Great time to be a CIO: Pip Marlow, Salesforce CEO APAC

by Athina Mallis

It has never been a better time to be a CIO, as technology, innovation, digital, and data are on the agenda at the board level, according to Pip Marlow, CEO APAC at Salesforce.

Marlow told attendees at MuleSoft Connect in Sydney that the role of IT CIOs to be trusted advisors is more important now than ever.

“It’s how do we transform your business, the role of the CIO to be that advisor for the c-suite and to the board is important now more than ever. It is a good time to get into that trusted advisor role,” she explained.

As more organizations emerge from the pandemic, they face potential financial instability this year with an impact on the economy and supply chains.

Marlow spoke to several businesses about how customers are shifting their expectations. She said customers are demanding key technology decisions that will positively impact sustainability and for businesses to do more with less.

“When more and more customers say, ‘are you net zero?’ and ‘how are we bringing net zero in?’ their customers are demanding that of them. So definitely seeing a change in the customer experience and expectation.

“We’re seeing them talk more around what are the key technology decisions we have to make sure our business is sustainable and resilient? Often it’s those big massive projects where there is concern around they want to make technology decisions that are smart and consumable and strategic,” she said.

“More than ever right now, the same has to do more with less. A lot of pressure financially after having a few challenging years was a real tone of how can we do more and be operationally smart?”

Josh Rutberg, SVP of customer success at MuleSoft told attendees that CIOs and CEOs are focusing on growth and business transformation.

“What’s happening now, is there’s still a focus on growth but in addition, they’re saying we have to focus on efficiency, productivity, and resiliency,” he explained.

“By fundamentally having technology underpinning it, that is truly the only way you can have business growth while having efficiency, productivity, and resiliency.”

While this might be the case, there are some challenges that come with trying to attain that efficiency, productivity, and resilience, Rutberg said.

“There’s a transformation gap and a skills gap, we can’t hire as many people as we need to. There are redundant processes that exist and there’s a lack of governance,” he said.

“We have legacy systems getting in the way of what we’re trying to do and there are siloed data to overcome these.”

Rutberg said the companies that are going to be able to do that are the ones that are most adaptable.

“If you’re going to be adaptable, you have to be thinking about automation. You have to have automation as your go-forward plan.

“You need automation, you need a strategy that leads us to what we call the transformation playbook. What do you need: growth, efficiency, agility at scale, and continuous innovation,” he added. 

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Hakan Ozturk

Hakan Ozturk
Founder,, #1 Weekly Customer Success Newsletter

Hakan Ozturk is a Paris-based Customer Success leader with over 15 years of experience in the computer software industry. Passionate about driving growth and delivering value to strategic customers, Hakan has established himself as a trusted industry expert. As the Founder of The Customer Success Café Newsletter and, Hakan provides valuable industry insights and daily-updated job opportunities worldwide in the field of Customer Success. Connect with Hakan to boost your career in CS and your company’s potential for massive growth.

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