CIO Values: Robert Keefe, senior VP and CIO, Mueller Water ProductsCIO Values: Robert Keefe, senior VP and CIO, Mueller Water Products
Keefe is also the current president of the Society for Information Management
February 13, 2008
How long at current company: 11 months
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: With a deep understanding of the businesses I've been in, I've been asked several times to step out of IT to temporarily run a manufacturing facility and a distribution facility, and to be part of product development and marketing teams.
Most important career influencer: While at Brookhaven National Laboratory, I learned from both staff researchers and visiting scientists (including Nobel laureates) that breadth and depth of knowledge are equally important.
How I measure IT effectiveness:
Achieve the highest level of involvement/accountability with management, staff, and business partners in new IT initiatives while flawlessly maintaining current systems and technologies.
Are we improving faster than the competition and exceeding our customers' expectations?
On The Job
IT budget: Between 1% and 2% of revenue
Size of IT team: 100-plus (including contractors and outsourced groups)
Three top initiatives for current year:
Develop an overall IT strategy, highly aligned to our business strategy
Continue to upgrade our people, processes, and technologies
Seek to achieve a balanced portfolio of IT initiatives
View on benefits of offshore outsourcing: My SIM colleagues would agree that while lower costs are available for selected areas of IT management, only a small fraction of IT has been moved offshore. So significant IT staffing continues to be required domestically, and it is a great career choice!
The next big thing for my business will be ... the accelerated replacement of North America's aging water infrastructure.
Best piece of advice for future CIOs: One, understand your profession, your business, and your organization, so you can truly deliver valuable systems, technologies, and business processes. Two, practice purposeful discontentment; strive to continuously improve. Three, leadership and customer satisfaction always go together.
Colleges/degrees: Bachelor's from the State University of New York at Oswego; master's of business administration from Pace University
Best book read recently: Boiling The IT Frog, by Harwell Thrasher
Last vacation: Skiing with family in January
If I weren't a CIO I would be ... researching the scientific mysteries of existence.
About the Author(s)
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