Cyber Leaders of the World: Bill Genovese, CIO Advisory Partner at Kyndryl

Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and your journey of becoming a CIO Advisory Partner at Kyndryl

As an internationally respected CIO and CTO who has lived and worked across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas, I possess considerable multicultural awareness as well as adaptability.

Over the course of my career, I have amassed an impressive track record of growing revenues, delivering next-generation digital solutions and optimizing operations. As a clearly known and acknowledged innovator, I have focused on what’s coming next in terms of emerging technology application and adoption such as Quantum Computing, AI, Blockchain, and Next Generation Analytics and Computing.

I am an innovative IT professional with over 20 years of experience, driving revenue and profit increases through value-enabling technologies for employers and clients in U.S., Europe, Asia, and South Africa, working with Kyndryl, Huawei, IBM, Crosslake Technologies, Wavestone, and KPMG.

I am skilled in designing, building, and implementing high-ROI strategic architecture, platforms, applications, and programs, delivering and creating business and technical strategies resulting in next-generation digital services, establishing and executing strategic plans, and providing strong innovation, digital transformation and operational leadership.

My technical expertise is focused on defining and raising architectural maturity for Enterprise Architecture while concentrating on critical architecture definition and delivery for Cloud Computing, High-Performance Computing (HPC), and data center architecture. I am adept at identifying emerging Health Tech Global trends and opportunities, modernizing architectures and technology while reducing risk as a CTO.

My core functional emphasis includes leadership at the cross-enterprise portfolio and LOB level, and business, financial, technology, and operational analytics. I am relentless in the pursuit of excellence yet empathetic to my team’s needs, which further illustrates the exacting standards exercised to cultivate trust, relationships, engagement, and performance, unifying all stakeholders and resources to make our objectives a reality.

What drew you into working for Kyndryl and what does your current role entail?

Kyndryl is a former IBM division (IBM Global Technology Services) which I worked in as an Executive Architect, Chief Engineer, and Client Technical Leader, advising Enterprise Client CIOs and CTOs for 6 years. In addition as a four-time CIO and CTO for smaller companies since leaving IBM in 2015, and a VP of Corporate Strategy, this was a natural best-fit career progression opportunity to advise Enterprise CxOs for Kyndryl’s client base.

Kyndryl CIO Advisory Partners have a proven track record as trusted advisors to senior client IT and business leaders based on industry experience and technical subject matter expertise that are combined to identify, shape, and solve the most complex and meaningful client problems. They drive the full pre-sales cycle from origination to closure of opportunities that span the capabilities of our Advisory and Implementation Services (A&IS) portfolio while initiating, creating, and maintaining relationships at the most senior client levels.

We propose, close, and deliver customized client engagements that provide valuable assessments, strategies, and roadmaps for technologies/platforms across our A&IS portfolio to drive a modernization agenda. We deliver business development and relationship management: Develop and maintain relationships with key client stakeholders, develop pipeline and originate deals with C-level clients, lead pursuit teams, lead and contribute to the proposal development and negotiation process. We bring technical thought leadership, success stories and points of view on IT modernization, and identify land and expand opportunities by leveraging consulting entry points to drive bigger transformational programs.

What do you see as the hottest trends within your industry today?

We are at an inflection point in the Technology industry at the intersection of a number of industry verticals including Financial Services, Healthcare, Government, Telecom, Retail, and Manufacturing, fueled by digital disruption, and the convergence of emerging technologies such as Blockchain, AI and ML, IoT, and Quantum Computing.

The pandemic has fueled the usage and application of increased consumer expectations of “next-generation digital services” through the shared economy that not only highlighted the gap between the market economy and the consumer economy but in many cases has closed the gap more through new business model innovations and pivots, and the delivery and enablement of emerging technology convergence.

The traditional industry incumbents can no longer feel “safe” and comfortable in their swim lanes resting on legacy technology stacks. They are being disrupted by the expansion of business models and fueled by mobile, edge, and cloud services by new market entrants that are nimble and market proactive.

All of this new digital disruption has provided a means for new entry points and attack vectors for bad actors. Advanced context and transaction-sensitive cybersecurity are required now to keep up with the rapidly changing ecosystem of industry verticals that are converging together through newer technologies. Hence, the need for Zero-Trust-based security architecture and advanced cybersecurity through digital identity and the appropriate biometrics aligned with functional transaction authorization.

What challenges do you and your customers face with managing 3rd party risk and how do you overcome them?

In enterprise IT estates and environments today, and with many companies using more than one cloud vendor, it’s very challenging to diagnose and identify the root cause should there be a breach, outage, or service disruption.

As enterprises move more and more outside the traditional four walls of the data center and embed digital business services in ecosystem partners, customers, suppliers, and vendor systems, there is a heightened requirement for proactive due diligence and preparedness as well as an updated security blueprint and architecture.

Kyndryl has a deep and broad resiliency and security product and portfolio services offering through an integrated cyber resilience approach that enables enterprises to anticipate, protect against, withstand, and recover from adverse cyber events.

The accelerated push to digitization has introduced cyber resilience as a key priority for C-suite leaders. With the shift to hybrid work and an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape, ensuring a secure and resilient business is fast becoming a board-level mandate. Organizations must not only protect their business from cyber threats but also ensure continuity and recovery in the face of any disruptions.

Security and Resiliency Services from Kyndryl helps our customers embed cyber resilience into your broader IT and operational strategy. Our integrated cyber resilience framework enables you to manage rapidly evolving operational risks, effectively protect business-critical infrastructure, and mitigate the business impact of security and resiliency incidents.

On a more personal note, what is something surprising you’ve learned this year that our readers would benefit from knowing?

That we can overcome a lot of challenges at the intersection of our personal lives and business lives if we take the appropriate proactive measures to make ourselves more resilient. I’ve been very active physically and have been running competitively again for the past 2.5 years, and this has definitely contributed to my well-being, mindset, and overall outlook.

The progress is symbolic and very much like what we see in our professional lives; some days are not so good, and others are great. But there is always forward progress and this makes it all worthwhile. I’ve re-learned that you need to prioritize well-being and health in balance with your professional life for optimal returns.

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