CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 29

n my view, there are two kinds of CIOs.
One type, typically the CIO of a large corporation, is
responsible for the management of technology. Their
job is to acquire and run the technology in support of
the business.
The other kind of CIO, usually found in a small or
medium-sized company, is concerned with the application
of technology. Their job is to develop and deliver business
solutions that increase revenue and drive new business
opportunities.
There are also two major ways in which companies use IT.
For some companies, IT is a business enabler, a crucial
function that ensures things get done. For others, IT is an
integral part – in some cases the most important component – of what those companies offer their customers.
I offer these two dimensions – the role of the CIO and how
a company uses IT – in order to put my own story in
perspective. It is a story that may provide some useful
observations for other IT executives, regardless of how
their role is defined and whatever the role IT plays in the
company they work for.

Same Position, Different Job
Three years ago I joined CEVA, a global logistics
company. The move took me from a position where I was
managing technology at a large enterprise with IT as a
business enabler, to a position where I was developing
and delivering business solutions at a smaller enterprise
with IT capabilities at the heart of what the company sells.
I started my career as a systems analyst with the BOC
Group, a global provider of industrial, medical and special
gases and in 1998 became its CIO. When The Linde
Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company
bought BOC in 2006, I became the CIO of the combined
entity, with revenue of EUR 12.9 billion (US$18.3
billion) in 2010.
There were two things that drew me to CEVA: 1) its size
(2010 revenue of US$9.7 billion), giving me greater
opportunity to develop and implement business solutions,
not just manage technology and 2) the whole concept of
IT being absolutely fundamental to what we are all about.
In a third-party logistics company and a freight forwarder
like CEVA, information technology is fundamental to
absolutely everything we do. My job is at the forefront of
CEVA’s solution set – supply chain management. This
makes my job exciting, to say the least.
I found myself in a new company which had only been

formed months earlier by the merger of TNT and EGL
and was infused with tremendous energy, tremendous
enthusiasm and high aspirations. EGL was founded in
Houston, Texas, as a freight management company and
later expanded into transportation and logistics services.
TNT was founded in Australia and became a player in the
contract logistics market. The cultures of TNT and EGL
were different but complementary; the great thing was
that everybody was wrapped up in the excitement of being
part of a new company. We are the only dedicated, global
business that combines both contract logistics (i.e.,
planning, implementation and control of a logistics
system provided through a third party under a contract)
and freight management (i.e., optimizing the efficiency of
freight and commercial transport). We integrate both,
under one management and at the lowest level, typically
the country level. This puts us close to the customer,
allowing us to focus on service and enables us to deliver
efficiencies from the bottom up.
Coming from a traditional industry and a company that
had been in existence for over 120 years with a strong
engineering focus, to a sales-driven, growth-oriented new
company was exciting and scary for me. I found myself in
an environment where decisions were made quickly with
significantly less analysis and information than I had been
used to. I also realized that the IT challenge was much
bigger than I had estimated.

What I’ve Learned So Far
The experience I have had at CEVA is in some ways very
specific to the company. But it has yielded a number of
insights that I think are applicable, no matter what kind of
company you work for.
Watch Your IT at Work. When you join a company at a
senior level, early impressions can be misleading. After all,
business processes do not actually get executed in senior
executives’ offices, where you can end up spending all
your time. They get executed by the people doing the job.
So I spent a couple of weeks sitting next to what I call the
“green screen people,” who sit at their computer terminals
heroically trying to do their job using aged IT systems. I
tried to understand what they did and also to feel their
pain. In the freight management part of our business, a
transaction-intensive area, we were not affording our
people the luxury of more modern technology that could
make their days more interesting and make them more
productive.
I also spent my first 100 days at CEVA walking around,
talking to people and doing a huge inventory of our applications and infrastructure. At that time, CEVA had 19
data centers, 2,000 servers, over 200 applications, 19 wide

So I spent a couple of weeks sitting next to what I call the “green screen
people,” who sit at their computer terminals heroically trying to do
their job using aged IT systems. I tried to understand what
they did and also to feel their pain.
CIO Straight Talk //

29



CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
Contents
So What Do CIOs Want
Innovation at the Periphery
The CIO as Thought Leader
Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
Every CIO is in the Information Business
Analytics and Decision Making
Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
Bringing "Lean" to IT
Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
Extreme Collaboration
Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - So What Do CIOs Want
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 11
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 12
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 13
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 14
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 15
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 16
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 17
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Innovation at the Periphery
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 19
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 20
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 21
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - The CIO as Thought Leader
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 23
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 24
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 25
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 27
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 28
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 29
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Every CIO is in the Information Business
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 31
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 32
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 33
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Analytics and Decision Making
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 35
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 36
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 37
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 38
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 39
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 41
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 42
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 44
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 45
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 46
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Bringing "Lean" to IT
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 48
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 49
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 50
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 52
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 53
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 54
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 55
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 57
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 58
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 60
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 61
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Extreme Collaboration
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 63
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 64
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 65
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 67
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 68
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 69
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 70
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 71
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 72
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 73
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 74
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover4
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