What he brings to the table: As a biotech outsider, Mayo's value add is his ability to question. "Because I don't have a preconceived notion as to why this industry works the way it does, I don't come in thinking things have to be done a certain way," he explains. "So for everything from leveraging the ERP tool that we bought to establishing good change control, I'm always asking, 'Why are we doing this?' 'Why don't we have an approach for that?' " Mayo says. "I bring that different perspective."
Rising Stars of IT
Things My Mentor Taught Me
You don't get to be one short hop away from the corner office in IT without learning a thing or two along the way. Some of our rising stars share words of wisdom they picked up, both from their Premier 100 IT Leader bosses and from other mentors.
"One of my former managers had a very calm, pragmatic style of leadership, based not on emotions but on impact. I learned a lot from that. [Quintiles CIO Richard Thomas] comes with significant in-depth knowledge of every department that's here. He challenges us to look at things differently. His motto is to tackle the hard yards first."
-- Joe Donnici, vice president, core IT, Quintiles
"What I've learned [from vice president and CIO Mark Smith] is to be slightly unreasonable sometimes. You need to push people to a slightly less comfortable place if you're truly going to get them to innovate."
-- Leigh Ann Thomas, senior business relationship manager, American Water
Senior vice president and CIO Saad Ayub "is a real visionary and a strategic thinker. He's helped me become more forward-thinking, better at translating and interpreting everything that's coming in. And he's taught us all the importance of having fun at work."
-- Lynn Costa, vice president, shared services, Scholastic
Compiled by Tracy Mayor
As he rises through the ranks, Mayo finds his role changing; he's becoming less of a technologist or even a business leader (he has an MBA from Northeastern University in addition to an undergraduate computer science degree) and more of a big-picture visionary.
His vision for IT: "I can't think of a single job in our organization that is not hugely reliant on IT; you have to understand IT to do the job," he says. That pervasiveness of technology throughout the company, coupled with cloud computing and the consumerization trend, could well spell the end of old-school IT, Mayo predicts. "Companies are not going to own data centers or host their own applications. In 20 years or whatever, the notion of a separate IT organization as a keeper of the data will be gone. IT becomes part of the fabric of the organization," he says.