Q&A: Daniel Reed, Reader's Digest

We spoke to the man in charge of the technology strategy for Reader’s Digest in Europe and Asia Pacific.

As part of our leadership series, IT Pro spoke to Daniel Reed, vice president of IT for Reader's Digest in Europe and Asia Pacific.

When it comes to change management and communication, it is never complete, never done.

Describe your role in three words.

IT/Commercial Leadership

How did you get to where you are today/into IT/business?

After university, I worked in several roles from general business graduate development, through to some great commercial management blending business support functions of IT and finance and operations. I then became a pure IT consultant and was promoted through the ranks of IT management and leadership within large corporations.

The constant was a personal drive and a focus on doing the right things that deliver results and a positive impact from IT.

What's the biggest challenge of being a modern-day CTO?

Partnering with business, which is changing so fast with so many challenges and ensuring IT is leveraged to add value in demonstrable ways through appropriate investments and solutions.

And the most rewarding thing?

Large-scale transformation project success. Leading a team to deliver needed changes that have a significant positive impact from both a technology and business perspective.

What is the biggest mistake you think you've made?

One key mistake that I have really learnt from is to never assume communication and change management has been completed or delivered. I learnt this when leading a global IT lead transformation programme.

Everyone should know, when it comes to change management and communication, it is never complete, never done. It needs to be recurring and continual to support the changes. What's more you need to measure the status from the actual people being communicated to. In many cases ensure accompanying formal/written agreements to the changes being communicated.

And, conversely, your greatest success?

Equally, I have experienced huge success around delivering large-scale changes successfully when IT, process and people changes are delivered very effectively in a co-ordinated programme.

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