The demand for high-level CIOs in PE-backed businesses has increased in recent years due to the need for strong technical leadership to help drive value creation and transformation efforts. Dimitri is a hands-on lead with over 25 years of experience in IT management and business operations, visioning, planning, and leading large scale digital transformation projects and major ERP implementations/migrations. We sat down to talk about his most recent success, and how he continues to provide the best results for his clients.
Q. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
I'm an independent consultant with 25 years of CIO-level experience. My areas of focus include interim CIO roles, strategic planning, business & digital Transformation, IT staff assessment and restructuring, and support with IPOs and M&A integration activities.
Q. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
As an independent consultant, I bring expertise and specialized knowledge in specific areas to my clients’ needs. The flexibility and scalability of my consulting services allows me to provide my clients with objective assessments and recommendations while enabling them to access specialized skills without committing to full-time hires.
My familiarity with similar engagements allows me to integrate with the client’s internal staff and processes quickly, navigate challenges effectively and minimize disruptions.
My clients can leverage my deep expertise without incurring the overhead costs of internal staff or the high cost of large consulting firms. Furthermore, the clients are able to leverage a high-quality knowledge transfer to improve their internal capabilities and know-how.
Q. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?
The increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams stems from the need for specialized knowledge with rapid value creation without the long-term overhead costs of internal staff or the high costs of large consulting firms.
Q. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
Assignment: Designing and implementing a technology integration strategy to support the merger of 3 global businesses.
Background: a global US based energy services company acquired a European competitor and decided to merge 2 of its US based divisions with the new acquisition to create a new company with operations in more than 100 countries. The company wanted to create significant synergies from the merger by eventually replacing 3 different ERP systems with one while integrating the existing ERPs through a Cloud based architecture for a seamless transition until migration to the new ERP is completed.
- Designing a cloud-based integration architecture that included an integration engine and a consolidated data lake.
- Assessing several integration tool providers and hosting partners, and selecting a strategic partner that had the right experience to deliver on the designed architecture starting with a zero-cost pilot.
- Implementing a successful pilot program to integrate the 3 on-premise ERP systems using the designed cloud-based SAP PI/PO architecture.
- Testing and validating the pilot.
- The pilot demonstrated more than 40% savings in time and 30% improvement in data quality by automating the integration across the 3 ERP systems.
- Team received buy-in from the company to proceed with full implementation and deployment of solution.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?
The advice I would give to those about to embark on an independent career is to identify your areas of expertise and the specific value you can bring to clients. Clarify your niche and develop a strong value proposition that sets you apart from competitors. Focusing on your strengths will enable you to deliver high-quality work and build a reputation as an expert in your field. Remember to continuously learn, adapt, and refine the approach to stay relevant and grow professionally.
Looking for valuable input across your strategic planning process, M&A strategy, commercial strategy, or operations planning processes? Engage with talent like Dimitri by posting a project now, or by talking to us about how to build up a pool of similar talent in the field.