Agents of Change – Mark Ridley: “CIOs used to be ‘doers’, now they are initiating and leading”

June 6, 2016
Agents of Change – Mark Ridley: “CIOs used to be ‘doers’, now they are initiating and leading”

VMware’s Agents of Change initiative celebrates smart CIOs that are catalysts for change, harnessing the transformative power of technology to change the way their business operates.

Mark Ridley is not afraid to make unconventional decisions. He’s the CIO at Reed.co.uk, the largest job site in the UK, and Reed’s executive board were used to his unusual proposals. But a few years ago, Ridley took them by surprise when he suggested the company get rid of its IT department.

Instead of relying on the corporate IT systems provided by its parent company, Reed Global, Ridley wanted to move all of its IT systems and services into the cloud. All groups—HR, finance, CRM systems, etc.—would be able to safely and easily run their businesses through a web browser on a mobile device.

“I have focused a lot of my time in making change part of the culture at reed.co.uk. Over time, agile organisations like ours develop a resistance to the stress of change by practicing it regularly. But that’s not to say this initiative was without challenges,” Ridley said.

Reflecting on this IT initiative, Mark sees it primarily as a story about people. “Truly embracing change requires a culture where failure is both accepted and encouraged. It should be seen as part of a commitment to creativity and experimentation. The reed.co.uk journey completely altered our IT infrastructure and the entire business. We needed the commitment of our employees to make the in-the-cloud approach a success.”


 
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