How Intuit Liberated IT to Embrace Mobile, Social and the Cloud

Intuit CEO Brad Smith has deftly steered what was once only a shrink-wrap software company into the cloud and mobile worlds and has led a re-engineering of Intuit's IT organization into a customer-focused, driver of innovation and value.

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Intuit, known for personal financial products like TurboTax and Quickbooks, isn't considered a corporate IT company nor does it have any grand designs to expand beyond its consumer and small business roots into the enterprise. That would seem to make Intuit CEO Brad Smith an odd candidate for the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series. But Smith has deftly steered what was once only a shrink-wrap software company into the cloud and mobile worlds and has led a re-engineering of Intuit's IT organization into a customer-focused (actually, 'customer back' focused), driver of innovation and value.

In this conversation with IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant, Smith talks about that IT journey -- which included five CIO changes in half a dozen years -- and what it means to really be a 'connected services' company in this new age of consumer IT. This discussion is invaluable for any business or IT leader struggling to embrace mobility, social media and the cloud. You'll find it reassuring to learn -- according to Smith -- that you already have the transformational IT employees you need. You just have to liberate them.

Tech Titans Talk: The IDG Enterprise CEO Interviews

Q: Let's start by talking about Intuit's 'connected services' strategy. What does that mean and what does that transformation entail?

A: As a company that's 28 years old, we've seen a lot of technology and business model transformation. We've seen it go from DOS to Windows, from Windows to the Web. In 2008, when we were celebrating our 25th anniversary, we recognized that this next generation of customer usage was going to be what we call 'connected services'. Connected services are multi-platform, multi-device, often with data in the cloud. There are a couple of key components to connected services that we focus on. One is the ability to harness and capitalize on social. [That means] user contribution, where more people contributing creates greater value for the total ecosystem, and the oil, or the gold, in that is the data. The data that creates better customer delight, the data that helps people make better decisions in their financial lives. So, connected services has an element of social to it.

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