As we enter 2023, many technology executives are preparing their organizations for a possible economic downturn. In addition to pursuing growth and transformation initiatives (though perhaps with a tighter budget than before), they are exploring ways in which technology can deliver efficiency and resilience. 

In a recent episode of “Forbes Talks”, Peter High joins Diane Brady to discuss the growing role of the CIO and technology in the workplace, as well as the evolving technology landscape in 2023 and beyond. 

Watch the Forbes interview with Peter High below:

Zoetis’ Chief Information & Digital Officer Wafaa Mamilli has been promoted to the post of Executive Vice President, Chief Digital & Technology Officer and Group President for China, Brazil, and Precision Animal Health. Zoetis is the world’s largest manufacturers of animal pharmaceuticals. This post represents a major leap forward in Mamilli’s responsibilities, driving the accelerated growth of two key markets, as well as the company’s precision animal health businesses and advancing our global customer experience programs. Mamilli is a big believer that all tech and digital executives ought to have a profound impact if not primary responsibility for customer experience in the digital age.

“I’ve always thought of my role as a business leader with technology accountability and have been passionate about the role of digital and data in reimagining animal health and powering Zoetis’ business. I am equally excited to fully harness our innovative portfolio, along with my global experience, to deliver the most value to our customers in key growth areas of our business.”

She will continue to oversee Zoetis’ digital and data analytic strategies as well as the Information Technology and cybersecurity teams.

Prior to joining Zoetis in 2020, Mamilli was with Eli Lilly and Company for 20 years. She held a variety of International roles with increasing responsibility, and ultimately served as the Global Chief Information Officer for the company’s business units. She also served as the company’s Chief Information Security Officer, a rare example of a CISO growing into CIO responsibilities, though surely a pathway that may become more frequent in an age when the former is growing in strategic importance.

Mamilli’s profile has grown tremendously in the past two years, including being the recipient of the 2022 MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award, which honors executives who lead their organizations to deliver exemplary levels of business value through the innovative use of IT. She was also honored as a member of the Forbes CIO Next List, recognized among 50 influential technology leaders who are redefining the CIO role and driving innovation.

In addition to her outsized influence in tech and digital and now beyond within Zoetis, Mamilli is also on the leading edge of CIOs and CDO s who have been asked to serve on the boards of public companies with multiple billions of dollars in revenue. She serves on the board of directors of Fiserv, Inc., a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions.

Mamilli has also been a champion of women in technology, as a leader of the T200, a group of female technology executives who not only support each other, but also mentor the next generation of female tech and digital execs.

She earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from INSEA in Rabat, Morocco, and a master’s degree in Business Applications of Information and Technology from Université Rennes in Rennes, France.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Cardinal Health is among the largest companies in the world, earning roughly $180 billion in annual revenue. The company has two main segments to its business: a pharmaceutical distribution segment and a medical products segment. The company’s executive vice president, chief information officer and head of Global Business Services is Michelle Greene. Her purview includes leading teams aligned with the two segments, while also leading horizontal teams that cut across them. The latter category includes a digital office and an organization called Fuse, which develops commercial technology. “The advantage that I have is to not only focus internally but also have some focus externally,” said Greene. “Figuring out how we can leverage and find synergies between the technology platforms that we’re implementing [is also an area of focus].”

One might think of her organization as one that provides glue across the business segments that each could be Fortune 500 businesses based on their revenues. “What we’re looking to now is how we can expand an enterprise mindset across all of my leaders so that we don’t get so siloed and single-focused,” noted Greene. When asked for examples, she said, “We’ve worked to try to centralize more our data and analytics, anything digital, automation, and our AI space. In those spaces you may find that you need support from other teams.” These topics become unifiers and offer opportunities for great collaboration across the traditional silos of the business.

The focus on commercial technology is differentiating for a CIO, as Greene and her team focus on both sides of the profit equation: identifying opportunities for efficiencies while also driving new revenue opportunities. As an example of the former, she offered up a description of a specialty solution called Decision Path. “It is a first-of-its-kind solution built into the electronic health records, providing real-time visibility into our patients out of pocket expenses,” said Greene. “It helps oncologists make high-quality treatment choices to reduce the burden of financial toxicity. It’s a data-driven cost-tracking tool that enables oncologists to accurately measure the cost of care at the start of and during the episode of care.” As an example of the latter, Greene spoke about Outcomes Connected platform. “It is a digital ecosystem, and it connects our pharmacists, our payers and our pharmaceutical companies to maximize clinical opportunities,” said Greene. “We mitigate the challenges of medication non-adherence, a common and costly problem. Both of these we have a team: my Fuse team. They work on these solutions along with the business, and it’s just a great opportunity for us to [solve] business problems with technology.”

