Intel Corp.’s Kimberly S. Stevenson, who just completed a four-year run as the company’s CIO, says her recent experience has helped prepare her for a new role as an operating executive. On Monday, she became COO of the combined client computing and IoT group, which last quarter generated $7.87 billion of Intel’s $13.5 billion in revenue.
The group is formally known as the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and Systems Architecture Group, or CISA. She will report to Dr. Venkata Renduchintala, and remains on the management committee, according to Intel. Intel named Paula Tolliver, a veteran of Dow Chemical Co., as its new CIO.
Ms. Stevenson, who pioneered the use of metrics that put a value on IT, discussed her new mission. Here are edited highlights of the conversation.
How does your experience as CIO prepare you for transition into an operating role?
I will be taking on a COO role, newly established, working for the president of our client and IoT business and systems architecture group, trying to capture the growth of changing computing form factors. One of the things that becomes very clear is that we have to create interconnection across our groups at Intel to leverage the growth opportunities. IoT and data center are the easiest to see. My role becomes to work across these groups and make sure we leverage our assets effectively from the operating point of view.
The benefit of coming from IT, is that we tend to look across the company, as IT people. I will be able to look horizontally.
As CIO, you developed new methods for describing the monetary value created by IT. Has that work paid off?
We continue to expand those models. We produce every year an IT annual report, articulating our execution for the prior year and strategizing going forward. This year, the theme was the backroom to the boardroom, how do we digitize the company further, particularly from the cyber perspective. We use analytics… to see through the whole chain.
Mobile devices help provide real-time feedback from our customers, which we use to evaluate the performance of SKUs (stock keeping unit) on the retail shelf in real time. It is one way we are using analytics to digitalize the whole customer experience.
Intel’s latest earnings reflect challenges in the cloud-driven data center market, where chip sales growth was slower than expected. Do you have a role in addressing that matter?
To the extent that my role improves our process execution, particularly in the engineering area, then the data center group would benefit.
How do you see the role of CIO evolving?
Ten years ago, big ERP (enterprise resource planning) credentials were important. Now, business credentials are more important …
You play the voice of the enterprise customer within the business. We help the business be closer to the customer, for example, when it comes to the integration of multiple public clouds. We want data to flow.
The other piece is that because we are a tech company, I feel like it is our responsibility to move the profession forward, and share what we do in IT as publicly as we can. We cultivate a network so we can collaborate on the best methods in agile development, for example.
The third piece is newer, the frequency of meeting and engagement with the board of directors. Part of that is advising the board on topics like cybersecurity, and here are the metrics to use, and part of it is on digitization, and how should technology be utilized to improve intelligence.
You have to balance speed and risk. Make sure you start small and prove the system. Then, scale it quickly.
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