Make goals, support, talk, and take risks for big changes

Sudhir Kanvinde, CIO at The Supreme Industries, outlines the importance of staying ahead of rapid technological advancements, the necessity of cybersecurity, and the impact of technologies like AI, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The role of the CIO has expanded significantly in the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and digital transformation. It transcends the traditional confines of IT to become a linchpin in strategic business decision-making. 

A recent discussion between Nisha Sharma, Principal Correspondent at CIO&Leader, and Sudhir Kanvinde, CIO at The Supreme Industries, delves into the milestones, challenges, and evolving strategies delineating the modern CIO’s career trajectory.

Early career and shifts in focus

“The journey often starts in the technical trenches,” Sudhir Kanvinde shares, reflecting on an early career in the production planning department for medical engineering equipment at Siemens. This trajectory highlights a crucial aspect of a CIO’s path: the necessity to continually adapt, leveraging opportunities within and outside current roles to gain diverse experiences. “I started with proprietary technology for medical engineering equipment and moved through manufacturing with IT, to ERP implementations, and consulting within Siemens.”

Navigating through government and private sectors

The capability to adapt and navigate the complexities of both the private and government sectors is pivotal. “I worked as an IT executive director for the Indian Forces under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways… My responsibility was to improve the digital and ease of doing business ranking of India.” This showcases the CIO’s role in national digital transformation efforts, even amidst challenges like COVID-19.

Evolving role of the CIO

Over the last quarter-century, the CIO role has transformed from focusing on keeping the “lights on” to becoming a strategic business partner. “The role of CIO has evolved significantly in 25 years… from technology manager and head to strategic leader and innovator,” Sudhir Kanvinde remarks. This reflects the broader recognition of IT as a critical driver of innovation, efficiency, and business growth.

Confronting and overcoming challenges

A CIO’s journey is fraught with challenges, from staying ahead of technological advancements to cybersecurity risks. “The rapid technology development keeps the CIOs on their toes… Big data, AI, and cloud computing have changed the game.” Overcoming these challenges requires a deep understanding of business needs, strategic technology implementation, and proactive security measures.

Strategic prioritization and team leadership

It is crucial to prioritize technology investments wisely. “Involving business in the evaluation process ensures that technology solutions deliver real value.” Furthermore, leading a high-performing IT team necessitates clear goals, empowerment, and a culture of innovation. “Set clear goals… evaluate, encourage, and communicate. Risk-taking ability is crucial for drastic changes.”

Navigating remote work and the future of workplaces

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped workplace dynamics, prompting widespread adoption of remote work. “Work from home is not encouraged unless necessary… high skill, high will can work from anywhere,” the CIO notes, emphasizing the nuanced approach needed in adapting to new work environments.

The role of the CIO is crucial, demanding a blend of technical know-how, strategic vision, and leadership skills. “CIOs must remain at the forefront of innovation, guiding their organizations through digital transformation.” As technology evolves, CIOs are pivotal in steering their businesses toward future success in the digital age, marking their journey as continuous growth, challenge, and opportunity.

Image Source: Freepik

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