By Peter High, published on Forbes
When Cynthia Stoddard joined Adobe as chief information officer in June of 2016, she admits she joined an information technology division that was running reasonably well. She is a good judge of such things, having been a CIO multiple times over, most recently at NetApp for over four years. At Adobe, she joined a company in the throes of transforming itself into a cloud company, and an IT department that operated as “customer zero” for the company’s products. She took the game plan that was in place and added her own aspects to the plan.
She indicates in my interview with her that the first step of the IT transformation was making back-office systems real-time, responsive and highly available. Next, she facilitated a customer-experience-centric strategy for IT. A major component of that was leveraging the seven characteristics of the cloud. She explains all of the above while reflecting on her own career in IT, and the steps she has taken to encourage other women to walk in her footsteps, among other topics covered.
Peter High: You have been the CIO for about a year at Adobe, an organization that has been transforming itself into a cloud business. Please provide a brief overview of this journey and the role IT plays.
Cynthia Stoddard: Adobe began the transition to software as a service, away from box software, a number of years ago. It has been a successful transformation and we continue to be leaders in the market. We have three clouds: Document Cloud, Creative Cloud, and Experience Cloud. I am proud to be a part of the organization and to have a great IT team that enables the business, the organization’s journey, and the tremendous amount of growth Adobe has achieved. Since IT was solid when I joined the organization, I have been able to focus my strategy on the future.
Adobe did a fantastic job when they moved from box software to software as a service. When you enter the real-time online software as a service world, all of the back-office systems that were previously hidden, are exposed to the world.
High: How did the Adobe IT team manage that?