In the latest edition of Insider Insights, CIO.com’s roving reporter Lauren Brousell tracks down Chico’s CIO Eric Singleton at CIO Perspectives Atlanta to discuss digital disruption in the retail industry and in the tech industry in general. Singleton discusses Chico’s digital retail theater project, how the company attracts top IT talent and the toughest IT challenges his team faces.
Here are a few highlights from our exclusive video:
On biggest challenges for IT organizations:
“Keeping up and also staying ahead of all the new technology. The best way to manage that is with continuous education. We keep a robust educational calendar for our existing staff members.”
On Chico’s digital retail theater:
“Two of the things that are exciting me the most are intelligent digital signage and our foray in augmented reality, taking our catalogs and breathing some exciting life into them.”
On new technology:
“We had an early awareness of the Apple Watch. We’ve been doing some exciting work with Apple and I think that’s going to open up some new doors to them, the consumer and ourselves.”
On most sought-after IT skills:
“For us, it continues to be top-notch developers, A++ players. We have a terrific in-house in-house cultivation and education program … staffers are teaching and learning from each other. Plus, we are working with key universities. Hopefully, we are attractive to [students] with the things we’re doing and that gets them excited.”
On where the CIO role is going?
“CIOs need to be an assertive balance between technologist and business partner. Again it may sound cliche, but there’s still a lot of room to sharpen the technical skills and also be a deeply involved business partner.”