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Moving the IT conversation from cost to value

Martha Heller | March 26, 2014
Gerri Martin-Flickinger, CIO of Adobe, offers practical advice.

Send in a mole: “Find one really smart engineering type in your IT organization and put them on a skunk works project with one engineer,” Martin-Flickinger advises. “You need to identify an IT person who looks and smells like a product engineer; it needs to be someone the engineering people like.”  If you do this right, says Martin-Flickinger, that person will become your ambassador.  “That way, when someone in engineering says, ‘what do you think of involving IT in this?’ the engineering team will be supportive.”

Whether you use a simple solution like the pie chart or something much more complex like embedding SOA in your product, your work in focusing on the strategic role of IT will pay off. “I just came out of a meeting where we talked about the implication of usage-based billing for our products,” says Martin-Flickinger. “That’s the kind of conversation I want IT to be involved in.”

About Gerri Martin-Flickinger and Adobe

As senior vice president and chief information officer, Gerri Martin-Flickinger oversees Adobe's global Information Technology team, providing strategic direction and management for the company's IT infrastructure worldwide, including its hosted services. In partnership with the business, Martin-Flickinger also has responsibility for developing innovative enterprise solutions built with Adobe products and technologies that solve business issues and reduce IT costs.

Martin-Flickinger has more than 20 years of experience leading large-scale global IT organizations for companies experiencing explosive growth through acquisition, global expansion and/or implementing new business models. Her expertise includes leading organizations through transformational change, connecting IT to the needs of the business and aligning IT costs.

Before joining Adobe, Martin-Flickinger was CIO of VeriSign, where she oversaw corporate information technology services for the company's 60 offices worldwide. Prior to VeriSign, she served as CIO for Network Associates, Inc. and McAfee Associates, Inc. Before joining McAfee, Martin-Flickinger held several senior systems roles at Chevron Corporation, including serving as process consultant to Chevron's executive staff.

Martin-Flickinger holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Washington State University.

Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. Our tools and services allow our customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure and optimize it over time, and achieve greater business success. We help our customers make, manage, measure, and monetize their content across every channel and screen.

Source: CIO


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