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CIOs to watch: McGrath's Tod O’Dell

CIOs to watch: McGrath's Tod O’Dell

Australian CIO talks about their industry, career and favourite smartphone

McGrath head of IT, Tod O'Dell

McGrath head of IT, Tod O'Dell

Name: Tod O’Dell
Role: Head of IT Company: McGrath
Industry: Property
Smartphone: Android

Tod O’Dell worked his way up from the help desk to service delivery within the media & fast moving consumer goods industries. He currently holds the head of information technology role at McGrath Estate Agents.

With a work history in sectors as diverse as real estate, fitness and motoring, O’Dell says he has gained knowledge crucial to working as head of IT in what, and in retrospect, were some often unexpected places.

“I came into IT from other industries where I picked up people management skills that have really helped in my current role,” he says.

Working for a business that recently franchised and has grown from eight to 45 offices, O’Dell needs to split his time across a variety of business functions.

“Because the infrastructure, development and business analyst teams report to me, my day is normally divided across service delivery to business and project management,” he says. “I am also on the executive leadership team.”

Managing IT for the largest independent real estate group in Australia has not been without reward, with O’Dell winning multiple estate gongs in recognition of McGrath’s innovative website, as well as for software designed in-house.

“We run our own bespoke CRM and sales workflow tools, meaning there’s ongoing innovation optimisation — a continual evolution,” he says.

Implementing a ‘bring your own’ technology strategy has been another innovation. O’Dell says the number of mobile devices outnumbers staff members. “We have 1000 staff the moment and about 1300 mobile devices connected the network, so a lot of users have an iPad and another mobile device,” O’Dell says.

Having established close relationship with Apple Australia, McGrath has begun working on new ways to use the iPad. But he has no loyalty to any particular brand of mobile technology.

“I’m sitting here looking at an iPhone and an Android phone, and I also have a Windows Phone 7,” he says. “Personally, I use an Android device, but I much prefer the keyboard of the iPhone.”

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Tags CIOs to watchPropertyCIO roleTod O'DellMcGrathreal estate

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