Premier 100 IT Leader profile: Carol J. Dow

Premier 100 IT Leader profile: Carol J. Dow

By all accounts, Carol J. Dow has a knack for keeping plates spinning.

For starters, she holds not one but two titles at Vanguard, a financial services company in Valley Forge, Pa. As principal of global investment systems, she oversees Vanguard's Investment Applications Portfolio. And as CTO, Dow, 51, is charged with ensuring that Vanguard's 2,800-plus IT employees are always becoming more effective and more efficient.

Given Dow's range of responsibilities, it's no surprise that her supervisor, Managing Director of IT Paul Heller, singles out her "tremendous bandwidth and enormous energy" as defining characteristics.

Part of that bandwidth is dedicated to two projects of different size and scope that both carry the threat of risk and the promise of reward.

The first project involves meeting Vanguard's commitment to refocus and expand its international strategy, a stretch for a company that has traditionally done most of its business in the U.S., Dow says. Vanguard is in the process of integrating its investment systems worldwide and moving to a global shared services model.

Closer to home, Dow's Innovation and Research team is seeking ways to use existing technologies to improve client services. The team, a group of five rotating IT staffers, was behind last year's debut of Vanguard's iPhone app, and it set the groundwork for the company's cohesive mobile strategy. Both are perfect examples of Dow's penchant for squeezing business value from every IT project.

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