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Taking the big leap

Taking the big leap

From CIO to global outsourcing company executive

More than a year ago, Peter Burggraaff met the representatives of HCL as CIO of Farmers when the outsourcing company bid for a contract with the retail group. HCL did not get the contract, but Burggraaff stayed in touch with them. “I felt they had a huge potential in a country like this.”

At that time, Burggraaff was focused on finishing the major projects he started with Farmers. When the projects were completed or rolled out before the yearend, Burggraaff embarked on new career options.

He spoke at a CIO conference in Stockholm and came across colleagues who were discussing outsourcing. “It was going to be the next big wave for them and they were [asking] how do you interact with people from India or China? How does it all work together? How do you manage change from an internal IT organisation to an external services provider?”

This experience influenced his next career move. Burggraaff, now programme director for HCL, is currently based in New Zealand but could be assigned anywhere in the world.

His CIO skills come in handy, he says, in particular knowing what the customer needs are and in managing change. “I believe every CIO will deal with a big outsourcing [project] in the future,” he says. At HCL, he says, “There is a lot of interesting opportunities to be part of a more strategic consulting space.”

He says it is important to have a long-term view of one’s career. “The key thing to keep in mind is where you [will] end up not two years from now, but 10 years from now,” he says. “You have to keep in mind the small steps you have to take to get there.”

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