Successful business technology leaders learn to work closely with their C-suite executives and line-of-business leaders to effectively drive world-class, digital-first agendas. I spoke about this recently with Max Chan, CIO at Avnet, a global distributor of electronic components with end-to-end ecosystem capabilities and deep experience in developing and migrating cloud applications to IoT platforms using microservices.

As CIO, Max is responsible for all areas of IT throughout Avnet, including delivery of strategic IT business and digital transformation initiatives. He oversees the resources and capabilities of the global IT team and ensures that the organization maintains a secure and robust environment.

I’m proud to say that Max is a nominee for the HMG Strategy 2023 Global Leadership Institute Hall of Fame. In our conversation, we talked about how modern technology leaders develop and maintain a culture of continuous innovation. 

“Digitization is not a technology play,” Max explains. “It’s really about transforming the business, in the way we are improving business, interacting with our customers, supply partners and the entire workplace. It’s a strategy that we can all rally behind.”

As an exceptional leader, Max focuses on making sure that stakeholders are fully engaged and involved. “We generate so much excitement that my team is now being invited in front of customers to talk about things that we are doing and how we can actually work together to build that ecosystem and expand that ecosystem for the benefit of the entire industry,” he says.

I asked Max to describe his leadership style. Here’s what he shared:

“At the end of the day, it starts with the vision and the mindset,” he says. “For me, digital is not just technology. It is about delivering value to the business. How can we enable the business? How can we enable the strategic priorities in the business?”

I particularly admire how Max articulates a clear vision in which the entire organization embraces the digital agenda and essentially “future proofs” the company. He also understands the need to continually monitor the IT ecosystem for ever-present cybersecurity risks.

“The interesting thing about cyber is that it’s not one and done. You can’t say that we have already secured the environment and we are good to go for the next three years,” Max says. “Because things change so rapidly, we need to be able to keep up. We understand the threats out there, so we work hard to secure the environment as best we can.”

I am delighted that Max made the time to chat with me and share his insight with the HMG Strategy community. I truly believe that conversations like these add incredible value and elevate our performance as executives.