August 15, 2012, 7:30 AM — At business-to-business hosted services provider ADP, corporate vice president and CIO Mike Capone practices what he preaches. Not only does the company consume its own SaaS offerings, from payroll processing to talent management, but it also uses third-party services every chance it gets. Capone may have started out in IT, but he spent most of his 24 years at ADP on the business side before taking on the CIO role. Here he talks about how mobile, consumerization and big data are keeping pressure on IT, and why businesses must use technology to innovate, even when it voids existing business models.
Groupon. They took all the things that are hot and made a business out of them.Is there something that most people don't know about you? My father was one of the first people to carry the title of CIO. He went to school for Cobol and worked his way up at JC Penney.What's your favorite vice? French food. They use a lot of butter.What do you do during off-hours? Travel. I love seeing the world.What are you currently reading?Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel, by Gary Shteyngart. It's a satire on where the world is going in terms of all this transparency and lack of privacy.
What career path did you take on your way to the CIO job? I went to a liberal arts college, and IT was a way to pay the bills right out of college. I quickly gravitated toward business, got an MBA, and left IT. I was general manager of our global outsourcing business. Then, three and a half years ago, our CTO said, "We're thinking of naming our first CIO in company history. We think you'd be a great candidate."
Do you see your business background as an advantage in your role as CIO? It's been incredibly valuable not just in terms of how I think, how I run my organization and how I prioritize, but also in terms of the cred I have with my peers. They know I've walked in their shoes.