Deere & Co’s new CIO talks about strategies, trends and career paths

Deere & Co, a giant of agriculture and construction machinery. Has appointed Ganesh Jayaram as Chief Information Officer from this month. However, this action does not really show a change in the direction of the company’s technology business, which was ranked 84th on the Fortune 500 list in 2022.

Jayaram has been working from within Deere and has been Vice President of IT since 2016, leading the transition from project to product, “Transforming the Agile Operating Model.”

InformationWeek caught up with Jayaram and talked about his career, Deere’s future strategy, and the market forces that will affect the company in the coming months.

Deere & Co CIO, Ganesh Jayaram

Deere’s IT strategy

The agile operating model is the transition of Deer from the waterfall development model to the agile model led by Jayaram as Vice President of IT.

Jayaram tells InformationWeek that this is the most proud achievement of his career.

“This is a major transformation of IT functionality,” he says. “This is a partnership between the IT department and partners in other businesses.”

It describes the high level, but behind it lies the deeper philosophy that many companies have pursued. Deer is no exception. Jayaram explains that the waterfall model brings a lot of value creation at the end of the project and makes IT subordinate to the business by taking over all the functionality that the IT team needs at the beginning of engagement. With the exception of quarterly updates on progress, the business side is not as involved as the development takes place.

“We moved from project to product as part of our operating model,” says Jayaram. “This may sound like a mere semantic change, but it’s not. It’s actually the basis for how we can reorganize ourselves into a product-based team.”

Deere’s IT is Software as a Service (SaaS) in that teams continually develop updates and improvements to their applications or products, rather than as a single release issued once or once a year. Aim to follow a model like. Every few years.

“The team remains involved throughout the life cycle and is responsible for ongoing upgrades,” he says. There is no such thing as “Hey, I’ve completed this project. I’m leaving the team and I’m going to do something else now.” “

This reorganization of IT capabilities allows IT to continue to work more closely with business users. It states that Jayaram is the most important aspect of change.

Market trend

Jayaram says there are currently three major trends. First, we focus on market opportunities. As Deere’s leadership mentioned earlier, we believe that company leadership is in a position to improve customer profitability and productivity. This means that there are many opportunities to sell more to existing customers in the market.

Second, Jayaram plans to address sustainability as a major trend for businesses, both in terms of their own business and the equipment used by Deere in its construction and agriculture businesses, as well as in-house IT businesses. It states that.

The third is the trend of automation. This is important for Deere customers who rely on the latest equipment with built-in automation. However, for Jayaram’s IT organization, there are some automation tasks to perform.

“We are trying to drive decision making in real time at the edge. We are doing a lot of real-time analytics to improve the quality of our operations, not only in machines, but also in factories and warehouses,” says Jayaram.

Best preparation for the CIO role

Jayaram says his many years of experience on the business side of Deer was the one that best prepared him for his new role as CIO.

He has played several roles in Deere since he got a job at the company in 2006, most of them on the business side, not the IT department. He is Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Global Director of Cotton Harvesting Equipment Lines, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ag & Turf in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. He explains why the background was advantageous.

“First and foremost, technology for technology is by no means an ideal result. Technology as a means of driving differentiated business outcomes and value for stakeholders (end users or various components of IT capabilities). We are considering investing in, “he says. “By incorporating a wealth of business experience that spans sales, market, product manufacturing, engineering, and corporate strategy, we can better identify who our customers are, what our goals are, and the role and role that technology plays in improving. I was able to understand it well. The lives of all those different stakeholders. “

“Given the work that prepared me best, I can say that all the roles I have had since joining the company were ready to take on these responsibilities even more,” he says.

Jayaram will take over Raj Kalathur as Deere’s CIO. Kalathur has moved to the role of CFO of the company. He also continues his duties as President of John Deere Financial and continues to oversee IT.

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