When Andrew Brock started his career in corporate finance, he set standards for on-the-job success that rivaled those of a chief information officer.
“Early in my career, I created this reputation for automating myself,” Brock says. “I’d spend my day compiling data, building spreadsheets and reports, and then I would spend weekends and evenings learning how to code and automate that work.”
Why would Brock, a business school grad working then as a finance manager at PepsiCo, spend his free time learning how to code? He knew what he brought to the table. Instead of spending the day crunching numbers, he freed himself up to partner with the IT business leaders he supported to learn the story behind the numbers. He wanted to help his PepsiCo bosses better understand the business of IT—not just the function—and how it could impact its business processes and bottom line.
Brock’s dedication paid off. He carved out his own lane at PepsiCo and got promoted to finance director of its global IT department. But when he received an offer to run an entire IT organization for Associa, the largest residential property management firm based in Dallas, he took a leap of faith.
Brock was going to find a way to get the job done. After becoming chief information officer of Associa, he refused to hit the panic button over the fact the company was struggling to scale its IT services through decades of rapid growth.
Brock remembers when Associa’s IT department relied on systems that suffered from frequent downtime. With unreliable equipment, systems, and processes across its network, his team members faced roadblocks that prevented them from performing their jobs well. He needed to build a digital portfolio that removed barriers and delivered results. He spearheaded investments in new platforms and integrations. Then he established revenue streams to offset the costs of maintaining and updating infrastructure. “We launched multiple lines of digital business and turned [the IT organization] into a profit center,” Brock says.
As these digital businesses began to make money, revenue came into the IT organization, helping to accelerate innovation. “Now [in] our IT organization, we not only invest in security, growth, and innovation, we also generate revenue that allows us to reinvest,” Brock says.
Brock oversaw the development and launch of a mobile app designed for communities and management teams during the early days of social media, when property managers struggled to foster positive interactions with residents and conduct community business with boards via email and Facebook groups. Since the launch, there have been two million app downloads.
Revenue generated by these new business lines allowed Brock and his team to revamp Associa’s IT network. With its systems now consistently up and running without issue more than 99 percent of the time, and an environment in which team members could grow and succeed, he had created a work culture that earned the respect of his staff, and his organization earned the respect of company and industry leaders. Ninety-eight percent of his employees have stuck around in the last decade.
“We transformed the culture,” Brock says. “People want to win, and they want to be on a winning team.”
He believes every employee wants to thrive in their role. “I think, inherently, people want to do a good job,” Brock says. “If you recognize that the vast majority of people want to succeed, then the question becomes, ‘How do we help them?’”
Because of his altruism, he feels more motivated to set the bar high. “For me, it was about creating a culture of excellence,” Brock says. “Straight out of the gate we set our standards, and we’re not going to settle for anything less.”
Brock follows the same approach outside of Associa. He recently served as the president of the board for the Dallas Bach Society, an ensemble that produces early music concerts. He laid down the framework behind its Baroque Breakout program, which facilitates music classes, lessons, and performances for students at high schools in Dallas.
“I am proud of my work with the Dallas Bach Society. We created an outreach and education program to introduce and encourage people who might not have necessarily had exposure or the opportunity for exposure to music education,” Brock says.
Brock is also the chair at DallasCIO, a chapter of the Inspire CIO Leadership Network.
“We recently launched a national network and forum for sharing best practices across our chapters,” he says. “Throughout the pandemic, CIOs needed to act rapidly and lead decisively. We facilitated discussions of how successful companies were leading through technology and then shared those best practices nationally. The network has now grown into one of the leading communities of IT thought leadership in the country.”
In 2022, the InspireCIO Leadership Network named Brock the National CIO of the Year. It looks like he has accidentally found his calling.
Systems Plus congratulates Andrew Brock. Andrew is a phenomenal leader, and we are honored to be working with him for 10+ years. We have been collaborating with businesses to enable impactful digital initiatives since 1987. Our simplified approach ensures a perfect IT ecosystem with maximum business value. Visit us at systems-plus.com