How Boeing’s Transformation Is Taking Flight

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By Byron Connolly

As a young lad, Ted Colbert played with chemistry sets and taught himself how to program on a Commodore 64, an entry-level computer that was hugely popular in the 1980s.

A few decades later, with a love for engineering and IT and a stack of experience under his belt at AT&T Bell Labs, Ford and Citi, the American landed the plum yet highly challenging role of CIO at $96 billion aerospace and defence giant, Boeing.

Today, Colbert is responsible for IT strategy, operations and processes at the world’s largest aerospace company, and one of the top manufacturers of commercial aircraft and defence, space and security systems. There are more than 6,000 IT staff in his team.

Colbert is leading technology transformation initiatives at Boeing which will play a big part in preparing the 100-year-old global organisation for its second century of operation.

Last week, Colbert was visiting IT teams in Australia, which is the organisation’s largest footprint outside the United States.

“There are some amazing products that we deliver in the locations here in Australia,” Colbert tells CIO. Australia provides a small yet very agile environment to test out and implement solutions that are used by the global organisation, he says.

“This group [in Australia] is able to accelerate the application of many of the things we are trying to do across the enterprise. We do research work here, we do fabrication and manufacturing and sell services – we do all sorts of things.”

Colbert describes being at the helm of a big piece of an organisation that has been around for 100 years as an "awesome responsibility."

To read more about Colbert's work at Boeing, visit CIO magazine at


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  • Modified:10/07/2016