More and more CIOs are assuming responsibility for business process improvement. Paul Groce, who heads the CIO practice for executive recruiting firm Christian & Timbers, says this is because such projects “almost always” involve the CIO’s team. “Most any process improvement in 2006 is designed to take advantage of technology capabilities. As businesses apply technology, they have to change their processes in order to be able to best leverage those technologies,” he says.
CIOs have the right background to take on business process improvement. Business process improvement initiatives require project and change management expertise as well as an understanding of technology, says Groce. Any CIO worth her salt has all of those qualifications.
Among those CIOs who were hired in the past six months for their business process experience are Joe Lindsay, the new CIO with mortgage provider Secured Funding; William Lutz, VP of IT with Orchid Cellmark, a provider of DNA testing services; Larry Grotte, now CIO with MTC Holdings; and Alan Boehme, who joined Juniper Networks as its new CIO.
Secured Funding named Lindsay in January. He is in charge of automating the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company’s entire loan process. In his last job, as president and CTO of QS Labs, Lindsay was responsible for building compliance process management solutions for the life sciences industries.
At Orchid Cellmark, Lutz is working with laboratory directors to implement new software and processes that will automate and streamline the Princeton, N.J.-based company’s DNA testing operations.
MTC Holdings tasked Grotte, its first-ever CIO, with making the company’s IT department focus more on business processes, and with helping the terminal operator’s business units implement more effective business processes.
Juniper Networks hired Boehme in part because of his ability to transform global business processes, as proven in his work for previous employers, which include Best Software, GE and the logistics company DHL.