Marquette Group in Peoria, Ill., is an advertising agency that delivers qualified, local customers to national brands by designing integrated media strategies. Its sister company, USMotivation, focuses on incentive strategies, group travel, and creative communications.
When Duane Anderson came on board in mid-2009 as CIO serving both entities, he clearly needed to be sure to work with his new colleagues to define the present and future state. This was Anderson’s first foray into the CIO role, and he was new to the industry. As a former lieutenant to Tim Stanley at Harrah’s Entertainment, he had been exposed to a high-octane IT department, but now he was in IT’s biggest chair.
Since he was new to the role and to his company, Anderson focused on steps related to defining the present and future state of IT, as well as strengthening governance.
The first step was to develop an infrastructure roadmap. As Anderson began to evaluate the IT infrastructure, he realized that the server Infrastructure had grown on a need-by-need basis, rather than with the company’s strategic goals and total cost of ownership in mind. This led to a very out-dated footprint that could not easily scale or be supported at a reasonable cost.
"To break this cycle, we focused an internal and external team to define our server infrastructure roadmap," says Anderson. "We are now executing on key components of this plan, which includes moving tactical needs [such as] email and file servers to public cloud options, and strategic needs [such as] customer applications and high availability to a blend of private cloud and on-demand utility computing."
Next, Anderson focused on the needs of his colleagues outside of IT. He had joined the company after the economic malaise was in full swing, and he pushed to ensure that he was gaining strategic traction with his new business colleagues, as opposed to being viewed simply as a cost center.