Published on May 30, 2024, 7:06 am

Bhavani Amirthalingam has an impressive career spanning over 25 years, showcasing her expertise in technology and executive leadership roles across various industries and regions. Her tenure at World Wide Technology as CIO and vice president of customer solutions was followed by leading the digital transformation at Schneider Electric, a prominent Fortune 100 energy management company. Recently, she assumed the role of EVP and chief customer and technology officer at Ameren.

In a recent episode of the Tech Whisperers podcast, Bhavani shared insights into her career journey, emphasizing essential differentiators and leadership philosophies that paved her way to becoming a chief digital information officer, eventually taking on additional responsibilities as chief customer officer. Reflecting on the discussion post-show, Bhavani delved deeper into successful large-scale transformations and the pivotal role of AI and data in shaping future business strategies.

When questioned about advice for leaders initiating large-scale transformations, Bhavani stressed the significance of cohesive cross-functional teams with aligned objectives rather than focusing solely on technology or operations. She highlighted the crucial role of change management from project initiation to implementation to ensure seamless adaptation within organizations.

Delving into challenges that could compromise transformation success, Bhavani emphasized value realization as a vital component often overlooked by organizations. She underscored laying out clear success indicators upfront along with understanding organizational dynamics and garnering CEO engagement for sustainable change.

Further discussing opportunities in leveraging AI to enhance customer experiences and workplace efficiency, Bhavani elucidated on utilizing AI for improved customer insights, predictive maintenance, safety enhancements, and cost reductions. She advised leaders to assess data readiness, prioritize impactful use cases, and promote a cybersecurity-centric approach while integrating AI solutions.

Diving into generative AI prospects for businesses, Bhavani outlined three primary approaches – being a taker by leveraging existing platform capabilities embedding AI features; a shaper by creating tailored large language models for specific business needs; or a maker by developing unique AI models despite complexity. She stressed identifying high-impact use cases aligned with business goals while emphasizing human upskilling alongside AI integration.

Shifting focus to data quality’s pivotal role in AI deployments, Bhavani emphasized it as the foundation for effective AI implementation. Stressing robust data governance frameworks for ensuring accuracy and scalability in AI applications aligning with business objectives.

Looking ahead, Bhavani predicted that every facet of businesses would experience AI’s transformative influence akin to past technological revolutions like internet and mobile technologies. She expressed enthusiasm towards addressing substantial global challenges through accelerated drug research via AI advancements while acknowledging cybersecurity concerns associated with rapid technological progress.

Overall, Bhavani’s insights shed light on navigating digital transformations successfully by prioritizing collaboration amongst diverse teams integrating innovative technologies like AI strategically for long-term business growth.


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