To innovate at the scale necessary to grow such a large company, Greene must find creative pathways to recruit great talent. Like many other companies, increasing the flexibility of who works where has been a great way to find people who may be far from the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio who have not interest in moving. She does not take existing talent for granted, however and drives continuous engagement with them to “re-recruit” talented team members. “How do we continue to reengage, re-recruit, and make sure that we’re continuing to engage the talent that we have?” Greene asked rhetorically. “That’s where it needs to start. Our HR partners have been working with us to do things like “stay interviews” to understand why people stay, and if they’ve ever considered looking at other opportunities externally, what drove that and how we can make adjustments as an organization [to lead more people to stay with Cardinal Health].”

Greene also noted that ambitious colleagues want to be sure that their skills are growing, so it is paramount to provide them with the training necessary to let them feel that growth. Greene’s team has developed a training platform called “Digital U.” It provides courses and certifications to ensure that the team is building the skill sets of tomorrow. “If we don’t take care of that talent and continue to feed and nurture that talent, then people will find other opportunities outside,” she acknowledged.

Greene is a female executive of color and knows that she is part of an exclusive club, but she also recognizes that she has the opportunity to inspire others to reach higher in their career goals. She points to the leadership of Mike Kaufman, who was CEO when she arrived at Cardinal Health and Jason Hollar, who became CEO on September 1 of this year. Each has emphasized the need for greater levels of diversity. Greene also noted that as the company seeks a more diverse workforce, diversity of thought needs to be considered an important factor, as well. “We need to make sure that this is about diversity of thought,” she said. “How do we do things differently? How do we engage innovation? How do we just do some out of the box thinking? That’s what brings about true diversity.”

When Greene reflected on her own rise, a growth mindset was key. It continues today, as she personally pays for a coach to help her. When colleagues and peers have seemed surprised by this, she responds by saying, “We’ll pay for a trainer when we want to lose weight. We’ll pay for someone to do your hair or a stylist to find you the right outfits to wear. We have to make sure that things that are truly important, and if you’re serious about your career development and development as a leader, you have to embrace that, and be ready to do it.”

Greene serves as a remarkable model for others to follow.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Gartner Inc. announced its top ten strategic technology trends for 2023 at their Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2022 in Orlando this week. The ten trends are broken into four themes: optimize, scale, pioneer, sustainability.

The top ten trends are:

  1. Digital immune system
  2. Applied observability
  3. AI trust, risk, and security management (AI TRiSM)
  4. Industry cloud platforms
  5. Platform engineering
  6. Wireless-value realization
  7. Superapps
  8. Adaptive AI
  9. Metaverse
  10. Sustainable technology

Theme 1: Optimize

Digital Immune System

As CIOs increasingly take on revenue generating responsibilities, antiquated development and testing approaches are no longer sufficient for delivering robust and resilient business-critical solutions that also provide a superior user experience. A Digital Immune System (DIS) combines several software engineering strategies such as observability, automation, and extreme testing to enhance the customer experience by protecting against operational and security risks. By 2025, Gartner predicts that organizations that invest in building digital immunity will increase end-user satisfaction through applications that achieve greater uptime and deliver a stronger user experience.

Applied observability

The path to data-driven decision making includes a shift from monitoring and reacting to data to proactively applying that data in an orchestrated and integrated way across the enterprise. Doing so can shorten the time it takes to reach critical decisions while also facilitating faster, more accurate planning. Gartner notes observable data as an organization’s “most precious monetizable asset” and encourages leaders to seek use cases and business capabilities in which this data can deliver competitive advantage.

AI Trust, Risk and Security Management (AI TRiSM)

As artificial intelligence algorithms grow increasingly sophisticated and complex, leaders increasingly must bake governance, trustworthiness, fairness, reliability, efficacy and privacy into AI operations. AI TRiSM includes tools and processes that make AI models easier to interpret and explain while improving overall privacy and security. By 2026, companies that operationalize AI transparency, trust, and security will see AI models achieve 50% result improvement in terms of adoption, business goals and user acceptance, Gartner says.

