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CIO as a storyteller

Teresa Leung, Computerworld Hong Kong | Oct. 16, 2012
Brian Lillie, CIO of Equinix, said he aims to turn people directly reporting to him into CIOs in a recent interview with Computerworld Hong Kong.

Behind all these interesting experiences, there is one important advice--and the best advice I have ever had--that encourages me to keep moving forward. When I worked at Silicon Graphics, the CIO told me any person aspiring to become a CIO must try to manage each function [within the IT shop]--end-user support, desktop, datacenter, server operations, database, networks, applications, information security, and e-commerce. Because of this advice, I gained a lot of different experiences and valuable opportunities in my career.

CWHK: Do you also encourage your team to do the same?

BL: I have a goal: everybody reports to me will become a CIO. Some of them have already done so--Chris Bedi, CIO of US-based optical technology company JDSU is one. As a CIO, it's important to have a succession plan and ask what development your people need to become CIOs.

CWHK: How has the role of CIO changed in recent years?

BL: CIOs must not be order takers or chief technology mechanics--they have to know how they can contribute to business. CIOs increasingly move to the front-office and are becoming more customer-facing. Therefore, CIOs must be able to articulate the corporate value proposition and drive innovations.


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