Shining wins punctuate the tenure of IT professionals in between help desk fixes, outages and keeping the lights on.
Modernizing the tech stack or helping members of the IT team learn and grow count as wins in trying times. More organizations now have the leadership required for digital transformation, actively promote exploring new ideas and keep employees involved in their digital initiatives compared to pre-pandemic times, according to a Capgemini survey.
Reflecting on the last year of IT leadership, five technology leaders highlighted their top recent accomplishments while speaking on a panel at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium Tuesday. Have wins you want to share with CIO Dive? Email us at [email protected].
Deploying a finance as a service platform
To streamline financial management, Vipin Gupta, group VP and CIO at Toyota Financial Services, led the deployment of a multitenant technology platform to support a finance as a service model usable across automakers.
"The mobility of finance as a service approach has resulted in significant growth," Gupta said. "This transition to [an] as a service model required innovation ... and we had to do this all while managing and maintaining our technology expenses."
But it wasn't just the technical feat that the team has to be proud of, according to Gupta. The effort reinvigorated a mindset shift toward digitally savvy business leadership.
Toyota Financial Services "needed to move at the pace of a digital startup," Gupta said. "Digital technology is now the catalyst to drive strategic value for financial services, not just for this year but for years to come."
Moving everything to the cloud
Over the last three years, Bryson Koehler, CTO at Equifax, led cross-company modernization, tackling everything from data centers to collaboration tools.
Koehler and the IT team transitioned collaboration tools from legacy technology, moved 63 data centers and rebuilt 5,500 databases in the cloud.
Instead of hesitation, technology leader took an opportunity to invest in transformation and build for the future with the support of the investors, board and customers behind them, Koehler said.
Almost half of Equifax is now fully in the cloud and the company plans to move another one-quarter to one-third over by the end of the year, according to Koehler.
Deploying drones to help fight fires
Oshkosh Corporation deployed drone technology in an effort to increase firefighter safety, according to SVP and CIO Anupam Khare.
In an effort to increase firefighter safety, a tethered drone securely attached to firetrucks uses thermal imaging technology to increase situational awareness, according to Khare. Visibility into the building shows where people may be stuck in the fire and where firefighters are to direct resources accordingly.
"As you can imagine a millisecond matters in firefighting situations and that's why they're such a cool innovation we are proud of," Khare said.
Helping others develop their skills
For Marina Bellini, chief information and digital officer, director of digital and information at BAT, the best part of the job has been seeing people learn and experiment. When faced with a problem statement, the team runs trail experiments to come to the best solution, frequently realizing that the first hypothesis is not always right.
"It is about finding efficiencies in your organization to be able to reinvest and continue further transforming this organization," Bellini said. "It is about developing our people and our partners so jointly, we make this a better tomorrow."
Team members can share solutions with business partners across locations as they learn and grow, according to Bellini. "How things that apply [to] one side of the world can serve to another side of the world and a different function ... that amazes me," Bellini said.
Building relationships across the business
Pertisth Mankotia, CIO at Sheela Foam Ltd., has watched both IT and the business transform throughout his 25-year tenure with the company. Alongside these transformations, Mankotia has worked to build relationships and simplify processes throughout the organization.
By building a presence throughout the organization over time, IT has intel on the pain points and needs that it can work to solve, Mankotia said.
"A lot of opportunities come in when you connect the dots … do that for the consumer, [and] for the employees also," Mankotia.