It’s not everyday you get to pick the brain of a veteran CIO and early adopter of the cloud to hear about their first foray into cloud technology, and discover where it has taken them in their career. For anyone in technology, getting some sage advice from someone who has blazed the trail before you, can provide valuable insight and expertise that just might make your path a little bit easier.
Fortunately, those rare occasions do present themselves from time to time, and yesterday was one of those times. I had the opportunity to chat with Scott Fenton, who is currently in his seventh year as VP and CIO of Wind River Systems, and is a four-time CIO dating back to the early 90’s. Scott will be joining Appirio during Dreamforce this year to expand upon what he has learned as a CIO over the last 20 years and share how deploying cloud technology solutions continues to be his best tool for delivering business value to his organization in an agile and cost-effective manner.
In an effort to tease what Scott and other Appirio customers will be covering in more detail, I wanted to summarize a few interesting and key points from our conversation.
Scott was an early adopter of the cloud and hasn’t looked back since. (0:33 in the video) If you happen to catch Scott live at Dreamforce, be sure to ask him about his first experience deploying a cloud solution back in 2002. While you might find it interesting that Salesforce.com was actually his first foray into the cloud, the best part of the story is that those were the days when Marc Benioff was actually doing the selling. It might have been his Hawaiian shirt and khakis or his true vision for a complete cloud platform, but either way, Scott was sold and became a Salesforce believer early on.
Cloud, mobile and social go hand-in-hand. (2:42 in the video) With all employees and customers relying on both their mobile devices and social networks to get them through their daily lives, Scott believes it is just common sense to adopt these technologies together within the enterprise – and the cloud makes it easy to do just that. In order for employees to do their jobs more effectively and embrace IT solutions, Wind River has adopted a very robust BYOD (Bring your own Device) policy and relies on a company-wide social collaboration platform.
Embrace the paradigm shift. (4:03 in the video) The IT organizations of past relied on on-premise servers and data centers. An IT employee’s entire job could be making sure an on-premise software solution remains available to users. Today, IT leaders have the opportunity to think about IT differently–it’s no longer about developing software and installing back-up servers, but rather IT must now shift its mindset to think about how it can deliver business value to customers as quickly as possible, in turn, allowing business end-users to sell more products and service more customers. Scott’s best advice for making this practice a reality is to start small. Pick a few key departments with small apps where you can make a big impact in a short amount of time and deliver big wins for both IT and the business.
From executive positions at Hypercom, Concentrex, Fujitsu, and Tektronix to CIO of Wind River Systems – whose technology is prevalent in over one billion devices in aerospace and defense, automotive, networking, and consumer electronics – Scott has seen it all. With several hundred CIOs among the crowd of 125,00+ attendees at this year’s Dreamforce, don’t miss your opportunity to hear Scott speak and discover why both CIO Magazine and InformationWeek have named him multiple times in the past five years as a recognized leader and technology innovator.