Theme 2: Scale

Industry cloud platforms

Gartner predicts more organizations will use industry-specific cloud platforms to drive agility, speed to innovation and accelerated time to value. This includes incorporating cloud software, platform and infrastructure services traditionally purchased a la carte into pre-integrated yet flexible tools that are suited to meet the needs of specific industry verticals. The packaged capabilities can serve as building blocks on which organizations can build new and differentiating digital initiatives, Gartner says.

Platform Engineering

Modern software architectures are continuing to grow in complexity, and end-users are often asked to operate these services with a non-expert level knowledge. As a response to this growing friction, platform engineering has emerged between the service and the end-user to deliver a curated set of reusable self-service tools, capabilities, and processes, optimizing the developer experience and accelerating digital application delivery. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams with 75% of those including developer self-service portals.

Wireless-Value Realization

By 2025, Gartner expects 50% of enterprise wireless endpoints will use networking services that deliver additional capabilities beyond communication, up from less than 15%. Wireless-value realization refers to the expanding range of next-generation wireless protocols and technologies that will deliver value beyond connectivity, ranging from location tracking, to radar sensing, to ultra-low-power energy harvesting.

Theme 3: Pioneer

Superapps

In the age of smartphones and a digital-native generation, demand has grown for mobile-first experiences that provide a host of various services with a user-friendly interface. This demand has caused a trend of organizations embracing superapps, a composable application and architecture that provides end-users with a set of core features and access to independently created “miniapps” that allow for a consistent and personalized user experience within a single app. Gartner predicts that more than 50% of the global population will be daily active users of multiple superapps by 2027.

Adaptive AI

Adaptive artificial intelligence enables models that can self-adapt in production or change post-deployment using real-time feedback from past human and machine experiences. This is increasingly important as decision making is rapidly becoming more connected, contextual, and continuous. By 2026, Gartner predicts that enterprises that adopt AI engineering practices to build and manage adaptive AI systems will outperform their peers in the operationalizing AI models by at least 25%.

Metaverse

Gartner defines the metaverse as a combinatorial innovation, as opposed to a singular technology, that joins multiple trends in technology into a collective virtual environment where people can enhance the physical reality. This innovation transforms the physical world or extends it into a virtual world where organizations can improve employee engagement and collaboration. Although Gartner warns that the metaverse is still in its nascent stages and the viability of long-term investments are uncertain, it predicts that by 2027, over 40% of large organizations worldwide will be using Web3, spatial computing, and digital twins to increase revenue through metaverse-based projects.

Theme 4: Sustainability

Sustainable Technology

Sustainable technology is an area that has risen to the top of priority lists for many company executives and should be looked at as a framework of solutions that increase the energy and material efficiency of IT services, enable sustainability of both the enterprise and its customers, and drive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes. Through the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, advanced analytics, and shared cloud services, among others, companies can improve traceability, reduce environmental impact, and provide consumers and suppliers with the tools to track sustainability goals. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 50% of CIOs will have performance metrics tied to the sustainability of the IT organization.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Some executives have the same job across many companies. They bring a strong toolkit into different environments, and, for a time, help drive change for those companies. Other executives have many jobs in the same company. They get to know their companies as well as anyone. When they reach executive levels, they are well equipped to collaborate with and mentor those who have taken over their old responsibilities. They understand how the company works better than most. They have a great internal network to tap to drive innovation. Ramon Richards is the latter type of executive.

Richards joined the $47.5 billion revenue mortgage financing company Fannie Mae 23 years ago. Since then, he has six roles prior to ascending to the role of CIO in August of 2021:

  • Development Manager
  • Director, Corporate Functions, Finance & General Ledger Systems
  • Vice President, Finance and Corporate Functions Technology
  • Vice President, Securitization and Credit Technology
  • Senior Vice President, Securitization & Servicing Technology
  • Senior Vice President, Integrated Technology Solutions

He admits that he did not think he would remain with the company for more than two decades when he joined. He has stayed, however, because he has been able to learn and take on new opportunities. “On my journey, the work has remained interesting and challenging and has kept me fully engaged,” he noted. “Another important part of it, being in the world of technology, you’re always learning, and the learning was encouraged.” He also understands that Fannie Mae has had tremendous advantages in keeping an executive of his tenure in the fold for so long. “I’m deeply connected with our mission and highly motivated with the things that we are doing and how we are trying to improve access to housing,” Richards said. “I understand the culture and I’m able to identify where there are opportunities for us to continue to evolve as a company. I think there’s an ability to connect the dots differently when you really understand how all aspects of the company works from business to operations to technology, which has allowed me to influence differently than maybe someone who hasn’t spent as much time understanding the inner workings of the company.”

