Technovation with Peter High (CIO, CTO, CDO, CXO Interviews)

Metis Strategy


Twice-weekly conversations with top executives and thought leaders at the intersection of business, technology, and innovation. Each episode of Technovation explores the technology trends that are transforming business, and the leaders driving digital change inside their organizations. Produced by Metis Strategy and hosted by firm President Peter High, Technovation is the premier podcast for IT and technology professionals with the largest collection of interviews with elite CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs.

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828 episodes

Databricks CIO Naveen Zutshi Talks Building a Holistic AI Strategy and Sound Data Architecture

806: Naveen Zutshi, the first CIO to be named at the data lake-house architecture company Databricks, joins Peter High in a conversation about the foundational technology strategy that he has helped set up to foster greater enterprise growth. He explains what it’s like to run IT within a tech-centric organization and how the company’s Databricks-on-Databricks customer zero program helps to develop better product offerings for customers. Naveen provides insight into his perspective on generative AI, the value it poses to executives, and the necessity of creating a sound data strategy in order to fuel AI. Finally, Naveen shares learnings from across his career, the keys to his success, and the trends that are on his radar for the future.

Sep 28
Tech Sector IT: Box CIO Ravi Malick Talks Scalability, Agility, and Execution In The Company's Strategy

805: Ravi Malick, CIO at Box, discusses his role as a CIO within a scaled technology organization and how he interacts with the CIO-level clients that the company serves. He explains the focus areas he prioritized when he joined the company including scalability, agility, and execution. He also describes the company’s Box-on-Box program where they pilot offerings internally as ‘customer zero’ and how this helps deliver better products and services for their clients. Finally, Ravi reflects on the keys to his career success, recounts his pathway into technology, and looks ahead at the trends in AI and cybersecurity.

Sep 25
Data & AI in Real Estate: Johnson Controls CTO Vijay Sankaran on the Future of Work

804: Vijay Sankaran, CTO of Johnson Controls, discusses the future of work, the growing impact of AI, and its downstream effects on real estate. Vijay explains the critical role the digital customer experience plays in real estate, the way workspaces have evolved in recent years, and technology’s impact on how companies leverage their physical workspaces. He also reviews the company’s acquisitions in recent years and the effort to bring digital capabilities like cyber, data, AI, and more in-house. Finally, Vijay covers the generational differences in perspectives on hybrid and remote work environments, looks ahead at other trends in technology that he has on his radar, and reflects on the major keys to success from across his career.

Sep 21
Ericsson COO Moti Gyamlani on Supply Chain, Transformation, & the Future of Work

803: Moti Gyamlani, SVP and Chief Operations Officer of Ericsson, joins our host Peter High in a conversation about creating a world-class supply chain and developing a digital customer and employee experience at the company. He explains how his global team is organized and the ways he collaborates with the broadly distributed executive team. Moti talks about the transformation of the 150-year-old company, the responsibility he holds in supply chain management, and his perspective on the future of work and its impact on real estate. Finally, Moti looks ahead at the trends in 6G and other technologies on the horizon and reflects on the secrets to his career success.

Sep 18
Focusing on Horizon 3: CTO Thomas Benjamin on the Innovation Cycle at National Instruments

802: Thomas Benjamin; EVP, CTO, and Head of Platform & Analytics R&D at National Instruments (NI); discusses the innovation he is leading at the company focused on what he calls ‘Horizon 3’ technologies and the preparation needed to take advantage of these technologies down the road. He shares how his team is organized across the diverse segments that are a part of the broader business and the ways in which these segments interact and collaborate with the IT organization. Thomas also gives an in-depth overview of the innovation labs he leads, the potential value that generative AI can bring to NI, and the skills that will be necessary to leverage these emerging technologies. Finally, he reflects on the lessons he has learned across his diversified career path, explains the benefit of being a hands-on leader, and looks ahead at the trends in technology that he believes will change the game.

Sep 14
The Art of Change Management: FM Global’s Srini Krishnamurthy on Strategic Planning and Talent Management

801: Srini Krishnamurthy, Chief Strategy and Information Officer of FM Global, talks about the transformation he is leading within the company and the art of change management behind the transformation. He discusses his unique title and why it made sense to blend strategy with the CIO’s responsibilities and sheds light on the strategic planning that takes place within the large-scale insurance organization. Srini delves into the innovative use of digital and data in assessing property risks coming from climate as well as other areas and expands on that use of data with a background on the company’s experimentation with generative AI. Additionally, Srini elaborates on the importance of developing his team's skill set to prepare for the future, being a force for change management, and using the lessons from his experience in human resources to drive this talent strategy. Finally, he reflects on the secrets to his success and looks ahead at trends in InsureTech, AI, and more.

