Interview CIO Magazine
André Kriger, CIO of Telefónica, has three major challenges. Among them; to accelerate the Digital Transformation of the operator
The father of André Kriger, Vice President of Information Technology at Telefónica Vivo studied Computer Engineering in Rio de Janeiro. After his studies opened a computer network company. So network technology is no stranger in the Kriger Family. As André Kriger recalls: “Technology is part of my DNA. I always liked it and I became interested because it fascinated me and my father”
Years later, in spite of being brought up n the area, Kriger finished studying Business Administration and at the beginning of his career embarked in that direction. “Even so, I already had experience from my father’s company and from working at Positivo Informática. That’s when I decided to do an MBA in the United States, “he recalled.
In North America, the executive saw startups boom from up close and this aroused his interest in the nascent companies. Upon returning to Brazil, he joined one of them, Fulano.com.br, where he stayed for a year. From there, he left for a consultancy which focused on technology and telecommunications. In 2009, the invitation to join Telefónica came, where in recent years Kriger has been working in several business areas: Planning, Marketing and Customer Experience. “I added a complete view of the service chain and the business,” he said.
In April 2018, the executive took an inverse path to that of many CIOs: from business to information technology. “More and more professionals in the field have to have a complete vision. This is differential because there is no more technology by technology.”
During his professional career and after being head of Telefónica Vivo IT for a year, the executive reveals that he has added many learning experiences to his book of experiences. “I was an IT client. I applied, tested, and helped to do many projects. He had a vision that IT was so much simpler than it really is. Day by day, however, is much bigger and more complex, “he revealed.
Kriger now faces three major challenges. One of which is to speed up the transformation. Exchanging legacy systems that have been on the air for decades, in addition to ushering in the era of fast deliveries. “IT has the mission to accelerate the time to market of our products.” The other side of the medal to is not forget the day to day, keeping the lights on.
Focused leadership for people
Kriger is defined as a leader who likes to be close to the team and to understand and solve the problems. “I have no difficulty in asking you to explain me again. If I do not know the technical specificities I will ask and I try to inform myself “, he commented. His style also includes giving autonomy to the team. “There are discussions I participate in and others I leave for the technicians to decide. If it goes wrong, that’s fine, let’s fix it. “Transparency is part of your leadership style, which stimulates the balance between personal and professional lives.”
This position not only helps in the management of the team, but also works as an incentive for the team to assume a protagonist role. “For this, we need to help businesses make the best decisions,” he said.
One of the initiatives that the executive wants to strengthen in 2019, is to strengthen ties with the team. “I direct a good deal of my time to the team’s career management. I have 80 senior managers and 130 juniors. I like to talk to them all at least once a year. Even to know the challenges. It’s an open conversation, without prompting. This closeness gives space to act and work differently and for them to understand what I expect from them. ”
For the next few months, Kriger als aims to be closer to the business areas. Breathe the day-to-day of the areas and closely understand everything that can be improved.
Market and technological changes have driven the evolution of the CIO role. Kriger is aware of this revolution and believes that the role of the IT leader should be increasingly strategic. “The role of the CIO will always exist. It is he who helps make the technology decisions. ”
And to make the best decisions, Kriger keeps abreast with all the news that comes up, whether in conversation with his peers or through attending industry events.
One of the strategies he also uses is reading books. Michael Hannan, Wolfram Müller and Hilbert Robinson, have helped him strengthen his skills to take the agile initiatives of Telefonica Vivo to a new level. The CIO’s Guide to Breakthrough Project Portfolio Performance