CIO Values: Mark Brewer, Senior VP And CIO Of Seagate Technology

Collaboration tools and collaborative thinking are the next wave, says Brewer.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

December 5, 2008

3 Min Read

Career Track

MARK BREWER Senior VP and CIOSeagate Technology

How long at current company: 16 years

Career accomplishment you're most proud of: I'm most proud of all the teamwork over the years--getting people to work together to accomplish big and small things through good and bad times.

Most important career influencer: : I once had a boss who wrote down every hint of an action item in his day planner. From that, I learned the importance of not letting anything slip through the cracks.

Decision I wish I could do over: No major do-overs, but smaller things I wish I'd done differently. I regret work relationship breakdowns more than anything else. Work is hard enough without having personnel-related challenges, too.

Advice for future CIOs: It's all about people and relationships. We need to work with peers and staff and continually try to improve collaboration and partnerships everywhere. Build trust and listen. Focus on the people, communications, and project management.


The next big thing for my business will be ... Collaboration tools and collaborative thinking are the next wave. This means getting different groups across the country and around the world working better together. Wikis and blogs are tools along these lines, and there's much opportunity in this space.

View on offshore outsourcing: We've had lots of success over the years with an offshore partner, having worked on various kinds of projects.

On The Job

IT budget (approximate): More than $200 million

Size of IT team: More than 1,500

Top three initiatives:

  • Better and more business analytics out of our data warehouse system

  • Better and faster support of sales in all aspects of customer engagement and sales

  • Operational excellence across the board in all systems and service, while also maintaining a focus on reducing costs

How I measure IT effectiveness: We have a balanced scorecard that measures costs, operational matters, employee efforts, and other data points. We're financially focused on our IT work and initiatives, and we think in terms of costs to scale and costs to sustain.


Colleges/degrees: Oklahoma State University, with BS, MS, and Ph.D. in electrical engineering

Favorite leisure activity: I read everything in sight, and I've started blogging.

Best book read recently: The Big Moo: Stop Trying To Be Perfect And Start Being Remarkable

If I weren't a CIO, I'd ... probably work in economics and financial analysis.

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