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Guy Thier

"The role of the CIO has changed from a technology service provider to valued and trusted business strategist who can adapt quickly to rapidly changing business environments."

GUY THIER
SVP and CIO
Bally Total Fitness

Guy is SVP and CIO at Bally Total Fitness and serves as a senior executive. He is an effective team oriented communicator, thus helps in strong partnerships throughout the organization. Guy is a result oriented and highly motivated leader who balances vision, strategy and execution to deliver results. In addition, he is responsible for driving enterprise-wide business initiatives via technology innovation – including revenue growth, business process improvements, and leveraging information for decision making.

 

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations.

In 2013, I wish to replace all the PCs in the Bally Health Clubs with iPads and increase productivity and flexibility. Come on Microsoft, Office on the iPad! The solutions I’m really looking circle around enhanced customer experience. We created a number of iPad apps for employees in order to facilitate a transformative cultural shift from stationary, desk based non-personalized customer service to fluid, interactive and relationship oriented service. The challenges surrounding wifi, mobile devices, security and PCI adherence were more difficult then I would have hoped given the current state of mobility. I’m hoping for a big leap in support for mobile transactions and tools to expedite user experience development on mobile devices.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier.

There are two areas where I would like to see improvement in 2013. First is integration of cloud solutions as many mid-size cloud application providers in my environment are still using csv file uploads with human intervention as the main integration vehicle. I thought those days were behind us long ago.

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment

The consumption and dissemination of big data, and the cross section of mobile, social, and in club (store) experience.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

My role has expanded horizontally over the past couple of years. I’ve been fortunate enough to be included in business strategy and tactical development across the enterprise, and I’ve had great relationships with the senior executives in my organization. CIOs have an enterprise perspective due to the prevalent use of technology in every aspect of an organization. We have a combination of business, leadership, and innovation skills augmented with a deep understanding of technology not typically found in our peers. The vision and comprehension of mobility, social, and big data and how those technologies impact an organization provide a strong foundation for partaking in business strategy development. The role of the CIO has changed from a technology service provider to valued and trusted business strategist who can adapt quickly to rapidly changing business environments. I love my job.

Lessons I learned as a CIO that can help you

I’ve conducted 360 anonymous reviews and included a number of people from within the IT organization so that I can get feedback on how I’m doing as a leader and how they believe the enterprise views. The feedback was valuable and it allowed me to see the world through my team’s eyes. Sometimes, at least in my case, you can get wrapped up in the daily activities and honestly believe you are communicating your vision and plans throughout your team, but the message gets lost. Remember your team, encourage them to grow and innovate, teach them to be business oriented, integrate them into the rest of the organization, and then let them loose. The IT team felt like part of the company, felt appreciated, and responded with great innovations. Gaining feedback and IT-business integration would be my advice to fellow CIOs.