Richards and his team have driven a tremendous digital transformation over the course of the past several years. There has been a focus on building the skills of the future so that his team can meet the demand for digital capabilities across the enterprise. He has also driven a reduction in legacy technology so that there is a better, less complex tech stack that he and the team manage. Agile practices have also been an important change factor as has the shift to a greater emphasis on automation and cloud technology. Richards’ team is increasing the pace at which it can deliver software while also reducing costs along the way.

The IT team now has a better foundation upon which it can innovate. To exemplify that innovation, Richards highlights an automated underwriting system that his team helped put in place to incorporate consistent rent payment history in credit evaluations. Long time renters who pay their rent every month should be establishing credit worthiness for what is typically the biggest bill of the month. And yet, it has not typically contributed to an evaluation of credit worthiness. This allows Fannie Mae to qualify more borrowers for mortgage loans. It is an idea that almost seems obvious once it is explained, at yet it is a first of its kind in the industry. There were considerable tech changes necessary to allow this idea to blossom. “We have taken advantage of some of our cloud capabilities as well as machine learning capabilities…to unlock the payment rental history,” said Richards. “This is a major contribution to the company’s core principle of increasing access to housing.”

The key to unlocking innovation at Fannie Mae is in building a team that is curious and ambitious enough to want to develop the best ideas for the future. It begins with having the right training. “We have a curriculum that we’ve established to build the skill sets to be a full-stack engineer,” said Richards. “We have a curriculum in place to build advanced cloud engineering skills, as well. We also invest in leadership and management skills because you need both in order to have a high-performing team.” Additionally, his career path has become more de rigeur for his colleagues. When an employee is ready for the next opportunity, suggesting other parts of the company can increase the possibility that they will stay rather than seek that next opportunity outside of the company. “In the kind of talent market that we’re in today, it’s important to retain your individuals,” Richards underscored. “We are very focused on finding new opportunities for individuals when they’re ready for the next chapter in their career. It’s a much better answer for the company than those individuals deciding to leave.”

This people-powered innovation engine came in handy when the pandemic struck. Many of Fannie Mae’s customers were hit hard by the health crisis that quickly became a financial crisis for many. “Fortunately, we had made some good progress on some of the digital capabilities that we were building, and we were able to take advantage of those capabilities to deliver a payment deferral function for the company faster than we had delivered that type of function in the past,” said Richards. “It became clear to us that the investment we were making in our digital core was important for the way we wanted to operate as a company moving forward. It was an early example of the potential, and I think it also helped in motivating and inspiring a lot of our folks to set the company up for future success delivering products that would benefit homeowners and renters.”

Richards is still having fun in his post as CIO and sees vast opportunities to continue to innovate, learning new skills along the way.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Scott Galloway wants to be the most influential thought leader in the history of business. When asked why, he offered his usual self-criticism: mostly narcissism, a desire to be relevant, fear of death, a drive for economic security. “Mostly selfish reasons,” he summarized. Upon reflecting further, however, he noted, “I also feel as if I have something to say about technology and monopoly power and unchecked corporate interests. They’ve always existed, but I think it has gotten worse. As I’ve gotten older, experienced fatherhood, and looked back on how fortunate I was to be born when I was born, to be born who I was, and some of my struggles as a young man, I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about young men who I think are struggling in our society, and I want to have a positive influence there. It’s a mixture of wanting to be influential for some good reasons and some less good reasons.” For Prof G, it is always about finding pathways to self-improvement and helping others through comparable journeys of self-discovery.

