Business & Finance
News
9/20/2005
03:11 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Push The Envelope, Says Capital One's CIO

At the InformationWeek Fall Conference Tuesday, CIO Gregor Bailar encouraged attendees to be innovative with business technologies. And that means not discounting the potential of consumer technologies like the iPod.

A traditional view of IT isn't going to take a company to the pinnacle of innovation. Outside-the-box thinking will, and that's what landed Capital One Financial Corp. the top slot on this year's InformationWeek 500, an annual list of the leading innovators in IT.

Whether that means having IT execs sit in call center seats to see how customer service unfolds in the trenches, positioning IT within the company as the "building materials" of commerce, or finding business uses for consumer technologies like the iPod, Capital One is stretching the boundaries.

Speaking at the InformationWeek Fall Conference Tuesday, CIO Gregor Bailar reminded a roomful of peers to keep pushing the envelope. The iPod, he said, provides a perfect example: it's a technology that, while lacking the security needed to be a viable business tool, has the potential to build excitement around business technology. "More business managers have technology at home that they know how to use than they do at the office," Bailar said. "It's amazing how much the bar has been raised by consumer electronics."

Bailar's comments echoed those of former MIT professor Michael Hammer, who in an earlier session, stressed that true innovation is marked by doing entirely new things, not simply doing the same old things better. But such risk-taking, said Bailar, doesn't start in a vacuum. In order for it to take hold, there has to be buy-in from above, a tricky proposition for many CIOs. "The key for [CIOs] is to get that spark into the CEOs who don't get it."

Novel approaches, such as Capital One's practice of having senior execs spend some time working in a call center, can help. Bailar said that during his stint handling calls, he conceptualized five new IT products as he came across illogical prompts and processes. Embracing technologies such as the iPod that don't appear to have obvious business value can be equally energizing, Bailar said. "I'd encourage [CIOs] to invite that stuff."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.