The 2008 State of the CIO: Six IT Leaders Who Matter

Here are six CIOs that excel as leaders in one of three areas: functional, transformational or business strategy.

There isn't just one way to be a CIO, or one set of CIO concerns.

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Based on answers to questions about priorities, daily activities, accomplishments in the past year and other aspects of the job we've classified our respondents as leaders in these areas: functional, transformational or business strategy.

Here are six CIOs that particularly stood out.

Becky Blalock: Transformational CIO

Becky Blalock
Photo By Stan Kaady

Title: SVP and CIO of Southern Co., $14.2 billion electric utility

CV: Five years as CIO of Southern; one year as CIO of Georgia Power division; 29 years at the company

Reports To: President of Shared Services

Projects in Motion: Rolling out new ERP system with IBM and Accenture… Installing new system for automated meter reading… Introduced outsourcing to a sometimes reluctant staff, but making it work.

Blalock Says: To make sure she's giving Southern its money's worth, she periodically performs market tests to compare outsourcing prices to see what outsourcers would charge for the same knowledge and services that her in-house people provide. Then she sets up her IT group to beat those prices, which she can do, she says, because unlike an outsourcer, "I don't have to have a profit built in."Managing outsourcing, she believes, is a critical skill for CIOs today.

"It's not just how you deliver technology, but how you manage someone else who's delivering it. That's where IT is heading."

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