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Voice of CIO – Episode 5 | CEOs: How to Keep Up as the World Re-opens

In Episode 5 of the series ‘CEOs: How to Keep Up as the World Re-opens’, Suresh GP, MD, TaUB Solutions, can be seen in conversation with Transformational CIO, Wayne Sadin with pertinent questions, the answers to which shall prove to be heartening and inspiring at the same time, to its viewers worldwide in the present scenario.

When asked to give a rundown about his experiences from his early days to going on to become a CEO/Board Advisor, Independent Director, Sadin spoke about his eventful journey from being a school dropout to becoming an engineer and getting into the CIO’s chair, working throughout and picking along the way a couple of computer degrees, a business degree, a lot of time in bank back rooms, financial services, and all the way up to the computer room.

Over a period of about 10 years Sadin was able to fix about eight different IT departments, and ultimately move on to independently do some startups when he started getting calls from all over for helping out with IT situations. Through the course, he says he came to earn a reputation of being someone who is into fixing broken IT departments. Since then, he has been an interim CIO, has done mentoring of CIOS, Boards, CEOS, helped with ERP Planning, Strategy, and also enabled Digital transformation and optimization.

Suresh had a set of 4 pointers for Sadin to talk about, that got covered as part of this Episode 5, the first one being, about, 

How the ‘Next Normal’ in the post pandemic world will look like, and why?

As Sadin put it, there is not going to be one new normal and we may have to live with this fact forever, recognizing a sure underlying accelerated rate of change in all things, be it pandemic, digitization, competition, technology, et al. The next normal will be lumpy with: things that open faster, things that open and then close, and so we have to be ready for an environment where we’re not quite sure where we work.

Working from home for Sadin has been customary for 10 years, but he is aware his clients are concerned, and there’s a whole new infrastructure that has had to be put in place, with installing of SD-WAN, putting in a – wireless strategy, some work from home- as part of adaptation. He says he has been pushing companies to put in video cameras and decent mics for years, and those who did, adapted very well, yet there were others who were slower, but they mostly figured out that if it could be done from home, they were doing it for sure.

According to him the idea of everyone coming to an office and hiring within a 30-mile radius depending on commute, is extinct. We’ve got to allow for people of any job that can work remotely to be allowed to work remotely, or allow certain people to come to the office, if practical in given circumstances. Sadin insists we are going to have to allow for flexibility and that’s the big thing.

Voice of CIO – Episode 5 – Click the link to watch the video

The second factor that Suresh asked Sadin to express was 

Digital Transformation & Optimization

Sadin preferred to define Digital Optimization first, rather than digital transformation, as the latter he believes is often used terribly, as to mean almost anything, with a computer attached to it. Digital Optimization on the contrary, he says is doing what you do today better, faster, cheaper through the use of process redesign and technology, where the computer does the swivel chair interface, enabling anything from simple to complex automation.

Commenting upon the third pointer as to why Sadin feels 

“CEO/BoD Gets the CIO they Settle For”, 

Sadin maintains that a CIO should be thoroughly able to understand the financials, sales calls, sales and hopefully do something about it and maybe even be capable of closing a sale. The CIOs, he says, ought to be able to talk to the media, manage a business unit too. This is not found in the skill set of many CIOS, and the CEOs/BOD let people get away with it.

Finally on the matter of 

Advice for CEO/BoDs 

Sadin thinks the CEO can bring about a fresh change by introducing an adaptive culture that moves faster and is transparent. The CEO/BODs ought to be constantly thinking how to be adaptive and nimble and ready to change as the world changes.

IT, Sadin concludes, is the eyes, ears and muscles of a Company, it increasingly collects data, and with new age technologies like Robotics, AI, at its disposal, IT can actuate and affect things for real, and complete the loop from data to information to action.