Interview: Motorola CIO on recruiting and retaining talent

Motorola CIO Patricia Morrison talks about recruiting and retaining talent in the global marketplace, innovation in IT and developing a process for integrating acquisitions.

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You have a strong education background in music and math. What do those have to do with preparation for IT work?

Music programs in schools are critical. I studied music and was a math major in college. I'm actually a right-brained person with a holistic way of looking at things. Music study tends to make you think differently about how things work together, whether orchestra, choral or theatre. You learn it's not the individual that makes the outcome, but it's all the things working in harmony. That's like running a project in IT or business.

How is IT at Motorola influencing the development of the company's products?

Innovation comes from solving real customer problems. We use our own products, and we have a pretty significant impact on product development. Almost 6,000 Motorola Q handhelds have been adopted in our IT [operations] because it is an enterprise device with 23 apps running on it.

What handheld device do you use?

I use a 3G Q, announced recently. I use it for e-mail and voice and for everything. As a matter of fact, I rely less and less on my laptop. I would take a laptop if I were doing a big Word document or a spreadsheet, but I'm not a big spreadsheet junkie. I have to tell you, I don't see a lot of need to have a laptop. I travel about 60% of the time all over the world. [The handheld] works in all the networks around the world, but not Japan, which is unique. But I can get applications on the Q and can deploy to the Q anything I can move through our mobile portals. I can do approvals for workflow and see my reports. I can do a NetMeeting live on a Q. The BlackBerry is a fabulous e-mail device, but there's a lot I can't do on it.

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