Chris Sullivan, senior vice president and chief information officer at Serco, has been appointed chair of the WashingtonExec CIO Council for 2021-2022.
Sullivan brings more than 30 years of experience in the IT arena to the council, currently leading Serco’s corporate IT department and overseeing strategic direction of its IT systems.
As council chair, he plans to leverage his connections to bring in meaningful speakers who can provide insightful collaboration, discussion and value to members.
“One of the benefits I see of the CIO council is the ability to collaborate and share ideas and experiences that many of us are all dealing with, because a lot of it is the same thing,” Sullivan said. “I see my role as the council chair as really being a facilitator and ensuring that we’re discussing topics that are meaningful to all council members and that we’re engaging speakers that can provide insights on certain things that we’re all faced with.”
Many of those topics include labor market changes, hiring tech talent, next-generation collaboration and return to workplace policies. While not technical topics by nature, Sullivan said most CIOs are dealing with these challenges in different ways, especially with the resurgence of the COVID-19 variant Delta.
Impending CMMC certifications, migrating to the cloud and the right technology solutions for cloud platforms are a few of the more technology-related topics Sullivan hopes to discuss with the council.
“The benefit of this council is being able to collaborate and share ideas and experiences,” he said. “We can collaborate with regard to how we measure our technology performance . . . to ensure that we’re measuring performance the same way that would be meaningful to our customers.”
Sullivan feels strongly about sharing experiences as the industry is entering a new way of working – one he believes will be around for the foreseeable future. People are no longer sitting in an office across the table from each other, so next-generation collaboration tools will be critical for productivity, and Sullivan wants members to share what they’re doing to maintain business continuity.
“In my role, I need to facilitate making sure those conversations are taking place,” he said.
And Sullivan plans to leverage his extensive experience in the industry to help lead those discussions. Prior to joining Serco, he was CIO of CSC’s North American Public Sector, where he was responsible for the strategic direction, operations and overall business management of the internal IT environment for a business unit with more than 29,000 employees. Before CSC, he held various positions in IT strategy, operations and software development at AT&T, DynCorp and Network Access Solutions.
So, while he finds great value in connecting CIOs with government officials, he wants to ensure members are connecting with each other. Perspectives from fellow industry executives will help members understand they’re not alone in the challenges they’re facing.
“I think we get value from not only talking with our government customers and partners, but also our industry partners that we all use as suppliers of services. I think both of those play an equally important role in terms of having those discussions with people across the council,” he said.
For the meantime, those gatherings and council networking events will remain virtual. But Sullivan is eager to get the members together in person when it is safe to do so.
“What I hope to accomplish is to facilitate a good, collaborative environment with my peers, as well as with our government customers, where we can all get a better understanding and collaborate on some of the similar challenges that we’re facing,” Sullivan said.