Developments over the past three to four years have had a significant economic and societal impact: the pandemic, geopolitics, energy transition, changing citizen and consumer needs, as well as scarcities in resources and talent. The rise of digitalization permeates through all of these factors. According to Srikanth Akkiraju, Global Head of Business Process & System Excellence at Philips, this has profound implications for the role and function of the CIO.
Until 2019 technology leaders primarily served as enablers, with a keen eye on the latest technological advancements. Their modern counterparts, on the other hand, are primarily responsible for delivering business outcomes. “They must leverage new capabilities such as generative AI, end-to-end (cloud) platforms and other possibilities to create value: improved operational workflows, optimal customer experiences, reduced costs, and a greater focus on core activities.”
Srikanth Akkiraju asserts that this transformation is occurring both broadly and specifically at Philips, where significant efforts have been dedicated to this transformation in recent years. “The purpose of Philips is to improve people’s health and well-being through meaningful innovation. We aim to improve 2.5 billion lives per year by 2030. To fulfill this mission, it is essential to know who is responsible for what internally. For myself and others this also meant a personal shift: not being afraid to take risk, by an agile and fail fast mindset. It’s a journey which we have just started taking baby steps in.”
Apart from shifting roles, functions, and focus, there is an increased reliance on partners. It is essentially the same transformation that customers of Philips’ health technology are undergoing, wherein they can realize value by externally outsourcing business processes, managed services, and supporting technologies. Philips collaborates with full stack platform partners such as ServiceNow: the provider of an end-to-end platform that not only supports optimized processes but also enhances customer engagement.
“The main responsibilities for me and my team are to translate business strategy and objectives into a set of initiatives that will ultimately assist our business users in serving our customers better. Additionally, we aim to introduce easy-to-use, customer-centric processes and technologies to make day-to-day life easier for both our business users and end customers”, Akkiraju states. In addition to operational effectiveness through a streamlined digital backbone, insights and analytics based on the right data also play a crucial role.
The Head of Business Process & System Excellence boasts nearly 20 years of experience in establishing and delivering a comprehensive range of responsibilities in information strategy, information management, business transformation, digital transformation, program management, business development, and more. At Philips, Srikanth Akkiraju previously held roles such as CIO Solutions & Informatics Business and Global Head of Data & Analytics.
His overarching goal is to harness and leverage the synergies of profound knowledge and expertise in information management, information risk & compliance domains, in addition to corporate management strategy skills: “Lead people, processes, and technology in exciting business-value driving roles.”