CIO Profiles: Manish Kapoor Of NuStar Energy - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation

CIO Profiles: Manish Kapoor Of NuStar Energy

Tech vendors should behave more like business partners, says this CIO.

Career Track

Manish Kapoor, CIO and senior VP

Manish Kapoor
CIO and senior VP, NuStar Energy

How long at NuStar Energy: About three and a half years at this pipeline operator.

Most important career influencer: All my former bosses have had an impact on my career in some way. I closely watched their strengths and have tried to incorporate them into how I approach my career -- and I learned from their mistakes to make sure I don't repeat them.

Decision I wish I could do over: I don't jump to an application before understanding the need and the business process involved. But I did do it once because of pressures of time and user requests, and it was not a success. If I were to do it over again, I would do it exactly the way I do all of our other projects now: review the business process, identify the requirements and then look for the best solution.

On The Job

IT budget: $25 million opex and $10 million capital

Size of IT team: 80 people across North America and Europe

Top initiatives:

  • Build a better relationship with NuStar's customers.
  • Improve internal business processes.
  • Improve IT operations


The most overrated IT movement: Every technology has its usefulness. A specific technology can be overrated for one industry but could be a lifesaver for another. Carefully analyze the technology as it pertains to your business needs and don't adopt it just because the whole world is adopting it.

What I need from tech vendors: Stop trying to sell everything in your portfolio and become a true partner by providing us with products that relate to our business.

One thing I'm looking to do better: We want to turn around projects faster and with a lot more involvement from the business.

Most common cause when IT projects go wrong: Two common pitfalls are failing to involve the business user enough throughout the project and not tightly managing the change process.

Kids and tech careers: I will let my kids choose careers based on their interests. They can't do justice to a profession if their heart isn't in it.


The fastest way into my doghouse: Providing technology solutions without understanding the business process and needs

Favorite pro sports team coach: Gregg "Pop" Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, who believes the success of a team lies in great teamwork

Best book read recently: Good To Great by Jim Collins

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a management consultant

Ranked No. 58 in the 2012 InformationWeek 500

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User Rank: Author
9/3/2013 | 9:22:28 PM
re: CIO Profiles: Manish Kapoor Of NuStar Energy
I like the challenge of trying to turn projects faster and get more involvement from business end users. Likely means more time on the front end, but done right less rework.
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 2:54:28 PM
re: CIO Profiles: Manish Kapoor Of NuStar Energy
One thing we had to leave out of the digital magazine version of this profile because of a lack of space:

-- How do you give your teams room to innovate and experiment, as
opposed to do run-the-business or hard ROI projects?

"We are not a technology company; therefore, we don't have a lot of room for innovations and experiments per se. Most of our innovations come from the fact that we try to resolve business problems by spending fewer dollars and building applications that perform better than those of our peers or industry. I am very proud of my team for the solutions they have put into place the past couple of years, which led to NuStar receiving the Top Innovator award in the Energy and Utility category from InformationWeek in 2012. We also received the Special Award in Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) from ESRI in 2012 for our innovations."

Jim Donahue

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