are propelling A.G. Edwards forward. This includes a new services-oriented architecture and analytics tools that let financial consultants do their jobs better. "To have IT leading the business is a radical shift, but it's become the norm."
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.