SVP, CIO at Bentley Systems
Can you please provide a little introduction about yourself
What has your journey to your position been like? What path have you taken?
Has it always been your vision to reach the position you’re at? Was your current role part of your vision to become a tech leader?
I wish I could say I was so visionary that I always knew I would be a CIO, but the fact is that was never my plan. What always mattered to me was to add value to the company, no matter what I was doing. My dad must have told me “Work hard and you can’t go wrong” at least 100 times growing up. I always felt that if I could say that I made a difference at the end of the day, that would be enough. After consulting, I managed a help desk team. That role added one more “must” to me – being a leader who created a safe, fun environment for my team in which everyone felt valued, trusted, and like they made a difference. Those two guiding principles of being a good, reliable leader and adding value to my company were always the drivers in my “plan” and still drive my enthusiasm and passion for the job.
Have you had a role model or mentor that has helped you on your journey?
How do you see the role of the technology leader evolving over the next 5 years?
Technology leaders need to evolve in several ways:
1. Be much more focused on the “why” of technology rather than on the “what.” While the features and functionality of a given technology, time to deliver, and cost (the what) are obviously good to know, it is even more critical to understand what business outcomes we will obtain with a particular solution (the why). Are we changing things because we are trying to increase revenue? Will a given solution provide more seamless contact management from lead to opportunity to sale? Or are we trying to achieve business transformation completely? Technology leaders need to know why so that they can “sell” the project, obtain funding, and ensure every team member is aligned on what the purpose of what they are doing is.
2. Become a constant recruiter and company advocate. The Great Resignation or Reshuffle, whichever you choose, has changed the landscape of how we staff. While things may settle down, I doubt it. We live in an increasingly uncertain world, and turnover and talent shortages are a real, constant pressure, technology leaders are going to have to become much more adept at dealing with so we avoid constant stops and starts.
3. Be more aware of a wider selection of technologies and be much more educated about cybersecurity. Things are changing fast. Technology leaders need to know what is real, what is hype, and what is coming if they are going to be able to keep their environment safe, but also take advantage of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital twins, Internet of Things, edge computing, and so on.
What skills do you think leaders of the future will need in order to thrive?
• Business acumen • Strong decision-making skills • The ability to create and maintain a positive culture • A drive for inclusivity and diversity • An understanding of how to get things done with low budgets and tight timelines • A hunger for knowledge • The ability to constantly scan the horizon for trends and tools that can be leveraged, while simultaneously keeping our feet on the ground and driving execution • Openness to new staffing models and new ways to get things done • Flexibility
How do you keep current with new skills, technologies and personal development?
What do you see as the next leap in technology that will impact your business or industry in particular?
If you were mentoring a leader of the future, what advice or guidance would you give to help them on their way?
Is there anything in particular that you would still like to achieve in your career or what is the next step on your journey?
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?