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CIO Spotlight: Chris Conry, Fuze

Having responsibility for employees efficiency means that Conry is having to manage the evolving make-up of his workforce. With millennials and Gen Z's now entering the work environment, the challenge comes from finding corporate solutions that fit with their new ways of working.

chris conry fuze

Conry heads Fuze's global IT and information security functions. Prior to joining Fuze, Conry drove large-scale IT transformation efforts, led IT integration activities for several mergers and acquisitions, and was accountable for corporate security and compliance as the vice president of IT & office services at Arbor Networks. Here, he shares his career path and offers advice for aspiring CIOs.

What was your first job? In my teens, I was a dishwasher in a country club kitchen, but I took my first IT job immediately after graduating from college as an assistant network administrator for a financial services firm.

Did you always want to work in IT? I originally thought I wanted to be an accountant...until my first accounting course as an undergrad convinced me otherwise. I quickly transitioned to IT studies, which was a lot more interesting to me, and I never turned back.

Education: I have a bachelors of science degree in computer information systems and a masters degree in business administration. Early in my IT career, I also earned certification as a network engineer.

Tell us about your career path. I started my career in IT operations (PC support, network administration, and systems management). Gradually, I increased my scope of responsibility to include business systems, application services and finally security and compliance. Early on in my career, I was fortunate enough to work in a software business that required me to wear many hats. It was a baptism-by-fire type of situation. I was able to learn so much and grow professionally as the business scaled and evolved from an independent, VC-backed firm to a subsidiary of a publicly-traded global enterprise and then later to a business unit within the GE umbrella. Each step of the way, I was introduced to new challenges and business dynamics, and was exposed to a range of cultures, leadership styles and operational rigor. I couldn’t have asked for a better post-grad education in IT leadership and organizational behavior.

What business or technology initiatives will be most significant in driving IT investments in your organization in the coming year? All of our work falls into one or more of the following categories: simplification, improving business agility, employee and customer enablement and continually strengthening our security posture. These are the pillars I’ve promoted for the last 15+ years. I’m thrilled to now be a part of a business that offers a platform and set of services to fellow IT leaders that delivers on those same pillars.

What are the CEO's top priorities for you in the coming year? How do you plan to support the business with IT? We are focused on further optimizing our customer experience and operating efficiency by streamlining our end-to-end business processes. We’re enabling top-line growth by providing automation that eases the onboarding and success of global selling and service partners and we’re augmenting our control environment to ensure compliance with GDPR.

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