Today, Galloway seems ubiquitous: from his podcasts, Pivot and the Prof G pod, his venture backed ed-tech company, Section 4, Prof G Media, which produces not only his podcast, but a weekly newsletter, YouTube videos, and a column for New York magazine, he is in your ears or in front of your eyes in many forms. Add to that his propensity to publish a book every 12 to 18 months or so, and it can feel like he is everywhere. His latest book has just been released, and it is called Adrift: America in 100 Charts.

Many of the 100 charts paint a bleak picture as to the state of the union in the United States. Galloway makes the case that, just as in 1945 and 1980, America is once again a nation at a crossroads. Some sections of the book include titles such as “Idolatry of Innovators”, “Privatized R&D; Privatized Progress”, “The Hunger Games”, “From Lopsided to Dystopian”, “The Attention Economy”, “Political Censorship and Fake News”, and “House of Cards.” It seems at times that Galloway believes there is more wrong than right with America. He admits to being a glass is half empty kind of guy, but he forces himself to highlight silver linings in addition to noting the existential challenges that we face. “Whenever I really sit down and look at the data, I think there’s a lot of wonderful points of light,” said Galloway. “You can be a pessimist, but we have one in five households with kids were food insecure pre-pandemic. It went to 1 in 11. With a simple child tax credit, we were able to reduce child poverty by 50%. Now the bad news is we decided at the last minute to strip it out of the infrastructure bill, but the good news is I’m not sure any of us even thought we could reduce it by 50% in a year.”

Galloway also pushes us to view the challenges with more perspective. Though the issues of the day might seem insurmountable, they are not greater than challenges we have given ourselves and accomplished in the past. “50 years ago, we sent three men into space, a quarter of a million miles away, and figured out a way to land them on…we didn’t even know what they were landing on,” said Galloway. “Somehow, we got them there and figured out a way to get them back home alive. It just feels like these are enormous problems and they’re…mole hills compared to the Everest that we’ve climbed as the nation before. Taking any one in isolation, that’ll never happen.”

Galloway is fond of saying, “There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be solved with what is right with America.” He notes that at a time when 54% of Democrats are most worried about their kid marrying a Republican and a third of each party sees the members of the other party as their mortal enemy, there are moments of remarkable grace. “If you look at a sober analysis of how we got here, the skills we have, the capital we have, the innovation, the generosity that’s built into the DNA of Americans, the uptick in empathy,” there is reason for optimism, said Galloway. “The most wonderful chart in the book [highlights] that people all over the world universally, are spending more time helping people that they will never meet. Planting trees [creating] shade of which they will never sit under.”

Among the solutions he speaks most passionately about are the necessity for national service. The fact that our representatives in government are less likely to have served in the military than in past generations means that Democrats and Republicans do not have a shared bond of service. “[In the past, representatives] absolutely saw themselves as American first well ahead of Democrat or Republican,” said Galloway. He believes following the lead of a country like Israel, making national service a required right of passage would have the advantage of forging those bonds while creating a new generation of Americans who have that much more of a relationship to giving to their country. “I think national service and creating more connective tissues give kids a chance who are increasingly segregated, a chance to mix with other kids from different ethnic backgrounds, different income backgrounds before they even developed this crazy polarization around politics,” he noted.

Perhaps the most ironic analysis comes in his views on four-year universities, considering he is a professor at one, albeit at the graduate level, serving as a professor of Marketing at the Stern School of Business at New York University. He stresses that the pathway to upward mobility will increasingly come through community colleges and vocational schools, and he encourages the government to continue to fund these alternatives appropriately. “I think we need to stop fetishizing the traditional four-year degree from elite universities,” Galloway said. “There’s this pathway that every parent and kid is focused on, and we all track towards it. I’m tracking toward it with my kids that they need to get to MIT or an Ivy League School, and then up at Google or KKR, and anything diverging from that is a disappointment. It’s not only not true and it’s bad for the economy, and it creates an unbelievable emotional stress.”