Sep 11
The Coming Wave of Intelligence: DeepMind and Inflection Co-Founder Mustafa Suleyman on Technology, Power, and the Future of AI

800: Mustafa Suleyman, Co-Founder of DeepMind and Inflection AI, discusses his career journey, the future of artificial intelligence, and his latest book; The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century's Greatest Dilemma. Mustafa describes his entrepreneurial background as a pioneer of the AI and Deep Learning space from studying philosophy at Oxford to his eventual founding of DeepMind and subsequently Inflection AI. He recounts the inception of groundbreaking AI concepts, Google's acquisition of DeepMind, and the importance of ethics in AI. In his book, Mustafa proposes the idea of a modern Turing Test to mitigate the spread of misinformation, AI's paradoxical impact on productivity and stability, and the vision of a fully digital ‘Chief of Staff’ called Pi.

Sep 07
The Fast Follower Approach: Vanguard CIO Nitin Tandon on Staying Innovative at Massive Scale

799: Nitin Tandon, Global CIO at Vanguard, discusses the customer-facing technology that he oversees and how his team remains innovative and up-to-date on trends despite the company’s massive size. He emphasizes the company’s push towards automation and personalization when it comes to the digital customer experience and how he drives cross-functional collaboration to align this experience with the overall business strategy. Nitin talks about his “fast follower” approach to experimenting and piloting emerging technologies, the cybersecurity implications that must be considered, and how he views the business from the perspective of the customer. Finally, Nitin explains the culture that brought him to the company, the secrets to success over the course of his career, and the technology trends that are on his radar for the future.

Sep 04
The Future of Mars: Global VP Shubham Mehrish on a Modular Architecture Approach to Strategy

798: Shubham Mehrish, Global Vice President at Mars, discusses how he is developing a digital, technology, and associate strategy based on a modular architecture approach that is focused on microservices, API-driven, Cloud-native, and Headless. Discover how Shubham builds an ecosystem of talent internally and externally, applies data and AI to differentiate the business, and embraces design thinking and collaboration across the firm all with the aim of developing a digital customer experience to enhance the traditional tactile experience. Shubham also talks more broadly about how he pushes his team to learn from experiences regardless of their success and approach challenges with what notes as a comp[any-wide collective confidence. This translates more specifically to how his team is experimenting with generative AI and the other technology trends that are on his radar. Finally, Shubham describes the mental models he has applied in his role and recommends a few critical readings that he has found helpful in his career. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith Build by Tony Fadell

Aug 31
Managing Growth: SCAN Health Plan CIO Josh Goode on M&A Integrations, AI-Operating Models, & Digital Strategy

797: Josh Goode, CIO at SCAN Health Plan, discusses the tremendous growth of the company throughout his tenure and the areas he has focused on to achieve that growth. He explains the pivotal role the CIO plays in shaping the digital customer experience and dives deep into the progress of the company’s overall modernization journey. Following the company’s acquisition of CareOregon, Josh explains the process behind integrating acquisitions from a digital and technology perspective and how this helps to grow the company in addition to the organic growth and expansion efforts. Josh also talks about the strong technology culture at SCAN, facets of its data strategy, and the Emerging Technology Operating Model he developed to address the emergence of artificial intelligence and find its use cases. Finally, Josh looks ahead at the trends in technology on his radar and reflects on his career path including his pivot to the not-for-profit space as well as the keys to his career success.

Aug 28
Power and Progress: MIT Professor Daron Acemoglu on Navigating Techno-Optimism and Regulation in the Era of AI

796: Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT and author, joins the broadcast to speak about his latest book, Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity, and his perspective on techno-optimism in the era of artificial intelligence. Daron issues a warning about blind optimism during this pivotal moment in technology and draws on the key themes of power dynamics, techno-optimism, and effective regulation strategies from his book to explain the balance between power and progress and ways to counteract the accrual of power to a select few. He explains the three countervailing forces of democracy, worker voice, and regulation; the two key problems with regulations surrounding generative artificial intelligence; and what this future of AI regulation means on a global scale. Finally, as a writer himself, Daron talks about the ongoing Writer’s Strike as a defense against Generative AI, the potential benefits generative AI will have for writers of the future, and why he is optimistic about generative AI being a “job helper”.

