Premier 100 IT Leaders 2008
They're simplifying IT and showing the business how to innovate.
Computerworld - Our annual awards program honors men and women driving strategy and innovation in top-tier IT departments. Some of their stories are below. Don't miss the complete list of this year's winners.
Toshiba, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Compaq. Name any vendor, and five years ago, Constellation Energy had its computing hardware. The same was true for software and business processes. At one point, the Baltimore-based company had at least 19 different IT purchasing processes. Today, says CTO Wynne Hayes, it has just one.
At DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., creative artists used to be confined to working only on projects under way at their own sites. But the big IT initiative this year has been consolidating what was a sprawling infrastructure into a single, virtual computing cluster. Now, digital artists can work on multiple creative projects regardless of their geographic location.
The project is in line with CIO Ajay Waghray's "less is more" philosophy and the latest in his long-term drive to streamline all IT at the $38 billion company. One major benefit: Having a single billing system reduces operating costs by 15% to 20%, saving Verizon a whopping $20 million a year.
Without a doubt, streamlining IT saves companies big bucks. Yet cost savings aren't the primary force driving the IT simplification boom. What these and many other Premier 100 IT Leaders say they are striving for is nothing short of overall business transformation. Simplifying vendor relations, consolidating systems and streamlining IT infrastructure clears a direct path to business process innovations, consistent operational excellence and overall market agility.
"The idea is to take the repetitive things and make them standard so that we can add value," says Constellation Energy Group Inc.'s Hayes, 45. For example, by standardizing purchasing processes, "we can move buyers around, and they can learn about buying different commodities. We can also move business people around, and they don't have to learn a whole new set of rules each time they move," she says. "We definitely have become much more productive and much more agile from a business perspective."
Hayes herself is an example. Prior to moving into her current post as chief technology officer of corporate applications, she served as CIO at Constellation Generation Group LLC.
Removing the Red Tape
At Corporate Express US Inc., a $5 billion supplier of computer and office supplies in Broomfield, Colo., the mandate to streamline came straight from the top.
"Our CEO came out with a tag line to 'simplify and sell' as a way to motivate the whole organization to eliminate overhead and tasks that don't really contribute to our customers' experience and are really just more red tape," explains Doug LaVelle, 42, director of business relationship management. LaVelle's group of business relationship managers was established as the sole point of contact between IT and the company's business functions.
An Inside Look At Their Key Projects
Boost Your Own Career
Leaders Past and Present
Network with the Best: Register for the 2008 Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference
Know an IT Leader? Make a nomination at www.computerworld.com/p100nominations09
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- AIIM Trendscape: The New Mobile Reality This AIIM Trendscape report shares data, expert opinions, and a unique perspective on the impact of cloud and mobility in the enterprise, surfacing...
- Empowering Your Mobile Workers A modern mobile IT strategy is no longer an option, it is an absolute necessity. Here's how some of the nation's most progressive...
- Mobile Content, Collaboration & IDC's 3rd IT Platform: The Next Frontier for the Mobile Enterprise IDC focuses this article on talks about the new IT platform. This 3rd IT Platform will be the new wave for about the...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different.... All Management White Papers | Webcasts