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CIO Profiles: Bill Martin Of Royal Caribbean Cruises

Best experience before becoming CIO? If possible, run an operating group first, says Royal Caribbean's tech chief.

InformationWeek Staff

November 5, 2010

3 Min Read

Career Track


Bill Martin VP and CIO, Royal Caribbean Cruises


Bill Martin
VP and CIO, Royal Caribbean Cruises

How long at current company: 26 years, three of them as CIO

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: I'm most proud of mentoring people across the company into leadership positions. I'm also very proud of having led multiple business disciplines successfully--before becoming CIO, I was the leader of the North American contact centers. How's that for diversity?

Most important career influencer: That's easy. I've worked for the same person for the past 16 years: Brian Rice, Royal Caribbean's executive VP and CFO, who has molded my career into what it is today.

On The Job

IT budget: Approximately $100 million

Size of IT team: Around 500 employees

How I measure IT effectiveness: The best measure is one that describes how much value you're adding to the company. We have scorecards and metrics for just about everything, but truly getting to the value add is deeper than the metrics--you have to understand that some metrics, while popular and interesting, have nothing to do with adding value.

Top initiatives:

  • Allure of the Seas: Delivery of the newest ship in the our international fleet and sister ship to Oasis of the Seas. Allure is our fifth ship to utilize a fully converged IP network that delivers in-stateroom entertainment and Wi-Fi throughout the vessel. It also uses VoIP for a wide range of wireless applications.

  • Celebrity Eclipse: Delivery of the newest ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet and the third Solstice-class ship. The Solstice class also features a fully converged network.

Vision

Advice for future CIOs: Get a business degree, and if possible, run an operating group first. It will help you understand how technology can impact--both in good ways and bad--a business unit.

The next big thing for my industry will be ... consumer-facing technology. Our Oasis class of ships had a dramatic impact on how we could leverage technology to improve the guest experience with back-of-the-house automation. Further development of BI also will be big.

Best way for CIOs to cope with the economic downturn: Be patient and look for the opportunity to leverage the upturn. We've found an increased desire to invest in technology at all levels to make our business processes more efficient.

The federal government's top technology priority should be ... healthcare infrastructure. If you've ever tried HealthVault or Google Health, you know it can be empowering to track your medical history. While some may question whether the federal government should build the infrastructure, it should provide guidelines and the incentives to make this happen.

Personal

Colleges/degrees: BSBA from the University of Phoenix (while working full time and before online education was an accepted norm)

Leisure activities: Reading, walking, biking, and playing games with the kids

Best book read recently: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team, by Patrick M. Lencioni

Smartphone of choice: BlackBerry

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a teacher--I still will be when my four kids are grown and a little less dependent

Ranked No. 41 in the 2010

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