Aug 24
Elevating IT with R&D: ChampionX CIO Alina Parast on AI Strategy, Cybersecurity Practices, & Talent Upskilling

795: Alina Parast, CIO at ChampionX, discusses the future of innovation, cybersecurity, and IT in general. With her extensive experience as CIO for over three years, Alina delves into the company's strategy around artificial intelligence, its robust cybersecurity practices, and its commitment to data protection. When it comes to innovation, she speaks to the partnership with R&D for groundbreaking initiatives and areas to revolutionize while introducing continuous improvement and automation to a field of R&D. Alina also talks about the implementation of training and upskilling policies around cybersecurity. Finally, Alina looks ahead at the latest trends in technology and reflects on the key drivers of her career success.

Aug 21
IT and Corporate Strategy Convergence: Lexmark CITO Vishal Gupta on His Expansive Purview

794: Vishal Gupta, SVP of Connected Technology and Chief Information & Technology Officer of Lexmark, joins the broadcast to explain the elements behind his broad purview in corporate and IT strategy. Vishal explains the structure of his relatively new team and how he trains the talent he hires through Lexmark's Cohort Training Program. Vishal talks about overseeing the company's overarching corporate strategy, the innovation he is driving, and the security implications that come with what he and his team are developing. Of the innovation discussed, Vishal specifically dives deep into his perspective on the potential of AI and Generative AI within the firm. Finally, he reflects on the keys to his success and looks ahead at the trends in technology that excite him.

Aug 17
Trust through Cybersecurity: Northwestern Mutual CIO on a Client-Centric IT Strategy

793: Jeff Sippel, CIO of Northwestern Mutual, joins the broadcast to describe why he believes technology strategy should be viewed as a ‘peer’ to corporate strategy, focusing on client-centricity. He explains the importance of cybersecurity as a core capability and driver of trust within the financial services industry, the advantage of data as a key element in developing a perspective on customer experience, and the criticality of incorporating AI/ML for automation and productivity enhancement. Jeff also explains the modernization process at Northwestern Mutual, the culture that helps with the change management behind that modernization, and how his past roles in customer experience helped inform his view as CIO. Finally, Jeff looks ahead at the trends in technology on the horizon and reflects on the keys to his career success.

Aug 14
Navigating Intersections: GSK's CDTO Shobie Ramakrishnan on Developing A Cohesive Technology Strategy

792: Shobie Ramakrishnan, Chief Digital and Technology Officer of GSK, shares insights with our host Peter High about developing a cohesive technology strategy that focuses on intersections within the organization. Shobie shares how she orchestrates her team's collaboration across departments, crafting a strategy with a clearly communicated vision, and plays both defense and offense with technology and data. She explains GSK's forward-thinking approach to AI, maturation of cybersecurity practices, and efforts to supercharge R&D with data. Shobie also dives into the tech-centric culture of the firm, the talent training strategy it has developed, and the skills that are necessary to drive the business forward. Finally, Shobie looks ahead at trends in technology that are on her radar and reflects on the keys to her career success.

Aug 10
Berkadia’s CIO Damu Bashyam on Driving Innovation in the CRE Industry

791: Damu Bashyam, EVP and Chief Information & Innovation Officer of Berkadia, sits down with our host Peter High to discuss the various ways he approaches innovation to drive growth, efficiency, and improvements to the digital customer experience. Damu explains the idea behind Berkadia's Startup Accelerator program BeEngaged and its role in keeping his team on top of emerging trends, building innovative solutions, and integrating new platforms like Blue Suit AI into its ecosystem. Similarly, Damu shares his experience leading the redIQ software business at the company and the way the cloud-based platform leverages AI/ML to help clients visualize data. He also talks about balancing the priorities of both IT and the broader business, building a data strategy, and driving internal technology adoption. Finally, Damu reflects on the three C’s to his career success and looks ahead at the trends in technology that he is excited about.

Aug 07
Investing in an EV Future: Genuine Parts Co. CIDO Naveen Krishna on Innovation and Emerging Tech

expertise in leading technology and digital initiatives at GPC, ensuring alignment with the company's strategic roadmap, and driving innovation to prepare for a future of electric vehicles (EV). Naveen delves into the topic of creating a frictionless digital customer experience, leveraging technology to optimize supply chains, and driving innovation and emerging tech exploration within the company. He goes over the rationale behind GPC's strategic investment in the EV sector as it prepares for the transition to an EV future. Finally, Naveen looks back on the keys to success across his career and explains the top trends in technology that are on his radar.