A serial entrepreneur, Galloway’s latest foray has been Section 4, an ed-tech start up that provides “business education for builders, disrupters, doers, changemakers and builders.” This hands-on experience taught by top professors made enormous progress since its launch through the pandemic, where online training options were the best and often only option for many. During that period, Section 4 signed up 1,200 people per class, covering topics in the business core, leadership, marketing and product. “We knew we had wind in our sails, but we didn’t realize how much the winds would die down when COVID ended,” Galloway admitted. “That business is off, business was growing 70% a year. This year will probably be down 30% or 40% because nobody wants to be in their home staring at a screen and learning right now. That’s been tough.” As his start up goes through a rough patch, traditional higher education is as strong as ever. “Traditional education at an elite university has never been stronger, and I would argue it’s strong for the wrong reasons that we’ve embraced this LVMH, rejectionist, NIMBY model,” Galloway noted. “We artificially constrain supply such that we can grow or raise prices faster than inflation, constantly coming up with new departments and administrators that never go away.”

Galloway noted that UCLA, where he did his undergraduate studies, accepted three out of every four applicants when he applied. He believes that four years ago, universities were much more apt to attempt to lift up the unremarkable to make them remarkable. Now, only the already remarkable are the ones who get in, and plenty of them are rejected. “We’ve decided that we’re an Hermes bag, and we want to identify the top 1%, the freakishly remarkable and kids of rich people, and turn them into billionaires,” said Galloway. “I think we’ve absolutely lost the script in Higher Ed. The cartel is more corrupt than OPEC…I think we’re preying on the hopes and dreams of the middle class and leveraging this fetishization and this dictum where you have failed as parents if you don’t get your kid through a traditional four-year degree. I’m trying to do something about it, but at the same time, I continue to affiliate with NYU.” When asked how he squares this ironic position of being a chief critic of higher education, especially at elite universities, increasingly competing with them through his start up while also affiliating with one of the elites, he noted that he gains mightily through this affiliation. “It provides a halo of credibility,” Galloway noted. “I’ve been at NYU 20 years I’d like to be there another 10 or 20…I may not be because I say some provocative things. I’m not sure I’d be as patient with me as they are with me. I do bite the hand that feeds me. I’ve returned all my compensation for the last decade…they’re just incredibly flexible with me and I have wonderful friends there and there’s just no getting around it.”

Galloway’s influence grows as he masters multiple media. Whether he reaches his goal of being the most influential thought leader in business history remains to be seen, but he will be continue to be a great source of insight at the very least.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

XPO Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of freight transportation services, primarily less-than-truckload (LTL) and truck brokerage. XPO uses its proprietary technology to move goods efficiently through supply chains. The company has a global network that serves 50,000 shippers with approximately 749 locations and 43,000 employees. In the fourth quarter, XPO will spin-off its tech-enabled brokered transportation business, with the remaining LTL business, which is a roughly $4.4 billion business. The current CIO at XPO Logistics and president of the less-than-truckload (LTL) business Mario Harik will assume the role of chief executive officer of the new XPO.

The growth of XPO Logistics has been remarkable. “We’ve integrated 18 acquisitions, and we grew the business over more than a decade now to be the seventh best-performing stock among Fortune 500,” noted Harik. “We have done so through becoming an innovator and one of the largest players in our industry. Technology has been a key part of making that happen since the onset of the company.”

Technology is where Harik has left, perhaps, his most profound mark, and it will be a critical aspect of the future of XPO’s LTL business after the spin-off. XPO Logistics started as a truck brokerage company. Harik was key to developing the technology that connected shippers with carriers, leveraging machine learning and data and analytics more generally to accomplish this in a seamless fashion. “We built a platform which eventually became XPO Connect which is one of the fastest growing platforms in our industry,” said Harik, noting that the growth in that platform has been a key driver of the company’s strong financial performance over the past decade. “With our less-than-truckload business, our technology using machine learning and data allows us to optimize how the network actually operates, [including] how we move freight between our terminals. This is a business where we have 294 terminals across North America. Then the technology allows us to effectively find the most efficient routes of that freight between our terminals to maximize efficiency.” Harik also underscored that machine learning and data science were used to optimize routes for the delivery of freight, again, impacting the bottom line of the company in the process. This has been the fruit of a $3 billion investment XPO Logistics has made in technology over the last decade.

In addition to spending, Harik has focused on developing a culture of innovation. “We built our own engineering talent to build proprietary software,” said Harik. “When you design your own software and build a company fit for purpose, that gives you a competitive advantage.”

Harik notes four aspects of the chief information officer role that contributed to his ascent to the CEO role. First, he noted that the CIO role provides a great overview of how a business operates. As such, a thoughtful CIO has access to a number of levers to pull to improve the business with technology.

