Tag Archives: Digital

With A Major Digital Transformation In Place, SunTrust CIO Anil Cheriyan Exits

Peter High interviews Anil Cheriyan, the former CIO of SunTrust. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • Anil’s plans after he retires from SunTrust, including traveling, continuing to serve on advisory boards for late-stage growth startups, continuing to consult and advise companies, and pursuing a board position at a public company
  • How Anil came to advise growth-stage startups by developing relations during his tenure as CIO, and the ways in which startups benefit from a CIOs perspective, such as on the topics of attracting talent and pursuing revenue opportunities
  • How Anil addressed SunTrust’s fragmented approach to digital by hiring business segment CTOs, a Chief Data Officer, and an enterprise-level Chief Digital Officer, all of which reported to him as CIO
  • The siloed state SunTrust’s technology group was in when Anil joined, and how Anil broke those silos down over the course of a six-year transformation that implemented a new operating model to drive alignment, cost transparency, and strategic investment decisions
  • The advantages Anil sees to having been a consultant earlier in his career, including gaining experience in driving change management and business alignment, as well as working closely with the leadership team at SunTrust
  • SunTrust’s transition from an innovation strategy of ad hoc hackathons and collaborative office hours to a comprehensive framework that leveraged an agile way of working, a DevOps mindset, and new technologies like the cloud and AI

An Interview With Toomas Hendrik Ilve, The Architect Of The Most Digitally Savvy Country On Earth

Peter High interviews Toomas Hendrick Ilves, the former President of Estonia. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • How President Ilves’ international upbringing shaped his worldview, including the influences of growing up bilingual, being a child of refugee parents, and learning to program at a young age
  • The role that President Ilves played in pushing the digitization narrative, both before he was President as part of the underground Communist resistance, as well as during his presidency
  • The impact that becoming a newly independent nation around the time that the internet was exploding had on Estonia’s ability to recognize the power of a digital society, and Estonia’s early digitization efforts such as e-identity and the X-Roads distributed architecture which was implemented in 2001
  • The collaboration required between the government, the private sector, and the public that was required to digitize the nation, why the private sector and general public have been more enthusiastic than the government due to the business efficiencies and personal conveniences, and how thee digital system is decoupled from politics in the mind of the Estonian people
  • Estonia’s cyber-war with Russia, which was the first of its kind, and how it resulted in the creation of the NATO Center for excellence in Cyber Security, which is located in Estonia
  • The features of Estonia’s e-residency program, such as being able to become an e-citizen and set up an online business registered in the European Union, and how that helps Estonia’s economy compensate despite its small geography and population
  • President Ilves’ focus since leaving office, including his academic focus on threats to democracy in the digital era, and work with other nations that are interesting in emulating Estonia’s digital society

Taavi Kotka, former Chief Information Officer of Estonia

In this interview, Taavi Kotka discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The conditions that enabled Estonia’s transformation into the world’s most advanced digital society
  • Taavi’s transition from CEO of one of the largest software development companies in the Baltic states to Estonian Government CIO, as well as some of the early projects he led
  • How blockchain technology can provide an extra layer of data security
  • How Estonia reduces friction for citizens by using regulation to encourage data sharing between government entities
  • The ways in which digital technology improves efficiency and simplifies life for Estonian citizens in areas such as healthcare, banking, taxes, education, voting, law enforcement, among others
  • How giving citizens control over their data creates a self-enforcing mechanism that protects privacy and provides security
  • The genesis of Estonia’s e-Residency program, and how it allows Estonia to grow its economy without relying on increased birth rates or immigration
  • Taavi’s view on the disruption of government and the future of digital society

Taso Du Val, Co-Founder & CEO of Toptal

In this interview, Taso Du Val, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Toptal’s mission
  • Finding, screening, and monitoring talent
  • Toptal’s two engagement models: Talent Model and Toptal Projects
  • Taso’s entrepreneurial journey
  • Advantages Toptal has gained by developing their own CRM, ERP, VPM systems
  • Future talent verticals

George Corbin, SVP of Digital at Marriott International

In this interview, George Corbin, Senior Vice President of Digital for Marriott International, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Marriott’s place among the highest revenue earners by a digital channel
  • The maturity curve and the challenge of disruption for incumbent companies
  • Advantages that incumbents have over startups in evolving industries
  • Disrupting your own organization
  • The millennial mindset that spans across multiple age demographics
  • Marriott’s transformation of the service experience
  • Leading and managing a transforming organization
  • The impact of Airbnb on the hospitality industry
  • Adapting across an organization to fundamental shifts in customers’ needs and expectations
  • The influence of culture and existing operating models on a company’s management of digital disruption
  • Marriott’s embracement of the localization of the travel experience
  • Characteristics of a successful Chief Digital Officer
  • Building alliances and coalitions to drive and support change
  • Using pilot programs to de-risk change for internal and external partners
  • Messaging as a service, not marketing

Bill Miller, CIO & SVP at NetApp

In this interview, Bill Miller, CIO of NetApp discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Bill’s role in NetApp’s transformation from a data storage to a data management company
  • NetApp’s internal product testing initiatives: Customer-1 and NetApp on NetApp
  • The development of NetApp’s Data Fabric for seamlessly managing data
  • The valuable feedback loop created when your CIO or IT peers are your customers
  • How a culture of fraternity and flexibility encourages innovation
  • The three topics on every CIO’s mind
  • The importance of civility and collaboration for successfully running an IT department in a tech organization
  • Pre-working the First 100 Days plan
  • Eye on the Trends: Companies utilizing a hybrid of cloud-based utilities; Pay-as-you-go cloud model

Angela Yochem, CIO at Rent-A-Center

In this interview, Angela Yochem, CIO of Rent-A-Center, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Executing Rent-A-Center’s digital transformation
  • CIOs driving business innovation
  • The impact of a single decision across the enterprise
  • Keeping the end-customer at the front of the decision making process
  • Excelling in the First 100 Days
  • The two characteristics that board search committees are seeking in CIOs
  • Angela’s Entrepreneur as Residence experience
  • Eye on the Trends: Fast prototyping and feedback, Artificial intelligence, STEM education

The 30 Under 30 Woman Behind Clara Labs Pushes The Boundaries On The Digital Personal Assistant

Maran Nelson, CEO of Clara Labs
Peter High interviews Maran Nelson, Founder and CEO of Clara Labs. They discuss Maran’s background and the companies ambitions, among a variety of other topics.

Mike Giresi, CIO of Royal Caribbean Cruises

In this interview, Mike Giresi, CIO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Two, IT Infrastructure, Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Digital Transformation journey at Royal Caribbean
  • Importance of Executive sponsorship for IT
  • Role of CIO to as an interconnector between Enterprise strategy and IT implementation
  • Value of technology from a customer point of view
  • IT’s ability to gain customer feedback in a B2C organization
  • The needs of Data management and analytics
  • Implications of shadow IT
  • Bleeding technology trends for IT
  • Relevance of cross functional teams to help push innovation within IT forward

How to Approach Digital Global Expansion

To compete in the global marketplace—where digital is the medium of choice—all companies need to invest heavily in designing their digital strategy. These tips will help.