2016 Premier 100 Technology Leaders

Meet the 2016 Premier 100

The annual Computerworld Premier 100 awards shine a spotlight on individuals who have had a positive impact on their organization through technology.

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This year’s honorees represent more than 20 industries and organizations of all sizes, so you’re sure to find a project that piques your interest. Many of these technology executives -- some just starting out, and others well along in their careers -- also identify the title they aspire to someday. Their ideas could help you map out your own IT trajectory.

Richard L. McKinney

Richard L. McKinney

Title
CIO

Employer
U.S. Department of Transportation

Location
Washington

Career highlight:
I’ve held IT director and CIO roles at the local level (CIO for the city of Nashville), the state level (IT director for the Tennessee General Assembly) and now the federal level.

Coolest project:
We are working closely with the automotive industry on connected vehicle-to-vehicle technology. It’s inspiring to see the promise of these new technologies and the dedication of the incredible teams working passionately to save lives.

Boldest, most out-on-a-limb prediction for IT:
Five years from now, there will be an IT buzzword on everyone’s lips, the headline of countless stories and the rage of the day. And that buzzword hasn’t been coined yet. Our apparent human predilection to continually make linear forecasts and predictions in tech fields that have been growing exponentially for decades never ceases to amaze me. Something unforeseen is always right around the corner.

A job responsibility you’d like to eliminate:
The entire employee review process. We have a very formal, fill-in-the-blanks type of approach that doesn’t serve us well. We are bound by federal law to do it, but it doesn’t achieve the results it was intended to produce. Regular one-on-one meetings, which I do, serve us better.

Oswaldo Mestre

Oswaldo Mestre

Title
Chief service officer and director of Citizen Services

Employer
City of Buffalo

Location
Buffalo, N.Y.

Coolest project:
Buffalo now uses data analytics to identify its most challenged neighborhoods and more effectively deploy resources for everything from neighborhood beautification to combating crime and reducing fire hazards.

How are you using reverse-mentoring to learn from younger generations?
Our Urban Fellow Internship Program is for college students seeking more experience and knowledge about our workplace in exchange for school credits. We task them with current city projects, but also give them the freedom to create their own. In this environment, we push them to think of how to digitize and modernize current city functions and programming. This provides a learning platform for students, staff and me.

How do you find time to innovate?
Innovation should be second nature. Time is crucial. Time to think, time to collaborate, time to plan, time to test and time to rethink. One of the best ways to innovate is to pinch an idea that works well elsewhere and apply it in our division. In a broader sense, innovation is important to the advancement of our work, so I look at work and innovation as two missions that go hand in hand.

Terri J. Mikol

Terri J. Mikol

Title
Director, Data Governance

Employer
UPMC

Location
Pittsburgh

Emerging technology that has captured your interest:
With the advancements in personalized medicine and the accelerated growth of healthcare-related data, the ability to maximize the value of our data assets is critical to our continued success. Every piece of data can impact a future patient outcome, and relying on IT organizations alone to transform data assets into actionable information is proving to have scale challenges. Technology that enables people to collect, share and interpret data, without requiring advanced IT skills, is paving the way for significant transformation.

Boldest, most out-on-a-limb prediction for IT:
Transitioning all data-related decisions to the business is elevating the analytics abilities of all UPMC employees and providing IT with additional capacity to focus on technology initiatives instead of tracking down data needs and discrepancies. Many IT professionals in the healthcare industry have careers centered on being the “data guy.” It’s a challenging transition to turn the reins over to the business, but it is essential to do so. There is simply too much data to master and manage.

Tom H. Miller

Tom H. Miller

Title
Senior vice president and CIO

Employer
Anthem Inc.

Location
Indianapolis

Coolest project:
Anthem has entered into an agreement with Deloitte to leverage their innovation labs to accelerate Anthem’s technology-based innovation efforts, particularly with respect to the opportunities to improve engagement with consumers and providers. The arrangement gives Anthem access to Deloitte labs, technologies, resources and ecosystem partnerships to more rapidly advance Anthem’s innovation agenda.

A recent example of your personal leadership style:
I invited my leadership team to my lake house in the North Georgia mountains so we could spend three days thinking about strategy and innovation. We’re usually too busy to spend quality thinking time together, so this retreat was the perfect environment to unplug from the day-to-day responsibilities and exercise our obligation to provide the enterprise with strategic technology thought leadership.

What’s the most important task you’ve delegated?
I delegated the responsibility of establishing and operating a technology innovation center to one of my direct reports, the vice president of marketplace solutions. This task, and the responsibility of leading it, has high visibility across Anthem’s executive leadership team.

Aaron Miri

Aaron Miri

Title
CIO

Employer
Walnut Hill Medical Center

Location
Dallas

Career highlight:
Being invited to speak in Washington during National Health IT Week in front of congressional members and staffers to discuss, debate, inform and assist in legislating very relevant topics in health IT.

Boldest, most out-on-a-limb prediction for IT:
That artificial intelligence, like what’s going on with IBM Watson, will begin to assist the general population with run-of-the-mill medical issues. If you have a sore throat, through A.I. and telemedicine, people will be diagnosed and treated with a medical script without the need for a physician.

Biggest technology disappointment in the past year:
Electronic medical records in general have disappointed me. The patient is the substantive reason for their existence, but there is too much jockeying for position and money.

