Wal-Mart CIO Talks Data, People, And 'Classic' Systems - InformationWeek

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Wal-Mart CIO Talks Data, People, And 'Classic' Systems

In conversation with InformationWeek, Wal-Mart CIO Karenann Terrell talks about what's it's like to run technology at the $500 billion retailer.

At this year's InformationWeek conference in Las Vegas, Wal-Mart CIO Karenann Terrell spoke to Stephanie Stahl, vice president of Content Marketing at UBM Americas, about what's it's like to oversee technology at the $500 billion retailer. Terrell spoke of managing data, people, and what she likes to call "classic" systems the company still uses in the data center.

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User Rank: Ninja
6/19/2015 | 7:01:04 PM
Re: Wal-Mart CIO Talks Data, People, and 'Classic' Systems
Well, this is certainly refreshing after seeing Dave's article yesterday about the lack of women in IT. Sources he linked there cited particular problems getting women into executive roles - just 14% of the top half of fortune 500 companies have female CIOs, and of the 'Fortune 100', only four have female CIOs. Walmart being number 1, that puts Karenann Terrell among them. It was great to see her talk sense and strategy on such a wide variety of broad overarching business topics (she's right: Wal-Mart has a scale few can even grasp), and how they impact IT, and then drill down far enough to shush the skeptical audience with the specifics of how those strategies impact their PoS systems. maybe Target IT execs could learn something about keeping their PoS systems up to date from her (I promise I thought of that before I heard the gentleman in the audience bring it up)!

When she brought up partnerships, I thought again of Target; their 'single point of failure' was their HVAC vendor. Maybe plugging someone into your system and forgetting about it is a relic of a bygone era; maybe the relationships being inherently more complex breeds success. In Wal-Mart's case, the proof - and this goes double for treating their customer data with respect - is certainly in the pudding. I can see how their scale is beneficial to cultivating that - if I and another supply chain software manufacturer are both partners of Wal-Mart, the data we collect from them alone is enough to build anything - it's easy to see how we could collaborate on our next generation products. Not to mention all the other resources they can offer us. Lots of insight here from someone who clearly understand their business and technology top-to-bottom. Thanks for posting!

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