A New Formula for IT Success
CIO Straight Talk|Issue 07

To create business value, the IT function must be proficient in three main competencies. Here’s how one organization has managed to excel in all of them.

Dave Williams


Dave Williams is Associate Vice President and CIO of Merck Animal Health — a division of Merck that develops, manufactures, and markets a broad range of veterinary medicines and services. Williams is a member of the Merck Animal Health Leadership Team and is responsible for Information Technology globally across the value chain — R&D, Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, and enterprise processes such as Finance. He is also a member of Merck’s Executive IT Leadership Team.

Prior to his current role, Williams led Enterprise Information Management for Merck. From 2002 to 2009, he held IT leadership roles at Schering-Plough, including Divisional Information Officer (DIO) for Global Corporate Systems. The first ten years of his career included roles in health care, chemical industries, and consulting, where he worked with a variety of companies, from startups to multinational corporations.


BS in Economics and Finance, University of Scranton


Family time, exercise, and golf

Business value is the only reason we in IT exist. The skills required to deliver value in today’s dynamic environment are more wide ranging than ever, resulting in a new success formula for IT professionals. I believe that my organization, comprising talented people with the right mind-set, has validated this new formula by generating tremendous value for Merck Animal Health, a $3.4 billion business with 6,500 employees worldwide.

Success in IT was once based on a single competence: technology expertise. Today, success requires three broad competencies. Technology, and especially data, expertise remains critical, particularly given the rapid innovation in our industry. But a deep understanding of the business and its processes is also needed, in order to earn IT a seat at the table with its business partners. Finally, the ability to lead change — change related to the deployment and adoption of new technologies, processes, and even business models — has become indispensable. Only when all three come together can IT deliver real value to the business.

The Right Mind-Set

Not everyone in the IT organization is proficient in technology, business knowledge, and driving change. It simply isn’t practical to assume that every person in the IT organization is going to possess that triumvirate.

As an IT leader, it is my job to seek out individuals who possess certain aspects of those capabilitiesand bring them together. I want that hard-core tech guy who can make the best solution better, but if I don’t have someone with the consultative and relationship building skills to get the business to adopt that technology, we won’t deliver any return. We must master that formula every time.

Just having a team with complementary skills won’t lead to success in IT, though. To deploy those skills effectively, everyone on the team needs a new mind-set.

Traditionally, IT has been hierarchical. You have a job description — that’s what you do. You don’t know what’s happening to the left or right of you. This is an ineffective model that leads to inefficiencies and sub-optimal solutions. On my team, each person invests time building networks of contacts, across organizational boundaries and without regard to hierarchy. It is these networks that enable us to create value for the organization.

It’s also important for members of our team to be able to deal with intense ambiguity. With the rapid pace of change in technology and in our industry, we need IT professionals who can adapt, be flexible, and make rapid (and informed) decisions.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine


Build Lasting Partnerships

Finding trustworthy vendors and partners is key to growing your business—but it’s a challenging relationship to perfect. We asked six entrepreneurs to share their best methods.

2 mins read
April - May 2021

How About A Covid Pill?

Vaccines are great and all, but molnupiravir, an antiviral drug in late-stage trials, could give doctors another major tool to end the pandemic—if, of course, it proves safe and effective

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 29 - April 05, 2021

Intel's debut Iris Xe graphics cards are headed to prebuilt PCs (but not for gaming)

Intel will sell a discrete desktop GPU aimed at mainstream users and small businesses.

2 mins read
March 2021

Is Partner Yoga the New Couples Therapy?

No pair is immune to the challenges of coupledom. While counseling may be the typical go-to resource for guidance, some counselors with yoga backgrounds are taking sessions to the mat, encouraging people to bolster their relationships with asana, pranayama, and meditation through partner yoga therapy.

3 mins read
Yoga Journal
September - October 2020



5 mins read
The BOSS Magazine
July 2020

Asymmetric Warfare

In a world where a keyboard can cause more damage than a gunship, a corporate cyber attack victim and its insurers have gone to court to figure out what’s covered and what’s not

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Markets
December 2019 - January 2020

Are NDAs Really That Important? 

To trusting entrepreneurs, a confidentiality agreement may seem unnecessary. But it’s a vital step toward protecting your business—and its future success. 

3 mins read
October 2018

How EpiPen Became A Hit

 Mylans marketing turned the allergy device into a must-have. 

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 28 - October 4, 2015

“We see opportunities across Asia with India as one of the key markets”

Headquartered in Sweden, Bio-Works Technologies AB carries out R&D, manufacturing and supply of agarose-based resins used to separate proteins and other biomolecules.

5 mins read
BioSpectrum Asia
March 2021

“Peptide purification market is underserved by traditional resin suppliers”

« Jonathan Royce, Chief Executive Officer, Bio-Works Technologies AB, Sweden

5 mins read
Bio Spectrum
March 2021