Aug 03
Scaling DocuSign: CIO Shanthi Iyer Talks AI, Automation, and a Data-Driven Future

789: Shanthi Iyer, CIO of DocuSign, shares her remarkable journey in scaling the organization and developing a sound data strategy. Shanthi describes how she and her team have elevated employee experience, focused on the customer experience, and streamlined internal processes through strategic automation. She also discusses how she is crafting a robust data strategy for DocuSign and exploring potential use cases for Generative AI to unlock a realm of future value. Finally, Shanthi provides an update on the state of women in technology, looks ahead at the latest trends in technology, and reflects on the keys to her career success.

Jul 31
Developing a 360-Degree View: Macy's CIO, Laura Miller on Empowering Retail with Data and AI

788: Laura Miller, CIO of Macy's, discusses the modernization efforts that she is helping to drive at the company. She provides insights on aligning IT with business objectives, the democratization of data, and the development of a comprehensive 360-degree view of the customer. Laura talks through the five pillars of growth as a part of Macy’s modernization and the company’s approach to personalized customer experiences which includes leveraging data and AI/ML. Finally, she reflects on her pathway to board membership, the keys to her career success, and the trends in technology that are on her radar.

Jul 27
Tech Modernization and Leading an AI Journey: Insights from DigiKey's CIO, Ramesh Babu

787: Ramesh Babu, CIO of DigiKey Electronics, discusses the modernization efforts at the company and the AI journey he has led. Ramesh has driven a remarkable transformation and instilled a positive, driven mindset across the organization. In this insightful conversation, we explore the company's thriving AI journey, its participation in the surrounding community, and the cultural shifts that accompanied its modernization efforts. Discover Ramesh's keys to success and the tech trends that are shaping the future of the industry.

Jul 24
From CIO/COO to Mission-Driven Venture Capitalist: Pegah Ebrahimi's Impactful Career Journey

786: Pegah Ebrahimi, co-founder and managing partner of FPV Ventures, joins the broadcast to speak about investing in mission-driven founders and leveraging her experience as a former CIO and COO to bring a wealth of go-to-market expertise to the companies she invests in. We delve into FPV Ventures' business overview as well as the company’s emphasis on life sciences and what attracted Pegah and her co-founder to that area. Pegah also explains her journey to the CIO post, her journey to the COO post, and how these experiences have uniquely equipped her for success in the world of venture capital. Finally, she shares valuable insights into investing during uncertain times, the tech trends that are on her radar, and the keys to her career success.

Jul 20
Xerox CEO Steve Bandrowczak on the Iconic Company's AI-driven Future

785: Steve Bandrowczak, CEO of Xerox, discusses the future of the company, the role of technology in driving strategy, and how Xerox is leveraging emerging technology to reinvent the service industry. He highlights the importance of using this cutting-edge technology, such as AI, robotics, and augmented reality, to drive productivity in the office and serve the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Steve also emphasizes the value of data and the impact of edge computing and quantum computing on the future of technology. Finally, he shares insights from his experience as a CIO and the importance of taking risks and seeking diverse leadership opportunities to advance your career.

Jul 17
HCSC Executive Greg Brown on Driving Proactive, Predictive, and Personalized Customer Service

784: Greg Brown, Chief Customer Service Officer at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), joins the broadcast to speak about being a customer-focused organization and leveraging technology to drive a proactive, predictive, and personalized customer experience. He emphasizes the value of a positive attitude, positive habits, and continuous improvement in achieving success in customer service and why he looks for humility, emotional intelligence, accountability, and learning agility when recruiting talent for his team. Finally, Greg talks about the trends in technology that are on his radar, how those trends aim to impact the customer experience, and the keys to success that have helped him throughout his career.

Jul 13
Wells Fargo Head of Technology Tracy Kerrins on AI Virtual Agent & Becoming a Digital-First Company

783: Tracy Kerrins, Senior EVP and Head of Technology at Wells Fargo, joins the broadcast to discuss the company's efforts in becoming digital-first and the new technology and innovations she is helping to drive. She highlights the introduction of Fargo, the company's first customer-facing AI virtual assistant, and dives into the broader use of artificial intelligence to improve customer service and experiences. Tracy also emphasizes the criticality of data and the organization's cloud strategy as well as the importance of empowering employees and creating a positive culture of collaboration. Finally, she looks ahead at other trends in technology and reflects on the keys to her career success.

