- IT's Elite: Earning the rewards of risk-taking
- Class of 2012 Yearbook. A photo gallery, along with honorees' predictions, projects and more.
- Editorial: The Premier 100 are calculated risk-takers.
- Honor Roll: View Premier 100 IT Leader alumni from 2000 to 2012.
- Learn from the Best. Join honorees at the Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference March 11-13, 2012.
- Know an IT Leader? Nominate that person for next year's list.
- Editor's Picks: Read Computerworld's best stories on leadership.
- How we chose the honorees.
Premier 100 IT Leader profile:
Supporting fundamental IT projects proves a win-win
Computerworld - Ralph Loura, CIO of Clorox, recently took a political risk and lived to tell the tale.
During the annual planning process at the maker of household cleaning products, three projects were competing for the same funding. Two were new initiatives with "strong business leaders and good business cases," Loura says. The third was an IT integration proposal -- a "cleanup" kind of deal that had been postponed for years.
Loura, 47, backed the cleanup project.
In the end, part of the funding went to the integration and part of it went to one of the new projects. But, Loura says, he learned a few things from the dust-up.
First, "you have to fight" for the foundational IT projects that are important to the company's long-term growth, he says. Second, the executives involved now "have a much better understanding of each other," and that's a good thing. "The best client managers are those who do a good job of saying no, and can challenge a fairly powerful business client and stick to their guns," Loura says.
Linda Martino, vice president of business applications and one of Loura's direct reports, says her boss's political acuity is one reason she's glad he's at Clorox. "He's helped socialize the other executives that IT is an ongoing improvement process and not just a one-time investment," she says. "He's really energetic and has brought hope. [Employees] now have a senior leader with vision."
— Johanna Ambrosio
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