Editor’s note: This article is part of The Water Cooler, a recurring column for technology executives to digest, discuss and debate. Next up: What’s the oldest IT system you’ve encountered in your career? Email us here.
Work spouse. Partner in crime. Office best friend. Whatever it’s called, most people have a go-to colleague to call up to vent, to help on a project or just to chat with.
In the remote space, sustaining those relationships has gotten trickier. No more popping by a desk to ask what’s up during mid-afternoon slumps or taking the long route to get coffee together. Replaced by videoconferencing and virtual happy hours, work friendships have changed.
To show those work acquaintances some appreciation, CIO Dive asked IT executives to highlight a coworker they go to get the job done:
(The comments below have been lightly edited for length and clarity.)
Chris Bedi, ServiceNow CIO
“Because every major technology investment requires the CFO to be involved, close collaboration between the CIO and CFO is key.”
One of my work partners in crime is Gina Mastantuono, ServiceNow’s chief financial officer. COVID-19 accelerated the need for digital transformation, and as a result, there isn‘t a single transformation that‘s happening within any company that isn‘t empowered by technology. And because every major technology investment requires the CFO to be involved, close collaboration between the CIO and CFO is key.
Gina and I are in sync on strategic initiatives and are transparent on cost, projected ROI and challenges — this has led to close collaboration between our two teams. Take machine learning, for example. It requires several months to incubate, so we need to be comfortable knowing technology investments won‘t have the desired outcome right away. That‘s where having a completely open relationship with the CFO is key. And by being transparent, we have the room to experiment and explore different areas of innovation to invest in.
We don‘t always agree, but there is a lot of healthy debate and trust. I‘m very proud of the fact that we‘ve been able to build this relationship across the C-suite in a remote environment.
Erika Flora, Beyond20 CEO and co-founder
“When it comes down to it, our allies at work are those that we trust and those that we work to build trust with.”
Beyond20 CEO and cofounder
I co-founded Beyond20 with my husband, Brian. He‘s my “work spouse,” I suppose, because he‘s also my actual spouse. Having a business partner has been a fantastic experience as I have someone in the same entrepreneurial “boat” to lean on, collaborate with, and find encouragement (when needed) to keep going.
The one drawback is that the boundaries between work and home life blur. My husband and I, however, make up only 40% of our five-person leadership team; and I can count on every member of our team to bounce ideas off of and find…