How to Find IT Talent Capable of Being Customer-Focused

CIOs need to find the IT workers who are comfortable focusing on customers, market forces and revenue. 

Richard Thomas, CIO at Quintiles Transnational, joined the company as CTO in 2005 after successful stints at data and analytics companies Nielsen and Telephia. During his time with Quintiles, the company has experienced tremendous market change and recently moved from being a private-equity-backed company to a publicly traded one.

With a network of more than 27,000 professionals conducting business in about 100 countries, Quintiles has helped develop or commercialize all of the top 50 best-selling drugs on the market.

How did you flip the IT organization to make it one driven by revenue and market forces?

It's been a journey over eight years, split into three distinct eras.

The first era was one where disparate, decentralized technology groups around the world were combined into one global organization. Early on we established guiding principles, such as focusing on data as a strategic asset, which led to the development of what we call our data factory. The critical element was ensuring we had world-class talent from top to bottom. This started with a new leadership team that ushered in a can-do culture that serves us well today.

The second era modernized platforms and operating infrastructure, leading to a much more scalable, integrated, efficient and reliable foundation for the company.

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