Profile: Marina Shabin, CIO of Sterling Commerce

In the near-future, Shabin sees a further upset in skill set expectancy. In the next five years, she predicts IT will become even more integrated into the business. “More commoditized skill sets will most likely be outsourced. CIOs will be even more involved and critical to the strategic business planning process and will naturally think more like COO’s and CFOs while providing a solid technological platform and business enablement strategy.”

For now, her immediate challenge is to man the stations with “ … good people who can easily perform as liaisons between the business and more technical resources.” She seeks that “special breed of talent who often starts their careers in IT and later obtains enough functional business experience to be effective.”

Shabin defines these individuals as a hybrid of business analysts and systems analysts with a strong process background relevant to a specific business function like finance, human resources and sales and marketing. “They exist and we are attracting them, but not quickly enough,” she laments.

While Sterling Commerce cashes in on the activities of financial institutions around the clock in multiple time zones, Shabin keeps IT efficiencies high and operations smooth so she and her staff can enjoy some much needed personal downtime. But even at home, Shabin deals in the unexpected. She has a “Tonkenese cat that fetches and is very interactive, and a Bernese Mountain Dog that happily likes to watch me retrieve.”