CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 12

class that introduces me to a new domain and has helped
me on the job in my first months at Biogen. Learning

" When somebody tells us to
be less assertive or Type A, we
need to avoid the temptation to
go home, overthink and analyze
it, and then try to change our
behavior. I tell women that in
these situations, 'You need to get
out of your own way and focus
on great ideas and great work.' "

can be done by taking classes, by reading and listening,
by doing. One of the best ways to learn is to surround
yourself with smarter people and mentors. The mentors
I've had along the way have been people I've worked
with who have accomplished the things they wanted
to accomplish. One of them was Ralph Szygenda, the
CIO at General Motors, who I've gone back to time and
time again for good guidance and advice. Ralph never
looked at any of us as male or female, old or young. He
was extremely demanding, asking for the best all of us
could give, and he has produced 20 or 25 CIOs who went
through what I call his "boot camp." Find a mentor like
Ralph and learn.
Expand your horizons beyond the workplace. Figure
out what you're passionate about and follow that passion
to find opportunities to learn outside of work. For
example, I became President of the Michigan Council for
Women in Technology because I believed we didn't have
enough young girls in the leadership pipeline. You have

Refining the Technology Leader's Role
After a 30-year career in IT, I've joined Biogen Idec in a new role that encompasses internal IT, digital
health, and data analytics - a role that is emblematic of the changing nature of the CIO's job. While at
its core Biogen is a company whose products are therapeutics for neurodegenerative, autoimmunity,
and hemophilia, information and digital health technologies play key roles for improving patient
insights and outcomes. Technology is a big enabler for what we can do for our patients, providers,
and payers.
Many companies have CIOs who are expert in managing the back office, infrastructure,
communications, application development, and building the company's IT capabilities. That is a
traditional CIO. But at Biogen, we have greatly expanded IT into a Technology and Business Solutions
organization. We focus on IT capabilities and the internal operational excellence to make the company
run efficiently. But we're also looking to expand our digital agenda and to gain new insights from
analytics. I was hired to do both, to run IT and lead Biogen's digital health and global data undertaking.

CIO Straight Talk | 12



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 4
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertA
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover4
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