Intelligent CIO North America Issue 33 | Page 37


‘‘ business


’ ve been obsessed with technology for as long as I can remember . As a child , growing up in the 70s , I learnt a lot from my mom , who was working for a start-up technology company and taught computer programming at Georgia State University . It ’ s fair to say that she was far ahead of her time .
I started coding at home in the 4th grade – long before there were computers in classrooms or IT was taught in elementary school . I have vivid memories of getting into disagreements with my mom about my education and the classes she wanted me to take . The first was in middle school , when she made me take a typing class ( on a typewriter – remember those ?) because she knew I needed to learn the skill and develop early on . pace of change has accelerated over recent years and cutting through the noise , finding and harnessing the right tools – at the right time – is always a challenge .
Ronda Cilsick , CIO , Deltek
The second was in high school , when she strongly encouraged me to take computer programming .
I ’ m so grateful that my mom encouraged me to take these classes – it ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made . In college , I went on to major in Computer Science and have worked in technology ever since . I haven ’ t looked back .
I ’ ve been at Deltek for almost 13 years now . I was actively seeking a fast-growing organization where the executive leadership team had a clear vision to drive meaningful , ambitious change .
After my first few conversations with the Deltek team during my interview process , it became clear that I ’ d found exactly what I was looking for . I initially joined the company as the VP of the Enterprise Project Management Office , where I focused on establishing a center of excellence for Project Management , launching Release Management and creating an Acquisition Integration Program and Methodology .
Since joining , I ’ ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of roles alongside many different parts of the organization , including IT , Product Management , Engineering and Global Consulting . Throughout my journey , Deltek has continued to offer me unique experiences to learn about the business , which in turn has supported my career growth and personal development , preparing me for my current role , where I now lead our IT and facilities organizations and serve as CIO .
Equally , living in the connected world which we all inhabit , we have to worry about things like cybersecurity threats , which seem to be forever growing in sophistication .
There comes a point when you have to accept you can ’ t do everything , so instead we must make sure we prioritize and focus on the highest value things .
My biggest challenge as CIO , however , is delivering more value , in a faster way to the business , while balancing keeping the lights on and protecting our employees and customers . There comes a point when you have to accept you can ' t do everything , so instead we must make sure we prioritize and focus on the highest value things and delivering them as quickly and efficiently as possible .
It hasn ’ t always been easy to work in such a maledominated industry . But over the course of my career , I ’ ve witnessed so much positive change , and I love taking the time to applaud the women who have spearheaded progress . As a woman in technology , I feel a sense of duty to support other women in their careers and give back to them the same support I have received in my career journey .
There are many opportunities for technology to drive organizational change – be it improving results , increasing productivity or ramping up efficiency . The
I ’ ve been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by positive role models , not least my mom . She taught me anything was possible and that my gender shouldn ’ t
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