by Peter High, published on Forbes
Kim Stevenson has been the CIO of Intel for the past four years. As I have noted in the past, she has dramatically increased the value derived from IT by adopting the practices of the more traditional revenue centers of the company. One of the best examples of this is the development of an IT annual report that mirrors that of the company as a whole. (Check out her latest IT annual report here.) The theme of her latest annual report is “Intel: From the Backroom to the Boardroom.” This refers to IT’s becoming more relevant to the board of the company, but it is also a good summation of her own career in recent years.
Since becoming CIO, Stevenson has been on the boards of multiple companies including her current appointment to the board of Cloudera. Many CIOs wish to join boards these days, and Stevenson offers sage advice on way sin which others might follow in her footsteps. It begins by performing well internally, being transparent, and, if you truly wish to be a board-level CIO, making that known with anyone who might aid you in that process.
(To listen to an unabridged audio version of this interview, please visit this link. This is the 17th interview in the “Board-Level CIO” series. To read past interviews with CIOs from P&G, Biogen, Kroger, Cardinal Health, and the World Bank Group, among others, please visit this link. To read future articles in the series, please click the “Follow” link above.)
Peter High: I thought we would talk a bit about some of your priorities in the year ahead, which I know include adoption of Big Data analytics to find opportunities and to solve challenges faster. Could you explain some of the ways in which IT is going to do that, and also some of the other priorities that are on your roadmap for the year ahead?
Kim Stevenson: Analytics is at the top of my pyramid because it is a transformational initiative around Intel. I have shifted from a technology view for 2016 to a leadership problem. We are bringing our entire Intel leadership team forward to think about shifting using Big Data predicative analytics versus traditional statistical methods. The reason I say it is a leadership problem is because often you will find in a predictive model that you will get answers that are inconsistent with your historical experience. We use regression analysis a lot here at Intel. If you look at a regression analysis line, you effectively get a mean and you drive towards that regression line. If you use an isobar analysis, what you get is the personalization of hot spots and you would maybe take three or four different actions than what a regression line would tell you. You get good results with traditional statistics. You can get outstanding results if you switch to the more predictive models. And that takes a shift in a leadership mindset as much as it does a technology mindset. We have been working on that with our most senior leaders at Intel. The receptivity is really high, but the cultural shift is also really difficult.
High: I know you have talked about the need for IT to be an advocate driving this change. What are the methods you are using to communicate this and provide a vision of the value that the organization will garner for this journey?