Second, the CIO’s position in the corporate structure provides insights to understand the commercial impact of technology. The modern CIO has an ability to contribute to both sides of the profit equation: both cost reduction – the historical domain of the CIO – and revenue augmentation – the newer area to which great CIOs are contributing, and an area of great focus for Harik and his team. This more pervasive value creation, with greater touchpoints with the company’s customers, provides all the more justifications for CIOs to take on the top post.

Third, CIOs who establish feedback loops can be among the most informed executives within the company based on the data they collect, synthesize, analyze and put to work for each part of the company. “[It is important to] have strong feedback loops to listen to your employees and your customers about what is it that the technology has to do to improve performance or improve service levels or improve what you are delivering to your customers or to your employees,” said Harik. “Those feedback loops also work well for CIOs beyond the technology; they can lead to greater understanding of how you can improve the business, driving stronger growth, as well.”

Finally, fourth, CIOs manage a complex group of people who are among the highest compensated, with skills that are in short supply but that also add tremendous value. For an IT leader who can create a talent factory within his or her four walls, this creates a profound opportunity to take what works well within IT and make it more pervasive across the enterprise. Harik noted, “It’s about recruiting, retaining and providing for a world-class team of folks that effectively drive the results in everything that you do, and that’s the case in technology as in business.”

Harik, armed with an engineering degree from MIT, began his career building software. That innovative approach to building software continues to this day. He also has been an entrepreneur, starting and running companies along the way. By the time he took on the CIO post at XPO, the traditional role of an insular CIO, leading a support organization never occurred to him. “[As the third employee] at XPO, I’ve been working alongside [founder and current CEO] Brad Jacobs and the leadership team to build XPO,” underscored Harik. “This transportation powerhouse is steeped in technology. When you think, again, about all the experiences that you have, and when you look at technology as being a key driver of business performance, that becomes just a logical thing to focus on, given that that’s going to have the biggest impact and the solutions you build.” Harik has been fortunate to work in a business that from the earliest days was technology driven. Now most other industries have developed a version of this. As such, more CIOs should take heart that bigger opportunities might present themselves if they manage their teams and their careers in a comparable way.

Harik also emphasized the need for technology leaders to embed themselves in the operation. “Good technology is fit for purpose with what you’re doing as a business,” he said. “We spend a lot of time having our tech team either visiting terminals or spending time with operators in the field, to look at how technology is being used and how the use of that technology can be improved. What new features we’re going to be launching and how we’re going to improve them?”

When asked about where the new XPO will focus he noted a pivot from a strategy of improving margin to a strategy of both growing the business – gaining market share – as well as improving margin. “We’re going to do this by a couple of ways,” noted Harik. “We’re going to grow volume share through investment in our fleet, in doors and people. We are expanding our network. So far, over the last year, we’ve added five new terminals to our network and we also produce our own trailers. This year we’re going to produce double the number of trailers we did last year. More than 4,700 trailers that we’re going to be producing in our manufacturing facility as an example. We’re going to continue to capitalize in our industry that our firm pricing dynamics where we are going to continue to focus on pricing and make sure we are charging our customers a fair price for the services we offer.”

He rounded out the list by noting the importance of providing excellent service for XPO’s customers, delighting them in every interaction. He also believes there are pathways to continue to optimize costs. In both areas, technology is key.

Harik’s is an aspirational journey that CIOs with aspirations to earn their way to the CEO role should follow.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the appointment of Eben Hewitt as Hyatt’s Chief Information Officer, effective July 18. Hewitt will oversee Technology, Enterprise Applications and Cybersecurity for Hyatt. He will report to Mark Vondrasek, Hyatt’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“Eben’s tenacity and drive will bring a fresh perspective to Hyatt and play a critical role in scaling our IT platform to grow and diversify our brand and guest offerings,” said Vondrasek. “Our guest-centered IT is grounded in active listening to the needs of our guests, colleagues and owners, and designed to enhance every part of the hospitality experience.”

Hewitt previously served as Chief Technology Officer at Sabre Hospitality, a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry, serving more than 40,000 hotels and resorts spanning 160 countries. He also brings experience from prior technology leadership roles at Choice Hotels and O’Reilly Media.

