Technology leaders must be able to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to a wide range of audiences, including employees, customers, and executives
This is an exclusive interview conducted by the Editor Team of CIO News with Anil Kuril, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Union Bank of India
How did you plan your career path to be a successful technology leader?
To be a successful technology leader, it is important to continuously learn and adapt to new technologies and situations. A clear vision and the ability to communicate it effectively to others are crucial for aligning your team and stakeholders around shared goals. Being a team player and managing conflict effectively are also important skills for a technology leader. In addition, qualities such as trust, integrity, honesty, determination, resilience, and a strong work ethic are essential for success in this field. Seeking out opportunities for learning and growth, both personally and professionally, and cultivating and upholding your values can also contribute to your success as a technology leader.
As a professional, I have had the opportunity to work with several organisations and have gained valuable experiences that have helped me develop skills and knowledge as a technology leader. My time at Allahabad Bank allowed my curiosity to grow and gave me insight into the decision-making process and how leaders think about and evaluate options. At Punjab National Bank, I have learned to manage change and guide my team towards a common goal while also understanding the importance of following rules and being able to adapt them to meet the needs of the organization. With these experiences, I was able to create multiple verticals within Union Bank of India with industry-best systems, processes, and practices and build a high-performance team that consistently delivers results.
What challenges you faced in your career path and how did you overcome them?
As a technology leader, it is essential to keep up with the constant evolution of technology in order to remain competitive and effective in your role. This may involve continuously learning and adapting to new technologies and approaches. Another key challenge for technology leaders is effectively managing and leading a team, which may involve setting clear goals, effective communication, and building a positive team culture. Other challenges that technology leaders may face include budget and resource constraints, meeting deadlines and project milestones, and navigating complex organisational politics. To overcome these challenges, it is important to be adaptable, resourceful, and able to think creatively and strategically.
To further overcome career challenges, it is helpful to build a strong network of industry contacts, invest in your own professional development, build confidence in your abilities, and be persistent and flexible. Staying proactive and taking an active role in your career development by seeking out opportunities for growth, learning from your experiences, and seeking support when needed can also help you succeed in your goals.
What are the challenges faced by technology leaders today while implementing digital technologies?
There are several challenges that technology leaders may face when implementing digital technologies, including a lack of resources, expertise, and resistance to change. Integrating new technologies with existing systems can also be a complex and time-consuming process, and there may be security and privacy concerns as well as regulatory compliance issues to consider.
In addition, the rapid pace of technological change means that technology leaders must continuously learn and adapt in order to stay current and competitive. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud computing, and blockchain, which may require specialised expertise and resources to implement effectively. Partnering with fintech and startup companies can be a useful way to access expertise and drive innovation.
In the digital age, data has become a critical asset, and the ability to create insights from data is essential for business success. Companies are striving to hyperpersonalize their products and services to meet the individual needs and preferences of customers, which requires a deep understanding of customer data and the ability to analyse and use it effectively.
How can technology leaders overcome the challenges they face?
To overcome the challenges faced when implementing digital technologies, technology leaders can:
- Plan and manage the implementation process carefully.
- Communicate the benefits of new technologies to stakeholders.
- Employees should be trained and supported.
- Address security and privacy concerns.
- Cultivate a growth mindset.
- Foster a culture of continuous learning.
- Align governance, structure, and policies with changing needs.
- Promote work-life balance.
- Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Overall, it is important for technology leaders to be proactive and take an active role in addressing challenges and driving positive change within the organization. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptability and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, leaders can help their organisations overcome challenges and achieve success.
Any best practices, industry trends, or advice you’d give to fellow technology leaders to help them succeed professionally?
Here are a few best practices and industry trends that I would recommend for technology leaders looking to succeed in their professional journeys:
- Stay current on emerging technologies: Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s important for technology leaders to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. This may involve investing in professional development, attending industry conferences and events, and networking with other professionals.
- Foster a culture of innovation: Encourage a culture of innovation within your organization by promoting risk-taking and experimentation and providing resources and support for employees to develop new ideas and solutions.
- Embrace agile methodologies: Adopting agile methodologies, such as scrum and lean, can help technology leaders deliver value to customers more quickly and effectively. These approaches focus on rapid iteration, collaboration, and flexibility and can be particularly useful in fast-paced, dynamic environments.
- Prioritize security and privacy: As the use of technology continues to increase, it’s important for technology leaders to prioritize security and privacy to protect sensitive data and ensure the trust of customers and stakeholders.
- Develop strong communication skills: Technology leaders must be able to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to a wide range of audiences, including employees, customers, and executives. Investing in strong communication skills can help you build trust and drive alignment within the organization.
Overall, the key to success for technology leaders is to stay proactive and adaptable and to continuously seek out opportunities for learning and growth. By staying current on emerging technologies, fostering a culture of innovation, and developing strong communication skills, you can set yourself up for success in your professional journey.
Any other points that you would like to highlight?
The metaverse is a virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. It has the potential to change the way personal and professional interactions are conducted, as well as the way businesses deliver services.
Some potential applications of the metaverse in business include virtual events and conferences, virtual training and education, virtual product demonstrations and sales, and virtual customer service. The metaverse also has the potential to enable new forms of collaboration and communication, as well as create new opportunities for entertainment and leisure.
It is likely that the metaverse will continue to evolve and grow in the coming years as more businesses and individuals adopt virtual technologies and the infrastructure to support them improves. It’s important for businesses to stay current on developments in the metaverse and to consider how they might be leveraged to enhance their operations and customer experiences.
“The content or opinion expressed in the article is of the author in his or her individual capacity and does not represent the bank’s view in any manner.”
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