Michael Hicks has been working in technology for 35 years, starting out as a developer at a healthcare software company and subsequently working his way through the ranks in financial services to become a Chief Information Officer.
But despite this vast technology leadership experience, he refers to himself as a businessperson rather than a technologist. "Technology is one of the tools in my toolbelt, but I really pride myself on having the ability to influence change and solve problems, whether that's through people, process or technology."
Before joining Emergent Holdings, Hicks held CIO and IT executive roles at a number of insurance and financial services organizations, including Lincoln Financial Group, MassMutual, and Guardian Life. He was ultimately drawn to join Emergent Holdings by the diversity of their services and the prospect of learning new industries.
"I'd been working in financial services for the majority of my career at that point" he says. "I've also stepped outside of technology and done stints leading business operations, to try and diversify my perspective and become a more well-rounded leader."
As an advocate of agile and lean management principles, Hicks is driving cultural change across the technology organization at Emergent Holdings. "We have a handful of cultural mindsets that we're focused on in 2021" he explains. "These are inspiring mutual ambitions, so our teams are aligned to what it means to deliver business value; sustained excellence, so we're focused more on problem-solving than firefighting; and building collaborative experts, so we can reduce pockets of knowledge and expand collaboration to enable organizational agility.”
"There's also a massive move away from monolithic systems in favor of modular architectures. To enable this, our employees are embracing DevOps as we shift to smaller and more frequent software implementations. These ongoing changes in how we work are going to be critical to our success going forward and will be powered by our core belief in customer centricity.”
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The fundamental question is always how much control am I willing to lose versus how much risk I want to reduce when moving to the cloud, and then making a choice based on the business value