20 November 2007

The evolution of the CIO

CRN Australia:
"For Ken Harris, senior VP and CIO of Shaklee Corp., it helps that he works in a midsize company, and it isn't just the big-fish, small-pond factor. Harris, the former CIO of Gap and before that Nike, came to Shaklee two years ago, after the company was acquired by a private equity firm, to determine the role IT would play in helping the company 'become relevant again to a younger generation' and figure out how to get 'the biggest bang for the buck.'

What's different about this current position, Harris said, is that it's much more about strategy than tactics. 'I can help them make decisions that are doable from a technology standpoint,' he said.

Harris is a believer in software as a service, not only for the low up-front costs but also for the rapid deployment capabilities, having implemented several SaaS projects at Shaklee in the last two years, such as RightNow's CRM service, Web analytics from Visual Sciences, and address verification with the help of data services company StrikeIron, which customer service reps had been clamoring for. 'On the business side, users are demanding so much more, more quickly,' he said."

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