The CIO Questionnaire: Orange Business Services CIO Vincent Kelly

Vincent Kelly is CIO at Orange Business Services, to read the full CIO UK interview with him click here.

Q. Which business books have been influential in your career?
A. I have been influenced by a range of books written by different management gurus. These include: Charles Handy with books such asThe Age of Unreason; Peter Drucker and Tom Peters on management; and The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, on globalisation.

Q. Who have been the most influential people in your career?
A.The people who acted as role models for me at work; people who have trusted me to take on certain projects and roles; people who gave me responsibility early on, and my first opportunities to work overseas on assignments in Europe, the US and Asia. One person in particular was also one of my computing lecturers at Trinity College, Dublin. This person sparked my interest in communications as a key part of information technology.

Q. Do you believe in mentoring?
A. I believe in regular one-to-one meetings and coaching. This incorporates looking at a key focus through a series of meetings, and talking about improving performance by adapting behaviours.

Q. Which tools or tactics have given you most success in communicating?
A. Adopting an open communications style and being honest in what we say are key for me, regardless of whether communicating up, down or across. With our IT staff and teams working in many different countries, it is important to use all available channels of communications. This can involve all of staff conference calls, local face-to-face meetings, team meetings, the intranet, newsletters, mail, cascading through the management chain and so on.

Q. What has been your biggest mistake?
A. In terms of IT programmes, the biggest mistake has been not getting the governance right up front with all stakeholders on a major programme which led to eventual downstream failure.

Q. And your greatest success?
A. Most recently, re-engineering our global IT organisation as a result of which Orange Business Services now has a global IT organisation which is an evenly mixed onshore/offshore model. This has given us an organisation which has the right skills at the right cost. Part of the model also is that we leverage group capability and assets within a matrix organisation known as Group IT, which links us with the IT organisations of the other main business units of the Group.

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