CIO Sweden has awarded Johanna Kjellberg, CIO at Swedish fashion retailing brand, Kappahl, as CIO of the year. Among Kjellberg's achievements since she came to Kappahl in 2008: She recruited staff during the recession, slashing spending on consultants and building up a strong and skillful team poised for the upturn in business. She has come up with creative ways to cross-train IT and business staff: Her IT team of 35 regularly work in Kappahl’s shops to get closer to customers. Meanwhile she communicated IT strategy and lingo for business side staff in a campaign called "Learn IT- Love IT" (which also included films, and post-it notes on the bathroom walls). How’s business? Just a few years ago, Kappahl was a suffering company on the brink of survival, but it is now prosperous and expanding.
India’s leading online seller of bus tickets was hitting the scaleability wall: redBus had reached a limit to the growth that they could sustain via a traditional data center. Founder and CTO Charan Padmaraju realized that procuring new hardware was not an option, and so he decided to move to a cloud hosting solution provided by Amazon Web Services Asia Pacific. The results? Traffic to redBus has tripled due to reduced latency, and Padmaraju’s developers can now focus on building apps and customizing them for the transportation companies that sell tickets via redBus. Even better, redBus now has a SaaS offering built on AWS that gives the bus operators the option of handling their own ticketing and managing their own inventory. “The use of cloud technology has given us the competitive edge that helps us to innovate quickly,” says Padmaraju.
Following the economic crisis in late 2008, profits for companies in the Chinese construction machinery have been in decline. But this hasn’t been the case for Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Development Co., which credits its growing income to IT systems that support improvements in procurement. Wang Yukun, CIO of Zoomlion, said starting in 2008 the company began building an information management system to support its global strategy. The company had 17 different business units that operated and procured their supplies independently. Zoomlion wanted to find a way for headquarters to better monitor each unit, without interfering with their operations. The management system works on two levels. The first level focused on the company’s overall control and management. The other level focused on the individual business units and their products and sales planning. This has given Zoomlion control over supply procurement across all business units. Now all purchases go through the new information management system, which has helped to reduce expenditures.
Pharmaceutical company Actavis is undertaking a massive project to standardise and consolidate the communication and domain platform for all the company’s employees worldwide. Zhivko Angelov, who runs the largest data and communications management center for the company, has been leading a team of 40 technologists working on One Team R2. The project’s goal is a unified installation on all client PCs, with unified domain and communication e-mail system located in the data centers, explained Zhivkov. The team is working closely with Bulgaria's Microsoft Services group. What they are up against, though, is time: this is the second phase of the project, which covered 40 per cent of the company over three years. Their new goal is to take care of the other 60 per cent in a year. “This is a great challenge for us,” said Zhivkov.
CIO New Zealand
CIO New Zealand recently asked local IT leaders to talk about how technology executives can prepare their enterprises for the next game-changing trend in business technology. At engineering consultancy Opus, CIO Bruce Tinsley believes his peers need to ensure they have broad business expertise. Tinsley has worked in fields as varied as banking and dairy and earned an MBA. "Anyone who wants to be a CIO absolutely has to understand what it is that drives the business to succeed," he says. Another piece of advice: "know the IT industry. You don't have to know how to pull a PC to bits … it is knowing the various components of the industry -- operations, infrastructure, applications, the strategy component, project and program management."
Contributors: Varsha Chidambaram, Alexandra Heymowska, Michael Kan, Divina Paredes, Aneliya Stoyanova, Alice Xu
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