Browse by year:
November - 2013 - issue > CIO Insights
Create Cultures that Drive and Nurture Personal Re-Invention
Gerrit SchuttÃ
SVP & CIO-ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
ConAgra Foods, Inc. ( NYSE:CAG) is an American packaged foods company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The company has a market cap of $13.32 billion.

Companies like ConAgra Foods that have invested heavily in large scale ERP systems are to this very day faced with major challenges in the less than glamorous arena of implementing technical updates and version upgrades. In my world, critical facilities such as manufacturing plants and distribution centers are still required to endure scheduled outage windows in order to install software updates. Vendors need to develop tools and processes that can make this problem completely disappear.

I think the long anticipated impacts of predictive analytics are finally becoming visible and real. Large scaled data trends combined with the power of in-memory computing, and "the internet of things" will soon combine to allow organizations like ConAgra Foods to not only see what happened and why, but also provide good representations of what is going to happen along with how to best take actions that shape the future, in order to better serve our customers and consumers.

The Challenge

The concern that should be at the top of every CIO's list is coping with the speed of change, both in terms of how business works and the impact that technology is having upon business models. Cycles that once took years have been reduced to months and it is no longer uncommon to encounter situations where solutions can be obsolete before they are actually implemented. IT organizations need to step away from many of the traditional mindsets around time to value and start to cope with a "new normal" that requires faster decision making and rapid implementations.

A CIOs Contribution

Today's CIO needs to be heavily immersed in both business and technology. He/she needs to be adept at the art and science of change management and gauge success in terms of business impacts vs. delivery of scope. CIOs need to mold IT organizations and the professionals that are part of them into change agents that enable future business models. A CIO also needs to blend IT strategies with business transformation that ensure ongoing growth.

Everyone in IT needs to realize that in order to remain a valuable contributor, you will need to "re-invent" yourself on a regular basis. What I mean by this is that the IT space is moving at such a rapid rate that it has never been and never will be acceptable for IT professionals to simply nurture what they already know and how they are currently doing things. CIOs need to create cultures that drive and nurture personal re-invention.

Share on LinkedIn