CIO Profiles: Brian Lillie Of Equinix - InformationWeek
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CIO Profiles: Brian Lillie Of Equinix

This CIO looks to the venture community for insight into the latest technologies.

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Career Track

Brian Lillie CIO, Equinix

Brian Lillie
CIO, Equinix

How long at Equinix: Almost five years at this data center company.

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: One person who used to work for me is now a CIO at JDSU, another is a VP of IT at Twitter and several more are on their way. Seeing people who have been direct reports become CIOs and be successful in their careers is very rewarding.

Decision I wish I could do over: I've had a wonderful career and life, but it hasn't always been easy. I wish I'd focused more on emotional intelligence and figured out the importance of high-quality relationships and empathy earlier in my career. Soft skills really do matter.

On The Job

Size of IT team: About 160 people, including software product development.

Top initiatives

  • Globalizing our business processes, making it easier for customers to do business with us.
  • Improving our online Web portals and presence. This includes our customer portal, exchanges and website -- essentially, our entire digital experience with our customers.
  • Expanding our IBX data centers and the support technology needed, on a global level.


How I give my team room to innovate: Innovation is critical. I encourage team members to experiment with new technologies, processes and procedures, and I give them budget and time to do it. We have links to the venture community and review companies in their portfolios in order to get insight into the newest technologies.

The most disruptive force in my industry: There's no question cloud computing will change the way IT and business deliver. It's as much about business model transformation as it is technology. It's a new business model that also enables other new business models.

What I need from tech vendors: I want to understand how to make information flow more seamlessly between private and public environments. Also, be flexible in offering customers multiple ways to buy your services.

The most common cause when IT projects go wrong: Usually, it's due to a lack of business alignment. It can be hard for IT people to say no. Sometimes we overcommit without setting expectations properly.


The fastest way into my doghouse: Stealing credit

Favorite band: The Eagles

Best book read recently: Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

Last vacation: Vacation? What's that?

Favorite app: Color Splash, which lets you manipulate color in photos

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a teacher and a sports coach for kids, and an executive coach

Ranked No. 45 in the 2012 InformationWeek 500

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User Rank: Apprentice
4/22/2013 | 6:24:59 PM
re: CIO Profiles: Brian Lillie Of Equinix
The University I attend is always having lectures like this with successful C-level executives, but I always miss them due to time restraints and previous obligations. I am glad that InformationWeek has been doing these and great job at doing them as well. I like to see and pick apart successful peopleG«÷s brains; they obviously are doing something right. It also give insight to any individuals that are going into the work world with now experience, and lets them know what could be expected of them at their future positions.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
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