CIO Profile from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium – Vagesh Dave

enterprise architecture strategy

Today’s CIOs increasingly recognize the connection between good IT architecture and the successful enterprise. So not surprisingly, discussions related to architecture, informal and formal, were common at the recently held MIT Sloan CIO Symposium.

We wanted to explore that connection, and others related to cybersecurity and digital transformation, for example. Thus, we sought out each of the finalists for the 15th Annual MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award for exclusive interviews.

First up is Vagesh Dave, Global VP & CIO at McDermott International, Ltd

Question: Tell us about your current role and what you like most about it?

Answer: I am the Global Vice President and Chief Information Officer for McDermott. I am honored to lead a talented global team of technology and process experts, operating in over 14 countries. My organization is responsible for defining the business technology strategy across all functions, systems delivery and execution, global technology operations –that support users & business locations across 56 countries, global delivery of infrastructure and /networking solutions, global cyber security, and digital product innovation and delivery. Our 2022 strategic initiatives will focus on outcomes to enable execution of the backlog while keeping our people safe.  It’s the most exciting time to be a technologist; the rapid pace of technological improvements are making a broad and deep impact on humanity ranging from physical health and mental health to creating sustainable energy solutions for our planet’s health.

Q: How is the CIO role been evolving over the last few years?

A: This is the era of digitization and value of technology and companies offering technology solutions has gone up – the role technology plays in day to day life will only accelerate from here and will further expand the scope of the CIO’s. I see CIO’s playing a critical role not just in Digital Business Strategy but overall business strategy and contributing to growth and revenue strategy – I see them working even closer with other parts of the business to drive efficiencies and transforming key capabilities. Even today, the CIOs are not just accountable for execution but are accountable for outcomes and I see this further expanding in various parts of the business as digital intensity proliferates across the organization and its ecosystems.  Digital products & services and process automation & modernization are some of the areas that will gain prominence. And, finally as we continue to live in the world of unknowns the CIO’s will be responsible for creating shock absorbers and create resiliency in their organizations that allows them to navigate future disruptions such as pandemic or inflation. Eventually, the blend of technology leadership and traditional functional leadership will get even narrower creating increased opportunities for a CIO to play expanded roles – they can leverage technology to transform a traditional function. CIO’s will help innovate business models – devise new products and services but also run the digital operations to support the key outcomes from these models. The workforce of the future will new value propositions which expand beyond paying traditional wages and I see CIO’s playing a key role offering digital channels that create persistent engagement models that would evolve over time as new generation of talent demands enriched values all with increased focus on DEI and wellbeing.

Q: What are the kinds of things in the workplace that keep you up at night? 

A: Cyber Security and well-being of our employees is on top of my mind. I am also spending significant time in driving modernization of technology and digital transformation.

 Q: How do you interact with those members of your team leading initiative around IT architecture? 

A: We have a dedicated team led by Director of Enterprise Architecture. This team is empowered to make sure that our enterprise architecture continues to be well governed, and we continue to modernize our landscape. The leader of Enterprise Architecture is on my direct staff and part of the Office of CIO.