IT's A-listers: Recharged and ready for business growth and speed

Despite a few years of economic upheaval, these 100 men and women never stopped delivering innovation and measurable business value.

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"We're able to grow the number of destinations, routes, places and people who travel via JetBlue through these partnerships," Eng explains. "It's all very technologically based because you have to connect the two airlines' systems, sharing route, inventory and network information so you can also share itineraries."

Soon after the system went live in January 2010, JetBlue announced several new partnerships, giving travelers the ability to use a single system to make plans to fly from Tel Aviv through JFK Airport in New York and on to any of JetBlue's domestic locations. Eng says the airline will announce additional partnerships this year, extending its international network to London and Johannesburg, South Africa.

"We went to work on the customer service system with the knowledge that we wanted to enable these kinds of partnerships much more quickly," Eng says.

"Our leadership team has a fundamental belief that this is actually an opportune time, which is why we continue to invest in the business from a products, services and operations perspective. The idea is, let's drive through some of these tough times but also prepare ourselves so that when we do have an uptick, we can do even more to stimulate growth," he says.

At St. Louis-based Scottrade, IT completed building a brand-new secondary data center. The financial services company is initially using the facility as a fail-over data center, but it eventually plans to use it to geographically split up the systems that serve the independent investors who make up its customer base. The goal is to offer faster response times and better service by handling customers' needs in the data center located closest to them.

Also in the works is the launch of a new division of Scottrade Bank that will enable customers to move seamlessly between trading and banking transactions -- a setup that will give Scottrade an entirely new revenue stream.

"In the year ahead, we'll be focused on positioning ourselves for continued growth so that when the recession turns around and the economy begins to grow, we'll have the right applications in place," says Anne Coleman, director of trading applications.

The bottom line: Expect seamless leadership from these IT executives in 2011 and beyond, regardless of what happens with the economy, the unemployment rate or their corporate IT budgets. As long as the business vision is clear, Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders will continue to deliver innovation and value.

Next: View the full list of 2011 honorees

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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