Engaging, retaining and co-creating IT

Engaging, retaining and co-creating IT

340 readers like this


March 05, 2014
CIO Engaging, retaining and co-creating IT


An Interview Cynthia Stoddard, Senior Vice President and CIO at NetApp

THE ENTERPRISERS PROJECT: Long-term retention is a huge issue in this high-demand IT market. How do you hold onto star performers?

STODDARD: It’s a challenge, definitely, because it’s a very competitive market right now in a lot of different areas, especially in the Silicon Valley. Interestingly we had a couple of people recently leave the organization, but some of them have come back because the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. That’s been good to see. And it’s been good for the organization to see that folks are coming back.

THE ENTERPRISERS PROJECT: What do you think drew them back to NetApp?

STODDARD: I think they expected something different when they left, and in coming back I think they are returning to what they believe is a more dynamic organization than what they went to. This is a place where they feel they can grow their careers. I really feel that having a voice and being able to contribute to what IT is going to be in the future is very, very powerful, and we practice that here. The whole “co-creation of our future” concept we follow in IT means people can speak up about how we should move to a service mindset, for example, or suggest some simple things we can do to become more productive. And it’s not just sharing your ideas, it’s how we act on them so often times they see  their ideas come to life. That’s really powerful.

THE ENTERPRISERS PROJECT: Can you talk a bit more about the co-creating IT idea?

STODDARD: I have this concept when I look at the strategy and how we’re evolving IT- I say we’re co-creating the future. Some organizations tend to be top-down- They say this is the vision, this is the approach and everyone should follow. I like to use the phrase and the techniques of co-creation instead. So ideas can come from all levels of the organization: from my leadership team, from the first-level managers, or from the grass roots of the organization.

Another critical point is that we try to get the whole organization to really have a vision. I think that people operate and feel better in this type of environment because they feel that they can really make a difference. If your people are off wondering what the direction is, it’s harder to focus and really make a contribution.

Cynthia Stoddard is the senior vice president and CIO at NetApp. In her role as CIO, she is responsible for providing a long-term technology vision that supports and is aligned with the company’s strategies and goals, business plans, operating requirements, and overall efficiencies. She has over 25 years of business experience and IT expertise leading large global organizations in supply chain, retail, and technology companies.

Community of business-minded IT leaders exploring the evolving role of CIOs as they drive business strategy and inspire enterprise-wide innovation.

7 New CIO Rules of Road

Harvard Business Review: IT Talent Crisis: Proven Advice from CIOs and HR Leaders

CIOs: We welcome you to join the conversation

Related Topics

Submitted By Stephanie Overby
April 18, 2019

What’s hot in DevOps job titles, skills, and organizational strategies? Take note, job seekers and hiring managers.

Submitted By Jack Gold
April 18, 2019

Too many IT organizations remain stuck in a subservient role. To change that, you need to find ways to get more people into cross-training with line-of-business teams. 

Submitted By Carla Rudder
April 17, 2019

Feel a bit of dread at networking events? These tips and mental tricks will help you work a room like a pro.


Email Capture

Keep up with the latest thoughts, strategies, and insights from CIOs & IT leaders.