Skills you will hire for this year:
IT security and true data scientist work. We will hire but then train other staffers to assist as we dig heavily into quality, clinical, performance and financial data.

What’s the most important task you’ve delegated?
Standing up a completely independent and external physician and patient portal. I have delegated it to our program manager for clinical technologies and he’s knocking it out of the park.

Ram Mohan

Ram Mohan

Title
Executive vice president and CTO

Employer
Afilias

Location
Horsham, Pa.

Coolest project:
Building a cloud-based deployment of registry solutions in China, a first in the industry and a unique competitive advantage.

Biggest technology disappointment in the past year:
Virtual reality technologies such as Oculus (looks like a fad now) and 3D printing (slow adaptation to existing needs).

New title in your IT organization:
Enterprise risk manager

Skills you will hire for this year:
Mobile, high capacity/scalability engineering, Internet security, account management and multilingual technologies

Fastest-ROI project:
Server virtualization on private cloud infrastructure. High ROI, quick turnaround and rapid delivery without compromising on stability.

How do you find time to innovate?
Innovate or die. Innovation time is tucked into existing projects -- high disruption in the domain industry is creating many opportunities for technology innovation.

Derek Monahan

Derek Monahan

Title
Director, IT Service Management

Employer
Aer Lingus

Location
Dublin

Career highlight:
While working in the USSR for DHL, we used to “import” parts of computer systems because the Soviets weren’t allowed to buy them. As part of that experience I had the opportunity to ride in a MiG-25 fighter jet.

Emerging technology that has captured your interest:
3D printing, from creating spare parts for cars to creating human limbs. I can imagine using it to produce spare parts for our aircraft. We’re discussing that here, although we have no immediate plans.

Coolest project:
I’ve been helping with the implementation of new flight simulator technologies, helping load programs and networking into the systems. This is beyond the scope of my usual IT role, but I welcome the chance to learn unexpected things from the pilots and trainers there.

A recent innovative staff idea:
As a previously owned state airline undergoing transformation, nearly anything we come up with is innovative, from self-service portals and videos to in-flight service delivery. It may seem standard to sophisticated organizations, but as we try to move our business from the 19th century to the 24th century, it’s big for us.

Harry D. Moseley

Harry D. Moseley

Title
CIO, managing director

Employer
KPMG

Location
Montvale, N.J.

Biggest technology disappointment in the past year:
The lack of technology offerings that enable collaboration. While communication and learning technologies have soared over recent years, there has been a low adoption rate of collaboration technology. Most companies are still “collaborating” through email. Collaboration tools need to be easier to use, more intuitive, and device- and platform-agnostic.

New titles in your IT organization:
We created the role of director of business productivity and enablement. The individual in this new role has greatly impacted how the firm learns about and adopts new technology. She helps ensure there is a return on the investment by furthering awareness, education and adoption of technology.

A job responsibility you’d like to eliminate:
Security and risk! However, safeguarding the firm’s intellectual property, people, clients and data is paramount and can’t be compromised. Managing security and risk is one of the most critical roles for the CIO and is a never-ending challenge because the landscape and consumerization of technology is constantly changing.

What’s the most important task you’ve delegated?
I’ve delegated the governance of technology operational excellence to a new executive director. He has done a fantastic job creating efficiencies and introducing automation and process improvements. It’s consistent with our ongoing efforts to help our professionals work more productively so they can better serve clients and achieve greater work/life balance.

Read Moseley’s full profile.

Chad Moss

Chad Moss

Title
Vice president, Global IT Infrastructure & Operations

Employer
IHS

Location
Englewood, Colo.

Skills you will hire for this year:
We are looking for skills around hybrid cloud management. Like many, we need the ability to cost-effectively target on-premises or cloud environments for individual workloads. We’re not trying to move entire systems to the cloud, but we are trying to optimize workload placement from a capacity-versus-cost perspective.

What’s the most important task you’ve delegated?
We are in the midst of moving to a new service management framework. The initiative is one of the most visible programs we have within IT, and our director of service management, with help from an implementation partner, has really assumed most of the program responsibilities. My role is more about sharing the lessons learned from prior implementations and ensuring that we have organizational alignment and support.

Fastest-ROI project:
We established a service assurance program over the past seven months that is focused on the quality and performance of our SaaS offerings. The program has driven investments in people, process and technology. Our operational and product understanding was enriched, allowing the cross-functional teams to take immediate action to improve the customer experience.

Kevin T. Neifert

Kevin T. Neifert

Title
CIO

Employer
Raytheon

Location
Tewksbury, Mass.

Career highlight:
The first 25 years of my career were in engineering and project management, moving into IT to lead a significant IT sourcing initiative. Although I hadn’t ever considered IT as a career path, I fell in love with it.

Boldest, most out-on-a-limb prediction for IT:
We will look back and wonder why we ever thought it was a good idea to save copies of data on individual devices instead of keeping them in a centralized location (the cloud).

Biggest technology disappointment in the past year:
Wearable technologies, because I don’t feel the efforts to date have provided something unique or useful in a business setting.

New titles in your IT organization:
Last year, we named an innovation champion for IT who is tasked with creating an environment that encourages and enables our IT team to pursue innovative ideas from any source.

Fastest-ROI project:
IT partnered with one of our high-volume manufacturing departments to install monitors to show instantaneous production status from our manufacturing resource planning system. This allows workers to adjust assignments based on need rather than waiting for management to determine if changes are required.

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