Karaboutis is in the IT driver’s seat as Dell works to evolve from a being a
hardware vendor to being a provider of end-to-end solutions for companies of
all sizes. As the company’s Global CIO, Karaboutis is working to transform the
company’s foundation, based on fulfillment of hardware orders, to one capable
of handling software and Software-as-a-Service offerings.
goal: To create a highly mobile, efficient information environment for the
company’s 103,300 employees. Karaboutis joined Dell two and half years ago and
was named global CIO in November 2011. Karaboutis was previously VP of IT at
Dell supporting product groups, manufacturing, procurement and supply chain operations.
In her experience at Dell, she has led a transformation of Dell’s manufacturing
operations, rolling out a new manufacturing execution system globally. She also
led the roll out of Dell’s consolidated product offering system, which
simplified the supply chain by reducing the number of product configurations, a
critical part of the company’s cost-reduction efforts. In addition, she has
helped Dell’s newly acquired companies transition quickly and smoothly to
to joining Dell, Karaboutis spent 21 years in leadership roles in IT,
production and supply chain in the automotive industry, working for Ford and
General Motors. At GM, she oversaw a transformational move to outsource
manufacturing and supply chain IT to multiple integrators, led migrations from
complex legacy systems to service-oriented architectures, and defined and
enabled an innovative global model of systems. At Ford, she helped achieve
significant efficiency gains through the use of Six Sigma methodologies.
spoke with Susan Nunziata,
formerly of CIO Insight, revealing her business-enabling IT perspective, which
is built on what she describes as three pillars: innovation, value creation and
driving efficiencies. While her position at a leading technology vendor
provides access to experiment with tools and solutions that may not be so
readily available to one of her counterparts in, say, a financial, government
or healthcare organization, her experiences in a IT business environment, and
her efforts to implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies companywide, offer valuable
lessons for any enterprise CIO.
CIO Insight: Let’s talk about
the "innovation" portion of your approach. What does that mean for you and your
We’ve focused on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for mobility. What
are the end user devices that our employees want to use and how do we deliver
those things to them with highest security at the best cost to company with the
best protections and access to data. (See The Evolving Workforce.)
a technology company] we’re at the forefront of an appetite. My internal
customers are technologists. They know what tools exist, they look at our
internal portfolio and say ‘We have Wyse and SonicWall and all these things to
provide a good consumerization experience.’ The business side is developing
these tools for external users and we’re trying to work together to provide the
same options for our internal customers.
example, we rolled out the connected workplace for employees some time ago.
We’ve gone from a facilities perspective to a mobile, work-from-home
environment. Our employees want mobility devices, they want consumerization,
they want to have just as good an experience in the work environment as they do