Jul 10
Travelers CTO/COO Mojgan Lefebvre on the Intersection of Technology & Operations in Insurance

782: Mojgan Lefebvre, EVP and Chief Technology & Operations Officer of Travelers, joins Peter in the latest episode to cover the intersection of technology and operations within her purview and the alignment she drives between her team and the broader business. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the business and customer needs in order to drive technology strategy and highlights the company's focus on creating great experiences for customers, modernizing technology infrastructure, leveraging data and analytics, and protecting the organization from cyber threats. Mojgan shares examples of how machine learning and AI are being used to enhance employee and customer experiences, the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in driving innovation and success within the organization, and creating a culture of digital fluency through employee training programs. Finally, Mojgan looks ahead at trends in technology that are on her radar and reflects on the keys to her career success.

Jul 06
Priceline CTO Martin Brodbeck on Leveraging AI and Scaling Innovation

781: Martin Brodbeck, CTO of Priceline, joins Peter in a discussion on how he has developed his team and the new platforms and capabilities that he has driven across the company. He highlights the use cases for AI and ML technologies in areas such as personalization, recommendation, and marketing as well as emphasizes the importance of developer productivity and the automation of software engineering tasks. He shares insights on fostering resilience and scalability within the organization, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry. Finally, he touches on future trends in self-service analytics and quantum computing, reflects on the keys to his career success, and looks ahead at the potential use cases for generative AI at the company and beyond.

Jul 03
Generative AI & Geopolitics: Placing Smart Bets with Goldman Sachs Co-Heads of the Office of Applied Innovation

780: Jared Cohen and George Lee, the Co-Heads of the Office of Applied Innovation at Goldman Sachs, delve into the intersections between global affairs, geopolitics, and cutting-edge technology such as generative AI. As leaders in the financial services industry and technology space, both executives provide valuable insights into the significance of geopolitical swing states and the current state of global affairs, as well as the rapid rise of generative AI, and the role government regulation plays in technological advancements.

Jun 29
All-in On AI: Bestselling Author Tom Davenport on His Latest Book and the Future of Artificial Intelligence

779: Tom Davenport, bestselling author and distinguished professor at Babson College, joins us to discuss insights from his latest book, All-in on AI, and give his perspective on the rapid rise of artificial intelligence and its impact on businesses. From his sociology background to becoming a seasoned technology academic, Tom shares reflections on his career path and the evolving landscape of analytics and the birth of AI. Listen to his explanation of the three eras of analytics, culminating in the rise of "Analytics 4.0" powered by AI. As an AI optimist, Tom shares concerns and opportunities associated with AI, including its potential impact on jobs and the declining automation costs. Gain valuable insights into how companies successfully explore AI tools, allocate organizational resources to its experimentation, and strategize its adoption in order to “win big with AI”. Tom also provides his outlook on the future of AI, its influence on consulting, and practical career advice for young professionals in this transformative era.

Jun 26
Multi-Cloud Architecture & Lessons in Leadership with Rackspace President of Private Cloud Brian Lillie

778: In this episode, Rackspace Technology’s President of Private Cloud, Brian Lillie, speaks about the keys to successful cloud adoption and the benefits of a multi-cloud architecture. Throughout this conversation, we dive into Rackspace’s business, explore Brian's purview within Private Cloud, and discuss the shared and differing responsibilities with his counterpart in Public Cloud. Brian explains how having a CIO background has been advantageous to him when partnering with the current CIO and the IT organization. With a breadth of experience across companies, disciplines, and industries, Brian shares insights into his thoughtful leadership style shaped by his core values, walks us through his career path, and talks about the impact that both his military experience and his pursuit of higher education has had on his professional career. Finally, Brian covers the advantages of having technologists on a board of directors, looks ahead at the latest trends in technology, and reflects on the secrets to his career success.

Jun 22
Bestselling Author Cal Newport Explores the Art of Deep Work, Digital Minimalism, and Other Strategies for Success

777: Cal Newport, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and bestselling author, joins Peter in conversation to dive into the world of productivity, focus, and intentional living. Cal reflects on his journey as a writer, the impact that professional advice had on his strategies for developing longevity in the field, and why he avoided social media during the age of Facebook. He explains the major themes of his books including time management and the power of "slow productivity" for success, as well as the role that COVID-19 played in influencing these topics. Cal talks about the concept of living a "values-driven lifestyle", his experience with the "30-Day Declutter" project, and helping young people train their focus. Finally, the conversation uncovers the surprising effects of efficiency and delves into the risks and uncertainties of generative AI and its future.

Jun 19