Meet HMG’s Rockstar Tech Execs: Ashu Varshney, CIO and SVP of Cloud Operations at RingCentral

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I had an insightful conversation last week with Ashu Varshney, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Cloud Operations at RingCentral, a global provider of cloud-based communication and collaboration products and services for businesses.

Ashu leads RingCentral’s global technology team in delivering world-class cloud-first unified communication products to global customers as well as leading-edge technology services and a solutions portfolio to optimize business processes and enhance the employee experience.

I asked Ashu to scope out the major trends he sees impacting business technology executives and their organizations in the post-pandemic era. The first trend he sees is how companies are preparing for the anticipated global economic slowdown and its ripple effects.

“Everyone is looking at cost optimization, rationalizing their spend and bringing more efficiency into their IT operations,” Ashu says. “Everyone is looking to do more with less.”

The second major trend is centered around the use of artificial intelligence. “AI is no longer a hobby project. It’s become a real initiative that can move the needle for different lines of businesses within the enterprise. The AI trend will continue to be a focus in 2023,” he says.

The third significant trend he sees is the continuing evolution of work and organizational culture. “The pandemic has officially ended, but employee behavior has changed forever. Most organizations are now aligned to some kind of hybrid workforce activity – working remotely, working in the office, or some combination thereof,” he says.

The challenge for organizations is providing equitable digital experiences to everyone, whether they’re at home, on the road or in the office. “That’s going to be a trend that CIOs will have to battle through in 2023,” Ashu says.

Carving Out Cost Optimization Opportunities

Returning to the topic of cost optimization, Ashu sees opportunities for technology executives to play key roles in helping their organizations transition into a period of greater economic uncertainty.

“There is low-hanging fruit. For example, during the pandemic, the different lines of business were empowered to invest into their digital transformations,” he notes. As a result, redundant or unnecessary tools were purchased. “Now, it’s time to look back at what was purchased.”

In a typical organization, he says, “there are places where things are completely oversubscribed. You can reduce spend pretty easily by just harvesting the unused licenses. It’s not something that takes too much at the same time. And companies have different lines of business using different tools that pretty much do the same thing. You can consolidate to one provider rather than having multiple tools for similar functions. Those are the easy things you can do to reduce your load, your labor and your software cost while not disrupting meaningful initiatives.”

I genuinely respect and admire how brilliantly Ashu defines the trends, the opportunities and the techniques required to survive and thrive during the next wave of economic upheaval. I’m absolutely delighted that he took the time to share his valuable insights and advice with the HMG Strategy Professional Network.

Here at HMG Strategy, we’re already preparing for a great new year, and we eagerly look forward to another 12 months of incredible summits, conferences and executive-level meetings. We have a tremendous schedule in place and we urge you to visit the HMG Strategy website to learn more. Our next event is the 2023 Silicon Valley Global Innovation Summit on Feb. 28. Register today for this unique and exciting high-value executive summit focused on resilient leadership and driving fearless reinvention to deliver a secure digital strategy in a connected global marketplace.

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