IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - September 2012 - (Page S20)

Wearer of Kirsten Craft enjoys taking on the challenges that come with an IT position BY SARA AASE K irsten Craft, EVP, Software and Consulting, has worn many hats in the IT business, from tech support and programming to sales, marketing, project management and business analysis. In 2000 she joined Software Information Systems (SIS), a rapidly growing technology and managed IT solutions firm based in Lexington, Ky., where she discovered a passion for software and consulting. She has since grown the company’s Software and Consulting practice to more than 30 consultants. Under Craft’s leadership, SIS is recognized by both IBM and Microsoft* as one of the top software partners in its region. logical thinker, very process-focused, and good at managing projects that focus on efficiency, so from that perspective, IT is a natural fit for me. WiT: Who is your biggest mentor? KC: That would be my boss, Steve Sigg, our continued on page 24 20 SEPTEMBER 2012 WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY PHOTO BY TIM WEBB WiT: Tell us about your background. How did your IT position come about? KC: It’s funny because I loved the computer science class I took in college, but it didn’t occur to me to pursue a related career. I majored in broadcast journalism. But when I didn’t feel challenged as a reporter, I took sales jobs with a couple of small software companies. I did some of everything—sales, marketing, technology implementations— even programming and tech support. I’m a WiT: What do you like most about an IT career? KC: I love working with customers to help them solve their problems. It’s very energizing for me to be part of a team that is often the “hero” for them. There are some exciting new opportunities right now using products like InfoSphere* and Cognos* solutions to help customers leverage business intelligence. We’re also doing a lot with social business, which directs workflows with a Facebook-like approach. It’s the company intranet on steroids. WiT: What are some challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them? KC: Personally, work-life balance is the biggest challenge. My wonderful husband handles most of the activities for our sons, who are 7 and 9. Professionally, I’d say SIS’s biggest challenges are good problems to have. It’s an exciting time for new opportunities in the market, and that brings anxiety around placing the right bets. Related to that is growth. We grew 30 percent last year in headcount and revenue, and that creates workload pain while we ensure that we hire the right people. WiT: What have you learned about leadership? KC: I believe my team would tell you that my leadership style is very collaborative and hands-on, but not micromanaging. I’m big on asking what lessons we learned in each project and how we apply them going forward. I want to empower my team and get out of the way, but I also make sure I face any issues head-on. I learned that lesson early in my career, when I smoothed over a customer complaint without bringing it directly to the employee involved. Now I always lay out whatever the situation is in a neutral way and talk it out.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - September 2012

IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - September 2012
Editor's Desk: It's the Economy, Genius
IBM Perspective: Myths and Truths About Cost
Dashboard: Big Bang to Big Data; A Wooden Light Bulb?; CEOs Going Social; Bubble 'Bots
Insider: Virtualization Blends the Best of Disk and Tape
Case Study: Mobile Defender: Jacksonville Public Defender's Office better serves clients with document imaging and mobile access
Cover Story: A Pivotal Position: CFOs link up with CIOs to move business forward
Feature: A New Lease on Your Business Life: Analyst Cal Braunstein offers economic perspective and advice
Focus on Storage: Store More Data With New Real-time Compression Technology
Next: Biometric Identifiers Will Soon Allow CIOs to Worry Less About Authentication Issues
FYI: Hot, Warm and Cold Data Find a Home With Storage Groups
Solutions: SafeNet/i; STORServer Backup Appliance; Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise; SignHere 1.3.3; Double-Take for AIX 4.0; Presto 4; ARCAD 8.15; Compleo Designer; JD Edwards World A9.3; Change Tracker
Advertisers Index
Snapshot: Enselman Books Through Application Modernization
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Power Systems
Women in Technology
Publisher's Letter: Leaders in Technology
CIO Jeanette Horan steers Big Blue into newly charted waters
FIDM's Roxanne Reynolds-Lair explains what makes her tick
IT is right where IBM's Zarina Stanford wants to be
Technology runs in the blood of zNextGener Kristine Harper
Susan Gantner works magic as a programmer and educator
Kirsten Craft enjoys taking on the challenges that come with an IT position
On the Move: These women have also pursued notable IT careers
2012 Power Systems Buyer's Guide Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - September 2012