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CenturyLink CIO Highlights Agile, Job Rotations, And Digital Transformation As Keys To Innovation

by Peter High, published on Forbes

12-21-2015

CenturyLink’s Chief Information Officer Bill Bradley has been with the $18 billion company through predecessor organizations for more than 30 years. In that time, he has been a part of a technology organization that has gone from a support organization to a driver of innovation and digital transformation. Part of the change has been driven through job rotations, having non-IT employees spend time in IT and vice versa.  IT has also championed agile development, engaging end users of technology early and often, validating value along the way. In a company that has grown dramatically through acquisition, Bradley’s organization is often one of the first to get involved when a company is acquired. In this interview, he describes a significant cultural transformation that he has led, and he describes specific innovations that have been developed.

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Peter High: I thought we would begin with your company, CenturyLink. Could you take a moment to describe the business?

Bill Bradley: We are a traditional network provider at our core, but we are much more than that. We offer video services, and voice services. Cloud and managed hosting are services that we recently added to our portfolio. Even more recently, we bought an analytics company, which will expand our IT services offering that has been in place for a little while. We operate both in the U.S. and internationally.

High: How would you describe your role in the organization?

Bradley: My responsibilities include all of the internal IT systems and platforms, and many of the business processes are encapsulated in those systems. We have grown by acquisition, so we have a significant number of systems that we use to support our business. We work to rationalize those over time. I also have a business leadership role with the rest of the CEO’s direct reports, which is involved in setting the strategic vision of the company.

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