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IT's rising stars: Next-gen leaders transform the enterprise

Tracy Mayor | March 12, 2013
Tomorrow's CIOs are already transforming enterprise IT as we know it, bringing their fresh, sometimes radical visions of how technology can enable business now and in the years ahead.

What she brings to the table: Costa's specialty is identifying processes that support change. "It's really solutions and problem-solving," she explains, "putting the right organizational structure in place to get things done." Specifically, Costa identifies the structure, governance and standards that now underlie enterprise architecture, project management, business analysis and ITIL functions at Scholastic. "It's changing the way IT is working," Costa says. "IT needs to work cross-organizationally, in a matrix environment."

Her vision for IT: "With the evolution of technology -- SaaS, cloud, mobility and consumerization -- the role of the CIO and his or her reports is changing," Costa says. "It's a consultative model versus an execution role." In the past, Costa had been tasked with overseeing ambitious application development projects, but that's changing. "More and more we're leveraging what's already built and provided to us via software as a service," she says. "Our role now is as a strategic business consultant, to understand what they're trying to get done and to leverage the right technologies for them."

David Paschane, 43

Director, Office of Strategic Services, National Capital Region IT, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington

What he does: David Paschane heads up a small office with a big impact on one of the largest bureaucracies in the country. As director of the Office of Strategic Services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Paschane works with a five-member team to solve organizational problems using technology and applied science.

"We're like in-house consultants," Paschane explains. "We define and measure key elements of the organization -- how information systems work, what people know and don't know, the triggers by which things get done -- and once we do that, we apply IT in a very clean, contemporary way" to help improve performance and, as he puts it, "debureaucratize" departments. Thus far, the Office of Strategic Services has taken on some 15 case studies, all aimed in one way or another at optimizing performance of people and departments. "If we can get 100,000 veterans to stay in school this semester because we fixed a problem within the GI Bill processes, that's a win," Paschane says.

What he brings to the table: Paschane may work in IT, but he's not necessarily of IT. With a master's degree in behavioral-organizational research and a doctorate in medical geography, Paschane's specialty is the really big picture -- applying science and technology to human and organizational development. He developed and now champions a discipline, the Performance Architectural Science Systems (PASS), that taps the power of operational analytics, advanced media and emerging technology to help organizations shift from heavy bureaucracies to what he calls "light enterprises" -- which feature increased capability, reduced costs and the ability to innovate.


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