Hewitt hopes to continue to drive innovation building on progress the team has made with such offerings as the Digital Key in the World of Hyatt app, which utilizes Bluetooth technology allowing guests to use their iPhone or Android phone as a digital key and two-way hotel chat, which allows for personalized communication between guests and hotel colleagues.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join Hyatt at this transformational moment,” said Hewitt. “It’s an honor to support and advance Hyatt’s vision of a world of understanding and care. As Hyatt grows, this outstanding technology team is ready to create meaningful personal connections and delight our stakeholders, with empathy at the heart of everything we do.”

In addition to Hewitt’s decade of hospitality industry experience, he is also a recognized thought leader in technology, with published books on enterprise architecture, software design and database management systems, including the international bestseller Technology Strategy Patterns.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

With the recent merger announcement of Intermountain Healthcare with SCL Health, Craig Richardville has been named the new chief digital and information officer and senior vice president for the combined health systems, which will be called Intermountain Healthcare.

As a member of the enterprise leadership team, Richardville’s responsibilities will include the health system’s information technology, data and digital services involving all aspects of technology including, but not limited to, strategy, operations, applications, cybersecurity, and emerging technology.

Richardville previously served as senior vice president, chief information and digital officer, at SCL Health, where his responsibilities included leading, innovating, and transforming all aspects of the health system’s information technology and digital services.

Richardville noted that his priorities including an orientation toward being mobile first, cloud first and, ultimately, patient first. “Mobile first places access to health services into the pockets of the patients, members and consumers via their smartphones,” he explained. “This is a trusted source of truth, easy to access and one of the preferred engagement platforms in an omni channel world. Cloud first provides ubiquitous access to data in a safe and secure environment ubiquitous access to data, information and knowledge. Patient first puts the patient is in the center. They are the heart of our work and includes related personas, such as members in regards to our health plan and consumers who are looking to make a choice. All of our work revolves around the patient, the member and the consumer.”

“Intermountain Healthcare has long been a leader in using technology to improve clinical outcomes for patients and is using advanced intelligence to aid providers in clinical decision making,” said Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Intermountain Healthcare. “Intermountain is also focused on using digital tools to help alleviate repetitive task workload for providers and caregivers through automation, and help enhance patient experience with self-service applications, allowing more face-to-face time for provider-patient visits. Craig has the skills to help Intermountain continue this important journey.”

Prior to his time at SCL, he served as senior vice president and chief information and analytics officer at Atrium Health for more than 20 years, where he transformed the growing company into a national leader in the effective use of technology, utilizing data as a driver and digital services as a differentiator.

Richardville received the 2021 National CIO of the Year Healthcare ORBIE Award, the 2020 Colorado CIO of the Year award, and in 2017, the Carolinas CIO of the Year for continued leadership and impact using technology and digital services, among other awards. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in computer systems from the University of Toledo.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Boris Shulkin was recently named Executive Vice President and Chief Digital and Information Officer of Magna International 1 $36.2 billion revenue Canadian auto parts manufacturer with 161,000 employees, 340 manufacturing locations, 89 product development locations and operates in 28 countries. Boris is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and he will work out of the company’s Troy, Michigan offices.

In his newly elevated role, he is responsible for all information technology and digitization. He leads a global team of roughly 500 employees focused on the shift to digital processes across the entire enterprise and within all relevant workstreams by incorporating usage of technologies, cloud and analytics to create business value using data.

“The acceleration of digital transformation is about bringing efficiencies across the entire enterprise through effortless data access and extracting business insights,” said Shulkin, referring to his new role. “I’m excited to lead a dynamic team and help grow a long-lasting technology-based moat in a company that’s advancing mobility for everyone and everything.”

In roughly 19 years with the company, Shulkin has held a number of roles of growing responsibility. Most recently, he was Magna’s executive vice president of Technology and Investment helping drive overall technology strategy in the rapidly evolving mobility landscape. He has also been senior vice president of Research & Development, leading the incubation of new radar chip development while playing a key role in identifying potential new partners to engage to bring new technologies to market.

Shulkin began his career in the auto industry in 1995 as an engineer and joined Magna in 2003. Shulkin holds doctoral degree in applied statistics, and he holds multiple patents spanning manufacturing, process design, product and controls.

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. He has written two bestselling books, and his third, Getting to Nimble, was recently released. He also moderates the Technovation podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

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