The CIO-CTO Bridge: How Lenovo is Reworking Its Management Framework


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CIOs handle enterprise IT operations whereas CTOs develop and oversee buyer and customer-facing applied sciences. That is the customary division of labor, not less than.

It is an alignment Lenovo is difficult with a brand new construction that blurs the strains between CIO and CTO.

Externally, Lenovo’s profile is that of a {hardware} firm. Desktop PCs, ThinkPad laptops, tablets, smartphones, enterprise workstations and servers account for greater than 80% of the China-based multinational tech firm’s enterprise. Based on a July Gartner report, it controls practically one-quarter of the worldwide PC market.

Lenovo, like several multi-billion greenback firm with a world footprint, has big inside IT wants.

These wants, starting from core system operations, e-commerce help, knowledge administration and cybersecurity to hybrid cloud and different modernization efforts, are throughout the scope of Artwork Hu, who rose to SVP and World CIO at Lenovo in 2017.

Hu’s CIO obligations are primarily dealing with inward. She is “answerable for all of the know-how that drives our enterprise day in and time out, and builds all of it” [Lenovo’s] non-product know-how,” he mentioned in an interview with CIO Dive.

Artwork Who, VP and World CIO at Lenovo

Lenovo

Hu’s tenure at Lenovo dates again to 2009, when he joined as government director after which VP of enterprise innovation and IT technique. Previous to that, he spent eight years as an analyst at McKinsey & Firm.

With a slowdown within the PC market after a protracted pandemic and slashing discretionary IT spending in inflation, Lenovo has turned its consideration to constructing out its software program and providers division.

The corporate fashioned a Service and Options Group (SSG) in February 2021 to centralize its as-a-service choices. To take that step additional, Hu added SSG’s CTO to his portfolio in April.

“We now have principally moved our CIO workplace to our options and providers group,” mentioned SSG CMO David Rabin.

The realignment displays the CIO’s rising function and expanded portfolio as a driver of the enterprise and in areas beforehand separated from IT.

Based on Hu, the strains between know-how and enterprise operate at the moment are blurring. When he appears to be like on the firm’s strategic initiatives, all of them have a enterprise proprietor — and, all of them have a reputation subsequent to him.

Regardless of the evolution of the CIO function, the know-how deployed by Hu’s group for Lenovo’s enterprise operations was unrelated to the options the corporate was bringing to market.

“We now have this goldmine of instruments, software program and different processes that we use internally, however it was by no means tied to the options we promote,” Rabin mentioned. “We will now stress take a look at software program provide chains, AI, Metaverse actions and hybrid cloud options that we promote to the skin world.”

Bringing In-Home Options to Market

Previous to taking on as CTO, Hu and his group centered on IT initiatives comparable to constructing enterprise administration capabilities to realize higher management over cloud sources.

SSG’s mission — promoting enterprise IT options to CIOs at different corporations — overlapped with lots of Lenovo’s inside wants.

“We take into consideration constructing new capabilities for companies day in and time out,” Hu mentioned. “The gross sales group will come to us and ask us to speak to our prospects about it so we will present them what we’re doing.”

The synergy between the in-house tech deployment and the advertising of these options to different corporations occurred organically. After taking a 45-minute assembly with Hu’s group about their configuration administration database platform, a buyer expressed curiosity in buying it. On the time, it was not on the market.

It snowballed, Hu mentioned. Over a interval of 18 to 24 months, his group pulled collectively Lenovo’s hybrid cloud resolution and assembled it round a collection of services that prospects needed to purchase.

“We have been already constructing capabilities for one buyer — that buyer is simply referred to as Lenovo,” Hu mentioned. “SSG is offering IT providers to prospects, and there are some internally shared issues about delivering Lenovo as a consultant world producer and distributing to different world corporations.”



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