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For This CIO, “Technology Is the Basis of Change”

VMware Staff

VMware’s Agents of Change initiative celebrates technology leaders who challenge the status quo. By harnessing the power of digital transformation, they create unlimited possibilities for their businesses. Here’s the next leader in the Agents of Change series: Salvatore Cassara, Chief Information Officer at SGB-SMIT Group.

Technology is the basis of change for us. It allows us to innovate with speed and agility so we can stay ahead.

Salvatore Cassara, CIO, SGB-SMIT Group

CIOs Have “Unique Power” to Drive Change

“People in my position have a unique opportunity to be agents of change because a CIO has a clear view of an organization’s processes from start to finish. Technology is the basis of change for us. It allows us to innovate and collaborate with speed and agility so we can stay ahead. It’s fundamental,” said Salvatore Cassara, CIO at SGB-SMIT Group.

The European power transformers leader doubled its global footprint in five years. Its growth is supported by an IT infrastructure that unifies operations across four continents. Digital innovation also enables its 3,500-strong workforce to collaborate and access business-critical apps seamlessly and securely. 

Under Cassara’s guidance, SGB-SMIT Group’s digital foundation is now multi-cloud. This approach allows the company’s rapid expansion without compromising consistency across its regional production centers.

Innovation Powered by Efficient Knowledge Transfer

“We’re not just a multi-cloud company, we’re a multicultural company. We need to be able to share knowledge efficiently and securely across huge distances,” said Cassara. “Our engineers in Malaysia can design transformers using tools developed in Germany. Thanks to this infrastructure, we can adapt, act, and collaborate quickly and decisively. We opened our newest location in China—rolling out infrastructure, SAP, everything—without IT having visited the site. Our IT setup allows us to rise to these challenges.”

The company’s multi-cloud approach enables individuals and teams across the company to come together across the world. This encourages the rapid exchange of expertise and the cross-fertilization of ideas. And ultimately, SGB-SMIT Group’s culture of collaborative innovation is flourishing.

Multi-Cloud Enables Seamless Collaboration

Of course, the success of any company ultimately lies in the skills, experience and creativity of its people. Diverse skill sets, backgrounds and passions help elevate SGB-SMIT to something greater than the sum of its parts.

Working with colleagues regardless of where they are is increasingly important as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Cassara. He added that the company’s multi-cloud approach was also crucial to its agile response at the beginning of the crisis.

“Because we already had the infrastructure, we simply had to turn the key and it was done. Our people could do everything they needed to do at home,” he said. “Of course, we put together a taskforce to make sure we responded to the crisis properly. But IT was not part of it, because our boss’ perception was that we’d get it done. That’s the best endorsement we could wish for.”

3 Tips to Inspire Change

For anyone asking how they can deliver similar transformations at their own organization, Cassara offers three tips:

  1. Be clear in your vision of what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Be persistent in your journey and take it step by step.
  3. Take your team with you by communicating your vision and how you will get there.