In almost 25 years with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Anthony Iannucci has learnt the value in fostering relationships with those outside of technology. The acting chief information officer has “grown with the TTC” and along the way has worked in various capacities and liaised with the likes of systems users, operations and engineering. “You’re trying to solve a problem and you’re working from different angles,” said Iannucci. “When we work together we really get some good success, some good ideas from both sides.”
Iannucci, who assumed the role of acting CIO in June 2009, leads the TTC’s IT infrastructure operations and today still gets to work across departments. He started his career with the TTC developing test plans for scheduling algorithms for a para-transit project. He then moved to the IT service desk, and later became director of technical services responsible for maintaining the IT infrastructure.
During his time with the TTC, Iannucci has witnessed technology morph over the years, such as the shift again to centralized IT. “Now we’re coming back to the data centre model with server virtualization. Sort of what’s old is new again,” said Iannucci. The TTC, like many organizations, also began to go green with its technology, first implementing on a small scale server virtualization before going “right after it” and deploying more broadly in 2007.
Early Leadership Exposure
Iannucci has had many good mentors during his career with the TTC but recalls in particular a leader who regularly practiced setting a good example. “The leader was not afraid to get in the trenches when necessary and that’s the idea of leading by example to show people that you care about them,” said Iannucci.
He also appreciated it when, in times of crisis, certain leaders knew how to “remove barriers,” leaving the path clear for experts to do their job and solve a pressing problem. “The best thing you can do is monitor and stay out of the way,” said Iannucci of good leadership.
Iannucci believes in praising in public and coaching in private. It can be easy to get caught up in the demands of the job and get lost in budgets, but Iannucci schedules a weekly time slot in his calendar to walk around the office to see how everyone is doing.
“To say you have an open door policy is nice, but not everyone is going to walk through that door,” said Iannucci.
Stay tuned for the winners of ComputerWorld Canada’s IT Leadership Awards in October.
Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau