Fortune 500 | episode 339

Anil Cheriyan, Former Chief Information Officer of SunTrust

April 30, 2018

Among other topics, Anil discussed the following with Metis Strategy:

  • 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

Anil is the former Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of SunTrust Bank, having retired in March 2018 after six years with the company. While at SunTrust, Anil led a transformation effort that saw the consolidation of the company’s digital efforts, as well as the implementation of a new operating model to align IT to the business.

Prior to joining SunTrust as CIO, Anil had a long career in consulting. Anil spent over nine years as a Partner at IBM, and spent fifteen years at PWC prior to that.

Anil sits on the advisory board of several growth-stage startups including Fenergo, Mirantis, Skytap, and Tricentis.

Anil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Imperial College London, as well as a Masters of Science in Management Science and a Masters of Philosophy in Management Science, both from the Imperial College Business School.


The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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