Much of this came together because Kerley found a strong CIO mentor early on, who complemented weaknesses -- while Kerley came up in IT via infrastructure and applications development, this mentor came from a leadership development and project and portfolio management background. Being exposed to that side of the IT world was a revelation, Kerley says. Having a portfolio perspective enables IT leaders to serve as a bridge into the business and to see the potential for cross-functional improvements, a skill-set necessary to being a results-oriented CIO.
Jay Kerley is deputy CIO at Applied Materials and a member of the CIO Executive Council. The Council's Pathways Program was created by CIOs to build business and IT leadership skills in senior IT leaders through group mentoring with CIOs, 360-degree competencies assessment, targeted seminars and community forums. To learn more, visit council.cio.com/pathways.html.