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8 IT leaders look back at 2015

Dan Muse | Jan. 4, 2016
We asked eight CIOs what they will remember most about 2015. Continued transformation, hybrid clouds, shared-services models, acquisition and IT integration, employee retention and even unplugging top the list.

"My experience on the nuclear submarine, USS John Warner (SSN 785) for the Sea Trials is the most memorable experience, not only for 2015 but for my lifetime.            

When I became VP and CIO of Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries last year, I knew nothing about shipbuilding operations. One of my first priorities was to engage with the business. Touring 560 acres of manufacturing operations and design divisions gave me a start. I also took the Shipyard Operations 10 week night class offered to all employees. On June 9th, I joined USS John Warner (SSN 785) Sea Trials. In preparation for the sea trials, I learned about radiological operations and emergency evacuations. Sea trials was an intensive, around-the-clock learning experience with our company's test engineers and Navy officers teaching me about the operations of a submarine as tests were conducted. Three days on my feet except when asleep or having meals is a new record as was being completely "unplugged." How often does a CIO completely disconnect from the world - no Internet, emails, VoIP or social networks for three full days? I survived! And I have a much greater appreciation for my shipbuilders."

Matt Lasmanis, CIO, GSK US

"In 2015, I took on a new role as CIO for GSK US. This year we completed the acquisition and IT integration of Novartis's Vaccines business, making GSK the world's largest vaccines company. In November, after the two businesses successfully integrated we launched GSK Direct, an ecommerce platform that enables our customers in the United States to purchase GSK vaccines from across the product portfolio. The platform is designed to be multi-channel and accessible from tablets, mobile phonesand desktop devices. The integration and launch of GSK Direct will be what I remember most about 2015 as it was a great example of how digital and healthcare trends are merging to create new and innovative services and customer experiences in healthcare."

William Thirsk, Vice President of IT and CIO, Marist College
William Thirsk, Vice President of IT and CIO, Marist College

"General disruption was the operating rule in private higher education this year with changing customer expectations, government mandates, social and environmental movements, morphing personal economies, boomer retirements, the insurgence of social media, changing cost structures, and cloud computing. Yet, as IT leaders we must consistently provide a great educational experience for our students.

To harness the energy of this year’s disruptions, private colleges, universities and other not-for-profits have co-developed ‘shared services’ models of operating information systems. Such models raise the quality of the management of systems, lower members cost for computing, provide easier auditing, use less energy, reduce the total cost of attendance for students, combine duplicative expert users from many institutions, and are in the cloud. Collaboration is the answer to disruption."


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