The evolving landscape of data technology is changing the business of appliance manufacturing. The industry has begun to shift its focus - we are not any longer simply making and selling durables, but enabling digital consumer experiences. With this comes an increased demand for IT groups, making them an integral part of modern manufacturing. Whirlpool Corporation is at the forefront of this trend - as a part of "> a part of the “Internet of Things” - because our connected technology and digital experiences are now part of the customer experience. As an IT leader, my job is to make the proper conditions for the team to assist lead and enable this strategy.
"It’s important to understand your customers and therefore the context of your businesses. Only then are you able to make informed recommendations and help lead a business within the right direction"
The Right Approach for Technological Partnership
Whirlpool Corporation is fortunate to collaborate with an upscale band of solution-oriented partners equipped with digital capabilities. Together of the company’s CIOs, I confine regular contact with our existing traditional partners and check out to stay a pulse on new, emerging players within the sector. Smaller, new software providers, although sometimes short on the specified scale, have proven time and again that they will come up with creative solutions to the hurdles we face. Because the enterprise moves further into the digital arena, the necessity for various perspectives, agility, minimalism, experimentation, and more rapid implementation became increasingly important. We’ve relationships with a various mixture of providers - each serving a group purpose. The larger software and repair providers typically perform larger technology projects, and therefore the smaller groups’ aid within the process of experimentation and laying out the strategies for the longer term.
Whirlpool’s upcoming projects within the face of adjusting technology
As CIO, you usually got to take care of the foundational systems that run the day-to-day business, and that we have exciting work underway on the IT backbone for our operations. one of our most up-to-date projects was taking our enterprise resource planning (ERP) to the cloud - and with our ERP environment largely handled by SAP, we now run SAP on HANA worldwide. Additionally, we are driving major transformations with our plants and warehouses, including new systems for Manufacturing Execution, warehouse management, supply chain planning, and logistics.
We are rethinking how technology enables the digital consumer journey - how we present our brands on the online and mobile platforms, and enable differentiated shopping, buying, and aftermarket service experiences. And, we still make investments in our IoT platform and therefore the application experiences enabled by IoT. As an example, Whirlpool Corporation’s recent acquisition of Yummly, a customized recipe platform, has been a catalyst for innovations which will change how our customers interact with our product and transform the elemental cooking experience.
One thing most of those ventures have in common is that the reliance on ‘big data’. I’m privileged to champion a worldwide big data and analytics initiative to further build our capabilities during this area. A cross-functional team is currently working to develop data services, analytical tools, and therefore the operating model and organizational structure necessary to implement and scale this capability globally.
Personality traits contributing to leadership
The role of CIO at Whirlpool Corporation is filled with challenges and excitement. I feel most of the people will tell you that I bring a uniform level of optimism to the equation, which helps me and therefore the team get through the tough days, and plays an enormous role in allowing me to specialize in the work on hand, envisaging the direction of the business and identifying the proper technological solutions. Another personal quality that I feel helps during this position is humility. As someone who is comparatively new the corporate, and therefore the industry, I still have much to find out about our markets, products, and operations. And, with the technology landscape evolving so quickly, you would like to still specialize in what you don’t know, so as to maneuver the corporate forward.
Future of the changing technological landscape
One of the foremost revolutionary disruptions that we witness today is that the "democratization of IT." As we enter the cloud we are witnessing the commoditization and immediate accessibility of IT services. it might not be wrong to take a position that fast advances in technology are requiring everyone within the business to become more tech-savvy. One could argue this might end in the decreased relevance of IT organizations within the end of the day, but, although a disruptive trend, I find it emboldening - forcing us to be simpler in our leadership and facilitation of technology enablement across our operations.
The Changing Role of CIO
The role of CIO is more important than ever before. It’s become obligatory CIOs to develop business acumen and become students of their respective business - and in many cases, it's becoming the business.
As a CIO at Whirlpool Corporation, my advice to my peers is to find out your core business - not just the technological aspect. Know your customers and the way they use interact and buy the products you create. Only then are you ready to make informed recommendations and lead the business within the right direction?