As CIO at Monsanto, Shirley is a member of the strategy team. Becoming a member of the strategy team came with a change in role for IT – that from being an order taker to a strategic partner sharing responsibility for the business’s growth.
Being a strategic business partner rather than a support organization requires a deep understanding of the business – that is why over 35% of Monsanto’s R&D IT group has science backgrounds with 10% having PhD’s. They don’t just support the product development process – they are a key driver of it. This shift from being a more traditional IT department not only required a whole new level of leadership; it required a complete mindset shift.