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Forum on World Class IT - 319 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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September 24, 2012: Chris Laping, Senior Vice President, Business Transformation and Chief Information Officer of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Among other topics, Chris discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:
  • How IT is uniquely positioned to help business solve problems that the business doesn’t expect IT to solve, and how IT leaders must find gaps in the organization and work to fill them
  • How focusing on fundamentals, influence, and empathy act as the building blocks for transformation
  • How Chris helped build a world class IT program/project management office, and how their successes resulted in the PMO coming out from under IT
  • IT’s success in collaborating with marketing in a series of initiatives including the Red Royalty program, brand transformation, and more
  • Chris’ business transformation role, and how he orchestrates change in people, process, and technology to help holistically change the business
  • Eye on Trends: Social media and mobile, and how there are many great ideas that are as of yet unfulfilled in these areas as it pertains to the services industry
  • Q&A: Chris answers questions pertaining to how information security is managed at Red Robin, how changes are initiated, and outsourcing

Chris Laping’s Biography

Chris is the Senior Vice President of Business Transformation and the Chief Information Officer of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, a growing chain of casual restaurants. In his current role, Chris is responsible for all aspects of IT at Red Robin, and has led numerous initiatives and transformations in the organization. Prior to joining Red Robin, Chris served as Chief Information Officer and Principal of Statera, Inc., and also spent time as Chief Information Officer at Capmark Financial Group and GMAC Commercial Holding Capital Corp.  Chris has a strong emphasis on recruiting and team development and has an outstanding track record of maintaining a disciplined cost structure and results-oriented focus. Chris has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including ComputerWorld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders award in 2004, InfoWorld Magazine’s InfoWorld 100 award in 2002, 2003 and 2005, and was nominated for CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 award in 2002. He is frequently quoted in trade journals and utilized in speaking engagements.

Chris received a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Florida State University and his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Florida.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview