Organizations with distributed workforces heavily rely on technology innovation and IT infrastructure to solve increasing communication and collaboration challenges. Technology remains a critical driving force behind enabling business and employee productivity—with much of the responsibility falling on the shoulders of IT leaders.
According to Lenovo, 55% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) find managing their organization’s remote workforce extremely challenging; and 60% of CIOs feel the same about adopting and deploying new technology to help support hybrid work success at their organizations.
Using streamlined, scalable systems that help IT remotely manage from anywhere will be critical for the employee experience and productivity. Additionally, effective collaboration with other executive leaders—specifically Chief People Officers—is essential to effectively manage the changes. A Qualtrics survey found that 85% of CIOs now collaborate with the CHRO in their organization more than before the pandemic.
Here are 20 CIOs shaping the future of work:
1. Irvin Bishop Jr., CIO at Black & Veatch
“The pressure to ensure workers can stay connected ‘all the time to the right applications’ to uphold operations has increased immensely. Black & Veatch is trialing wearables as a means for reducing the amount of people who need to go physically to a location. With sensor and IoT devices placed throughout the facilities, the company is hoping to reduce the need for physical presence on site and help the site directly provide information that can guide decisions.”
Irvin Bishop Jr. is the Chief Information Officer at Black & Veatch. He leverages both IT and Marketing skills combined with strong thought leadership and people leadership to continuously deliver successful major digital programs such as FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Copa Football, US Super Bowl (NFL), and MyCoke Rewards. Before Black & Veatch, Bishop Jr. served in various roles at The Coca-Cola Company and Young Living Essential Oils.
2. Ronald White, CIO at Avanade
“Whether it be running operations, projects, collaborating, or virtual events, hybrid work is a fact of life. Failure, as they say, is simply not an option and convincing senior business leaders of this fact might very well be the biggest challenge. Once you accept this ‘fact,’ then you can begin to assess your workplace tools and determine if the experience matches your employee’s expectations. You won’t really drive a differentiated experience for your people unless you deal with this the old-fashioned way—People, process, and then technology.”
Ronald White is the Global Chief Information Officer at Avanade responsible for running the organization’s information technology team globally and empowering every employee to deliver value to their clients by using the Microsoft Ecosystem. He leverages over 25 years of experience to transform processes and applied technology to improve operations. Before Avanade, he worked at O-I and Accenture in the information technology field.
3. Dianne Lapierre, (Former) CIO at Absolute
“As we think about return-to-office and hybrid work plans, there isn’t a clearly written manual or one-size-fits-all solution – and we’ll continue to have our work cut out for us as we navigate another potentially significant shift in the way we operate.
For CIOs and positions with the most employee interactions, flexibility isn’t just about how we work with employees, but about the plans you put in place to recognize the various technologies and infrastructures that will ebb and flow with that hybrid work future. Be it choosing a six-month office schedule or trying new tools to support hybrid work, this is all a grand experiment to find the most supportive and productive business model.”
Dianne Lapierre is the former Chief Information Officer at Absolute responsible for driving IT solutions that enhance Absolute’s overall business strategy, translating business objectives into innovative technology advancements, and transforming the Absolute employee experience through technology and techniques aligned with today’s digital workplace. Prior to joining Absolute, Dianne served as the CIO for Raymond James Ltd. She has more than 20 years of experience and leadership within the information technology and security sector.
4. Jay Upchurch, EVP & CIO at SAS
“Nudged along by ‘the Great Resignation,’ the conversation now is about how to keep the talent you have from walking out the door to share their skills and expertise with a competitor. It’s a discussion about what matters to your employees and how the organization can employ technology to meet those needs.
Are employees still engaged and passionate about working for your organization? Are they performing at a high level to delight your customers? Do they have the tools they need to be productive? If you can’t answer yes to those questions, maybe your hybrid arrangement isn’t as finely tuned as it should be. Listen to what employees are saying. Listen harder to what they’re not saying. IT must be able to anticipate and meet workplace needs.”
Jay Upchurch serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at SAS. He leads a global team of more than 1,000 professionals to develop, deliver, and manage best-in-class technology solutions and services. He is passionate about leveraging business and technical skills to align strategy, investment, and operations for company success. Before SAS, he worked in various IT roles at Oracle, MICROS Systems Inc, and AT&T.
5. Ron Guerrier, (Former) CIO at HP
“Hiring and retaining top talent is always on a CIO’s mind, but this year it proved to be especially challenging because of the ongoing IT skills shortage. Workplace culture, more than ever, drives your ability to recruit and retain skilled IT talent. The long-term shift to hybrid work has put a spotlight on team culture, which brings opportunities for both workers and employers. Skilled workers now have access to an expanded job pool, which lets them prioritize the type of environment where they can do their best work.”
Ron Guerrier is the former Chief Information Officer at HP. He was responsible for further building out a world-class IT organization to deliver and enable the highest levels of productivity for over 70,000 employees, contractors, and partners around the globe. Under his leadership, HP achieved process automation and continuous process improvement while ensuring a positive end-user experience. Prior to HP, he served as CIO at Express Scripts, Farmers Insurance, and Toyota.
6. Amir Arooni, EVP & CIO at Discover Financial Services
“One major challenge is to ensure there is inclusion for each employee as there is an ‘inherent’ risk of a disconnect between in-office employees and remote workers. There is also an increased risk of burnout for fully remote employees who work longer hours, and of colleagues or management missing the signs of burnout that are less visible when remote. It will take intentional effort to build equitable and inclusive cultures that do not favor in-house employees over remote ones and where all employees have access to the right tools and technologies to do their jobs.”
Amir Arooni is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Discover Financial Services. He leverages the combination of process agility, technology, and talented people to help the organization maximize quality, minimize costs, and grow market share. He leads his teams by encouraging them to embrace the innovations and craftsmanship that deliver improved products and better custom service. Before his time at Discover, he served as the CIO at NN Group and ING.
7. Neal Sample, (Former) CIO at Northwestern Mutual
“Adjusting to the challenges and upsides of having employees re-enter the office under a flexible model will take some time. We’re definitely seeing a lot of calls into our call center for people to get reactivated and reacclimated with systems.
In some cases, there’s a demand for duplicate or increased equipment, and that’s something that we’re going to have to take a little more time and solve. We had what we would call a higher-quality home experience and now we’re bringing that gear back into the office, and now home feels like it’s maybe not as productive. Or vice versa.”
Neal Sample is the former Chief Information Officer at Northwestern Mutual where he rebuilt, optimized, and entirely centralized the technology function post-acquisition and modernized legacy infrastructure. He has more than 20 years of experience accelerating business opportunities and building opportunities in highly regulated industries and through a range of business phases from Silicon Valley startups to legacy Fortune 100s, including at companies such as Yahoo, eBay, and American Express.
8. Fletcher Previn, CIO at Cisco
“When everybody was remote, it was a great equalizer because everyone was on a similar footing. Hybrid is a somewhat more complicated thing to solve in that you’ve got this total employee wellbeing to consider, including physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, financial health, and being able to be productive in your job.
As an IT department, you have to solve remote access, network connectivity, software-defined WAN, how you’re doing private peering and zero trust so you don’t have to back-haul all that traffic over the VPN to be able to inspect all that traffic and know what’s going on.”
Fletcher Previn is the Chief Information Officer at Cisco leading a team of 11,000 IT professionals to enable their people to do the best work of their lives. He helped drive IT simplification and business transformation to Cisco’s 135,000 global workforce while prioritizing the employee and customer experience. Before Cisco, Previn served for over 15 years as the CIO at IBM. He has over two decades of experience guiding large organizations through significant shifts.
9. Penelope Prett, CIO at Accenture
“It’s not surprising that different employees want to work in different ways. For certain industries such as healthcare, there will always be a need to go into an office, but many companies are realizing that office space is not always essential.
Companies have realized that with the right resources, employees can be productive no matter where they are based and enabling flexible working options can create a more loyal workforce. What this means for companies is that traditional ideas on how to keep employees engaged may no longer hold true. One area that should be a priority for a hybrid workforce to raise both engagement and flexibility is learning new skills. To stay competitive and prepare for the future, companies must upskill their tech talent quickly and across the enterprise.”
Penelope Prett is the Chief Information Officer at Accenture partnering with clients to solve present-day challenges and also explore the art of the possible for the future they envision. She manages large transformation programs, in addition to sales and alliances in Accenture Technology. Over her more than 25-year career with Accenture, she held multiple leadership roles and gained significant experience with platform and industry ecosystem partners.
10. Edward Wagoner, (Former) CIO at JLL
“JLL launched the Experience / Anywhere program in April 2021 to support the emerging hybrid work experience. It is comprised of the Program Management Office to help management plan their strategies and provisioning policies and The Hub, offering employees a digital portal and marketplace focused on wellbeing resources and practical conveniences. For instance, employees can procure home office furniture, do an ergonomic assessment, and learn how to enhance their physical well-being and productivity. It’s not just technology for technology’s sake. It’s actually revolutionizing the business process through technology and through the data that we generate.”
Edward Wagoner is the former Chief Information Officer of Digital at JLL Technologies. Under his leadership, JLL has become strategic partners in the business and play an integral role in new business development and client satisfaction. Over his more than 25-year career with JLL, he’s built one of the organization’s highest-performing and most-diverse teams, with top-tier talent representing a broad range of perspectives, work styles and strengths.
11. Archana Rao, CIO at Unity
“At Atlassian, innovating in the hybrid era requires ground-up collaboration across different parts of the organization. Open collaboration is a leadership strategy. It’s really designed to optimize company performance by supporting collaboration across the enterprise. And we believe it only happens if you have engaged leaders, really good practices, and of course the right tools.”
Archana Rao is the Chief Information Officer at Unity with a successful track record of establishing organizational vision and strategy, leading large teams, setting up global delivery models, M&A (integration and divestiture) and building customer/client loyalty. She was also recognised by Forbes as one of 50 top tech leaders in 2022 redefining the role of CIO. Prior to her role at Unity, Rao served as the CIO at Atlassian and held leadership roles at Veritas and Symantec.
12. Martin Davis, CIO at DUNELM Associates
“The hybrid organization succeeds or fails based on its ability to make all three categories of people (office, remote, and hybrid) feel valued. Critical to hybrid working will be finding ways to treat everyone equally.”
Martin Davis is the Chief Information Officer and Managing Partner at DUNELM Associates Limited. With extensive information technology experience across consumer goods, frozen/fresh food manufacturing, and the transportation and automotive industries, Davis has a track record of delivering value globally in large Fortune 500 corporations and privately owned companies. Before his time at DUNELM, he served as the CIO at Mevotech and BF&M Group, and VP of IT at J.D. Irving.
13. Monique Dumais-Chrisope, SVP and CIO at Encore Capital Group
“With the return to office, hybrid trends, and employee demands for more flexibility, it was quite the challenge to figure out, for IT specifically, what the right model was. I watched large tech companies offer 100% remote, then retract that and the employee experience was terrible.
That in turn brought me to human-centric organization design, as opposed to the traditional location-centric school of thought. I had to educate myself a lot on human-centric org design. I was able to leverage this and apply it to a more flexible hybrid approach for my technology team and I feel they are enjoying the balance.”
Monique Dumais-Chrisope is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Encore Capital Group. She enables the business to achieve its goals by delivering strategic technology solutions through a robust infrastructure, secure framework, stable applications, and business intelligence. Dumais-Chrisope also served in various senior leadership positions at Bank of America for over 15 years, where she was responsible for business process operations and loss mitigation technology.
14. Thomas Angelius, CIO at Ramboll
“Enabling work in a hybrid model sets clear expectations for us in the IT function. We need to continue our focus on delivering great collaboration tools to be used by colleagues as well as with clients. We also need to ensure access to centralized applications and resources no matter the location. This will give increased focus on our infrastructure journey, finding the right balance of accessibility and cost, and balancing cloud vs on-premise technologies for both office documents and massive simulation solutions and files.”
Thomas Angelius is the Chief Information Officer at Ramboll responsible for all IT in the organization and leading over 450 staff members in more than 10 countries. He has helped drive innovation and use of data and AI, and has repeatedly demonstrated a successful and results-oriented approach to address major technology and business challenges in complex political environments with many stakeholders. Before Ramboll, Angelius served in various IT leadership roles at Novo Nordisk.
15. Thomas Phelps, CIO at Laserfiche
“My philosophy is that your office is your laptop and everything you need to be productive is enabled through that laptop. Still, there’s room for improvement. For example, existing digital platforms aren’t great at fostering ad hoc sessions and replicating spontaneous interactions — in other words, the proverbial ‘watercooler conversations.’
Enabling work through different devices not just your typical laptop but also your mobile devices is going to be key, as is supporting work from anywhere through the right security architecture centered on zero-trust principles.”
Thomas Phelps is the Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Laserfiche. He led the transformation of the IT function from infrastructure/operations to driving innovation and collaborated with the executive leadership team in carrying out the corporate and product strategy. Phelps is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California and sits on multiple boards. Previously, Phelps was the Director at PwC for over 15 years.
16. Michael Error, CIO & VP of IT at Blue Cross Blue Shield
“We’re trying to drive the same experience whether you’re in the office or remote and driving consistent, high-quality experiences. Early on, it was good enough to get our employees home and that they stayed safe and they had the capabilities to get on [company systems]. Since that time, we have moved to ‘What’s the experience?’ That has meant regardless of where you are, do you feel like it’s all the same. And it’s not just having the same technology whether you’re remote or not; it’s about making the people all feel they’re part of a team regardless of their location.”
Michael Error is the Chief Information Officer and Vice President of IT at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. Under his leadership, the IT team engaged more thoroughly with and better supported the organizational business areas and strategic goals. He improved IT employee engagement and helped the organization be recognized in Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT two years in a row. Error previously served as the VP of Applications Development at Premera Blue Cross.
17. Ramon Richards, (Former) SVP and CIO at Fannie Mae
“IT is focusing on the end-user experience for all service deliveries in 2023, leveraging automation, when possible, to proactively detect and resolve device issues with self-healing capabilities and provide more effective self-service information. Coupled with this effort is a cohesive change management process to ensure effective employee communication and adoption of new technologies.”
I plan to evolve the organization’s conferencing capabilities to create a more immersive experience using new camera solutions and virtual reality. This will further enhance the overall employee experience to securely collaborate remotely and on-site with people both inside and outside the organization.”
Ramon Richards is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Fannie Mae. Under his leadership, the company’s CIO Office has accelerated its technology transformation initiatives, enabled broad technology engagement with business partners, and defined the next horizon of technology priorities. Richards has held many roles in his 24-year long career at the organization, including SVP of Integrated Technology Solutions and VP of Securitization, Servicing, and Finance Technology.
18. Barton Murphy, CTIO at OCLC
“We will continue to be intentional about creating events for all associates intended to experience and build on the strong culture that exists at OCLC and seek input from associates. This includes continually upgrading WiFi access points, conference room technology, and meeting spaces for improved in-office connectivity and collaboration.
We are in the process of moving to Teams for our phone system to provide more efficient ways to connect both internally with associates and externally with customers. We continue to invest in our VPN capacity to ensure those working from home have all the access and performance they need to be productive.”
Barton Murphy is the Chief Technology and Information Officer at OCLC. He has a track record of identifying, qualifying, building consensus for, and implementing enabling technologies and enterprise-scale systems to support internal business processes and strategic product development initiatives. Murphy was named to Computerworld’s Premier 100 Class of 2015 for his exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.
19. Les Ottolenghi, EVP & CITO at Stride, Inc.
“CIOs must evaluate needs and budgets properly and honestly to prepare for a dynamic hybrid future that is efficient and secure. IT teams typically called on to do more with less without appropriate resources will be set up to fail without exploring the bigger picture. Any lasting approach for hybrid work requires proper budgeting and operational planning from the CIO level. Budgeting should have a two-fold emphasis: trim unwarranted or outdated expenses while spending in areas of the greatest potential return.”
Les Ottolenghi serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer at Stride, Inc. to establish best-in-class IT solutions to ensure applications, platforms infrastructure, processes, and operations are efficient, reliable, scalable, and secure. Ottolenghi sits on various boards where he provides expertise in digital transformation through the use of technologies for companies ranging from Fortune 500s to industry-disrupting startups.
20. Abhijit Mazumder, CIO at Tata Consultancy Services
“The emphasis going forward is creating both hybrid and flexible work models, changing the employee experience, enabling cross domain and departmental collaboration, and for those returning to the office, continuous risk monitoring.
To accommodate ‘25 by 25’ (where only roughly 25% of employees will work out of Tata facilities by 2025), TCS is moving to a 100% multi cloud environment, developing applications for hybrid and flexible work environments, deploying AI software for business continuity, investing in advanced collaboration tools for creative brainstorming, using advanced decision intelligence analytics, and implementing zero trust security as well as composable applications leveraging API management, events and streams processing.”
Abhijit Mazumder is the Chief Information Officer at Tata Consultancy Services. In this role, he inspires effective digital transformation on strong pillars like AI, Agile, Cloud and Automation. He also helped develop a long-term hybrid workforce strategy called “25 by 25,” where only roughly 25% of employees will work out of Tata facilities by 2025. Mazumder has worked at Tata Consultancy Services in various roles, including Head of Ultimatix BU and Head of Sales Enablement.