Who is Rodrigo?
Enthusiastic Latin executive, Mexican born, I consider myself a successful leader in technological challenges at Softtek. With the right mix of knowledge, ambition, discipline, and fun, I have been able to execute the most complex projects for multi-billion customers and for Softtek itself gaining their trust and recognition.
Crossfit trainer, avid cyclist and fitness passionate, father of 2, while still been able to share with my family great success. Having a wonderful wife (married 25 years), a Caltech alumnus and a current MIT student, the surroundings and positive energy are just completed with the addition of my lovely dog: Mia.
Tell us more about your role in Softtek.
As Softtek global CIO, I was given the task to transform and evolve Softtek’s internal applications and systems. At currently 15,000 employees, the company growth has required all my experience of over 20 years of working with them. My experience in all aspects of operations and delivery have given me an edge on how to make this happen. In the last 10 years, from leading the US Operations as SVP and then moved to the CIO to use all the experience gained with multiple clients and challenging projects, I have refocused to Softtek innovation.
For the last 6 years, I successfully evolved the internal platforms and technological ecosystem and been able to globalize the operations, standardize the use of the applications and found efficiencies to make this at the most cost-effective way.
What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?
There are multiple challenges to sort when working on a Digital Transformation. The most difficult part is to manage too many moving parts and coexisting projects in an always changing company. It’s like building a new train over a moving train running on a changing track and being thrown the parts at you. You must accept that things are never steady and that your priorities may need to be adapted to the environment.
With this, the most rewarding part of it is when you look back and see the great length of successful projects delivered and that you have been able to maintain or gain speed even at those conditions. Looking back at how great my team has grown, just brings back a smile!
Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?
When I look back and review my career path, I often think there were some shortcuts on my way that I was not aware of. At the time, maybe experience, maybe callus or just pure luck, I oversaw some opportunities. But, once you dig down into the details with my current experience, I can understand that I may have failed if taken those opportunities at the wrong time. One thing I clearly have learnt is that you can’t force an opportunity because it will become a nightmare. You must be ready, either by knowledge, experience, or mentality.
I think that some of those opportunities that “I missed” allowed me to focus more on my family at the moment they needed me more. The right opportunities came when I was ready to tackle them. So, I wouldn’t change my decisions that took me here, I am the result of such “misses” and “hits”.
What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?
Every company needs and IT focused on them, still, most companies see IT as a cost-center rather than a partner. My strategy is simple: I don’t want them to think of IT; I don’t want the business to ever distract themselves in IT. Instead, I want to create such technological ecosystem that everything works, just works. The business should never think of IT, they just need to know things work better than expected and that their needs are addressed almost beforehand. This makes IT not a partner but embedded into the business. I want my team and services to be part of the business and not a different area.
With this ambition and goal, I will work on understanding the business needs and strategies and anticipating the technologic requirements. By the time they “ask”, it will be already done.
What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?
I was fortunate enough to have built an environment to allow remote work. All my applications were already in the cloud. The pandemic did not change how we operated and how we delivered. The real challenge was to continue helping customers which businesses were completely disrupted. Our main goal was to help accelerate digital transformations for industries and customers that were lagging.
Our industry (IT Professional Services) was challenged to deliver with distributed teams more than ever, to being able to design new solutions by sharing screens rather than whiteboards in a meeting room.
In the next years we will continue evolving our employee engagement strategies and their company’s journey so we can connect better with them, their interests and needs and provide the right environment to foster their growth.
Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.
There are many technologies that are indispensable to succeed in the current environment. Move to the cloud. Use as much Software-as-a-Service as possible (encouraging the use of standard solutions rather than custom built). Integrate in your platform employee journey solutions, performance management, career and recognition. Facilitate work from anywhere with the right security controls to ensure no data loss.
Implement zero-thrust solutions so you can minimize risks. And lastly, ensure a proper data governance is in place, so the people who needs the information, has access to it, in real-time and it provides the value needed and is protected from being lost.
If you must provide services to the company or clients, implement as much as possible self-service tools such as chatbots or AI solutions that can find, trace and even correct the problem for them.
What books do you have on your nightstand?
Interesting question, I have two:
- Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner and
- Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
As I usually read my books digitally, I have those two in paper because they were presents from my family and it just gives me great memories to read them and feel them.
I don’t read at nights; I go to sleep early (9:30pm-ish) as I wake up early for 1 or 2 hours of exercise in the morning. I read mostly in the evening (6:30pm-ish) when most work and meetings are done, and I want to spend some relaxing time before dinner.
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