“The Digital CIO”: An Experience In The Digital Economy

Thomas Saueressig

Introducing the Digital CIO series

The way business success was measured in the past doesn’t hold up against the demands of an ever-expanding digital environment. The digital reality has changed forever the way we live and do business. And no one better understands the opportunities and the challenges of digital enterprise transformation than the CIOs of today. Staying engaged on this topic is critical to ensure the success of the digital journey.

That is why I am excited to introduce the “The Digital CIO,” a new blog series in the CIO Knowledge section of the Digitalist Magazine by SAP. The premise of this blog series is to be a continuous source of insight and inspiration from CIOs to their peers all over the world. Top executives from global industries will share their experience in incorporating sophisticated new technologies, what they have learned, and what has been successful for them. This series is a reflection based on real stories told by CIOs who have taken necessary steps to improve speed and efficiency, eliminate wasteful practices, and avoid or overcome costly mistakes in their organizations.

Meet our first digital CIO

“The Digital CIO” launches with Cristiano Barbieri, the CIO and director of Customer Relationship and Technology Strategies of SulAmérica in Brazil. His first blog examines the rise of the dual-role CIO, and how merging responsibilities for both IT and customer relationships is helping SulAmérica maintain its leadership position in Brazil’s fast-paced insurance market. In his blog series, Cristiano explains how he and his team recognized the importance of an internal cultural shift to take digital transformation from cliché to reality.

 A CIO-to-CIO community

In my work with executives around the world, I am fortunate to meet leading CIOs with invaluable insights about advancing their organizations towards technological innovations. This is an experience I would like to share, and it inspired the idea of the Digital CIO blog series. The objective is to create a community of CIOs who will discuss what they have learned about work ethics in the digital era and how their organizations were changed by leveraging groundbreaking technologies to address the fast-paced demands of our digital economy.

Each blogger will provide personal guideposts on how to navigate what may seem difficult and uncharted territory. These are executive accounts of shared facts, figures, and findings to help other leaders make their best technology decisions. It will guide them on how to interact successfully with CEOs and CFOs, and how to make a compelling business case for technological innovation to their leadership.

I hope you are as excited about this series as I am, and I wish you all the best for your organization’s digital journey. I welcome your input on this new series and on what area of technology you’d like to learn more about. Please feel free to comment below.

With IT increasingly central to every business – from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself – we all need to start thinking like CIOs. Learn how to Hack the CIO.


Thomas Saueressig

About Thomas Saueressig

Thomas Saueressig is chief information officer, global head of IT Services, and a member of the SAP Chief Technology Officer circle. In his role as SAP CIO, he represents the entire IT organization internally and externally. He works to enable SAP’s IT organization to become agile, user-centric, and business-driven, with a cloud-first approach. His teams enable new business models and optimize business processes by leveraging the latest technologies and innovations, to provide a modern workplace. Thomas has vast experience in the global IT organization, starting with building up the Enterprise Mobility organization and leading all cross functions, over to heading the entire IT Project Delivery and Client IT organization globally. His focus is to create a user-centric IT organization, that delivers great user and customer experiences and changes the perception of IT. Prior to this, he supported Executive Board Member Gerhard Oswald as Executive Board Assistant in his daily operations and strategic projects. Thomas started his career in SAP Consulting where he successfully led multiple CRM customer projects. Thomas was honored to be included on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list in 2016 and was recognized in 2017 as one of Constellation Research’s Business Transformation 150, a list that recognizes the top global executives leading transformation efforts in their organizations. He has a degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim (Germany), and a joint executive MBA from ESSEC (France), and Mannheim Business School (Germany).