Second-half strategies

Eleven CIOs answered this question: What is the most strategic IT/business project (or projects) your organization will be working on in the second half of 2002, and what are the business drivers behind it?

-- Jerry Miller, former CIO, Sears Roebuck and Co.: "One is an e-learning initiative where we're putting systems in stores so all training will be done online over the Web. We also have an e-recruiting initiative where all recruiting will be done online. We're installing a new workforce-scheduling system in all of our stores all online and on the Web. The business drivers are increased productivity and driving out costs."

-- Jon Ricker, president, Limited Technology Services: "Implementing common systems across brands. . . . The fewer systems we have, the less complexity there is, so the more specialized we can be with services and support."

-- Ray Johnson, vice president and CIO, Entergy Corp.: "One of the major issues that we're dealing with is deregulation," which involves developing new retail market-facing systems. "It's just a matter of ramping that up."

-- Malcolm Fields, CIO, HON Industries Inc.: A customer relationship management project "with B2B and B2C elements. We have office furniture and fireplace businesses and work with many distributors. The drivers are getting close to the end customer and knowing who he is or she is. We want to know who is actually buying."

-- Eric Dean, CIO, United Air Lines Inc.: "There is no currently launched major IT project for the second half of 2002. The reason is that United continues in very serious economic crises. There are some projects under discussion related to the reservations-related systems."

-- Doug Busch, CIO, Intel Corp.: "As Intel's business becomes ever more global, it's critically important that teams of knowledge workers be able to collaborate on complex tasks efficiently and effectively. We are analyzing business processes, conducting research in partnership with product divisions and academic institutions like MIT, identifying tools that can be used to improve team productivity and making significant investments in very high-capacity networking between critical sites. Some of the [projects] we are pursuing include establishing a broadband network infrastructure throughout Intel and developing voice over IP for notebook computers to be used as a conferencing tool."

-- Jean K. Holley, CIO, USG Corp.: "We have three key initiatives for 2002: implementing Oracle financials, upgrading and consolidating our infrastructure, and customer relationship management. Implementing our Oracle financials is key because the other initiatives build on this."

-- Cora Carmody, Invensys Software Systems: "The Information Highway project. There is a core investment of just under $1 million. The business drivers are unifying our business information [systems] to provide better, more timely information to the decision-makers and to streamline the integration of our applications."

-- Barbara Z. Buechner, senior manager of information security, Merck-Medco Managed Care LLC: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. "The changes we are making for HIPAA compliance will enable us to leverage standardization as we go forward, minimizing redundant files and simplifying enhancements to our applications."

-- Russ Lewis, CIO, GFInet Inc.: "I've been focusing on security, both physical and data. Any black eye at this point in terms of accounting or data is not acceptable. On the data side, we're making sure replication services are hardened. On the physical security side, we're making sure IDs and swipe cards are validated and access to the premises have video and electronic surveillance."

-- John Fiore, CIO, State Street Corp.: "We're continuing on with projects we started last year. All of these new platforms we're creating will be integrated through use of messaging technology, like SOAP, XML. As a transaction comes in from a client, that transaction might span multiple applications internal to State Street, but from a customer's perspective, that has to be a single event."

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