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Agile Computing: Interview

JetBlue CIO Shows Creative Side to IT

The week that JetBlue Airways Corp announced a 9.1% increase in traffic, CIO Joseph Eng talks to MeetTheBoss TV

JetBlue flew 2.11 billion revenue passenger miles last month, compared to 1.93 billion in January 2008, such growth is encouraging, but the company warns of growing costs throughout 2010. Its apparent due to aircraft maintenance, the volatile fuel market, and the need for greener travel, the aviation industry has a turbulent future ahead and cuts are inevitable across the board. So when in a room with JetBlue’s CIO, the question begs to be asked (and it is one that we have all faced). How do you secure your departments budget in times of cut backs?

In an exclusive interview this week with MeettheBoss.TV Joseph Eng (pictured) speaks out for IT, sharing how he has aligned his department with JetBlue’s business, illustrating in times of budget cuts, that IT is no longer a technology cost but a business essential.

“The IT department has always been seen as a cost center. We have to be cost effective, But if you are just considered a cost, I don’t think you’re really part of the strategic agenda of the firm and will suffer because of this”

Reinventing the IT Department has allowed Joseph to be creative, to step away from the normal approach, manage expectations with the board and his executive colleagues, giving him time to continually deliver successful projects throughout the organization.

“Successful IT leadership has to be about engaging the business, aligning with the business, building a relationship with the business. We need to get away from the stereotype of being ‘the IT person, the techie person’ because actually in this day and age the more successful organizations are engaged with IT, incorporating it as part of the business leadership team.”

I.T. has developed significantly over the last decade, becoming the business, enabling companies to grow into new markets and to give their consumers a better, more interactive experience. Because of such change to business models, Joseph has built JetBlues IT department into a focused and agile business arm.

“People in IT are the ones that know how the business works. Business is so automated. The business process is now encapsulated in the systems, in the technology. Many times you will find that the business is turning to IT and saying, “help me understand how my business works”.

It is obvious that IT leadership gets more credibility and opportunity to participate in the business by delivering success. It’s clear that Joseph recommends any IT leader to be candid and transparent about their issues and challenges, and most importantly to demonstrate that the department understands the business needs.

To watch the interview in full go to MeetTheBoss.TV

More Stories By John Funnell

John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.

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