Editor's Note: The IT Leadership Awards, presented by Pride Technologies, celebrate local IT professionals who help local, regional, national and global businesses run better through engaged leadership and a commitment to innovation. For the next 5 weeks, check back each Tuesday and Thursday as we highlight one of the 20 honorees of this year's award.
Luxottica Group S.p.A. is a global leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear with more than 7,000 optical and sun retail stores.
When it comes to technology, Michael Braine keeps his eyes focused on what is best for the business, its growth and, especially, its customers. "The retail industry has been undergoing significant changes in its expectation of how to serve and interact with customers," says Braine. "As a result, this emerging preeminence of the customer has had a significant impact on retail information technology departments as well. Luxottica’s technology innovation has been focused on improvements and enhancements to the customer experience, which has dramatically increased the level of investment of in-store technology that is designed to enhance customer interaction."
In addition to focusing on customer-facing technologies, Braine’s team has also kept pace with similar advances for its associates, including new point of service devices, and enhanced dashboards and analytics. Braine and his team are a key part of Luxottica’s success, operating with a global perspective. "This positions us to be better-aligned with our corporate strategy, in that the standardization of technology and an increased investment in scalable IT solutions will enable both acquisition and organic business growth."
This international focus has come into practice with a huge recent win for Braine’s team: Completing a "multi-year transformation from our legacy applications, by moving from 11 separate applications down to a single, global instance" while also supporting the company’s expansion into nine additional countries.
As Luxottica moves toward the future, Braine’s team is ready to keep the company on the cutting edge. The company continues to invest in its IT team and systems, and prides itself on staffing with people who are "agile, bridge multiple disciplines and have versatile skill sets." And, Braine adds, those who are willing to reinvent themselves on a regular basis. Just like technology.
Previous honorees featured: Jay Brown, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for UC Health; Dave Hofmeister, Chief Information Officer with Enerfab; John Kellington, CIO and Senior VP, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies; Vinit Kohli, Vice President of Management Information Systems for Sibcy Cline; Annette Marksberry, Associate Provost and CIO for Information Technologies at Xavier University; Anup Nair, Chief Information Officer of Vantiv; Ralph Watkins, Vice President of Technology for Pure Romance