Andy Callow was appointed Group CDIO at the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire in December 2020, and has spent the last three years unifying the Kettering and Northampton hospitals through one digital strategy, taking strides to adopt cloud, build an RPA Centre of Excellence, and roll-out AI proof-of-concepts.

Then the call came that CEO Simon Weldon was going on sick leave, and looking in-house for his replacement.

“It wasn’t part of my trajectory but I agreed to do it out of loyalty to him,” says Callow. And although it was a departure for him to helm an unfamiliar leadership role, unique opportunities presented themselves like fresh intellectual stimulation, addressing white privilege, and plans to stabilise the hospitals through winter.

Gaining a new perspective

Having started the interim CEO role in September, and appointed an interim successor for his CDIO role, Callow admits he’s still coming to grips with the new structure. In the first few weeks, he spent time preparing the organisation for a challenging winter, opening internal conferences, addressing Black History Month, and hearing from staff around the wards. Knowing that his role is temporary, his focus is on not letting anything slip through the cracks, as he adjusts working at a system level with less hands-on, day-to-day involvement, and more emphasis on being a facilitator for outcomes.

It’s still early days and Callow is unsure if he’d pursue a CEO role in future, but he’s enthused about a new perspective.

“The technical challenge of my substantive role as CDIO provides a lot of intellectual stimulation, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find similar stimulation in the new challenges I find on my plate now,” he says. “What I didn’t appreciate is that I’d also get that buzz from some really tricky problems you’re trying to deal with, which are wider organisational issues. I’ve been involved in conversations about the money for a while, but now I’ve got accountability for that to happen, rather than being part of the solution.”

This leap into the unknown can be unsettling, even for the most experienced leaders. Callow casts his mind back to earlier in his career when a series of promotions pushed him further into leadership roles and away from his love of coding. A “grieving process” ensued, as he moved away from a skillset he had built his reputation on, but he believes it won’t happen this time around.

“I’ve not felt that I’m losing all the techie stuff,” says Callow, formerly the head of technology delivery at NHS UK and programme director at NHS Digital. “I’ve thought that this is actually helping people do their best work in a different guise.”

A CIO’s leadership principles

Callow attributes his transparent and reflective leadership style to workplace experience and his own development, and cites Daniel Pink’s Drive as an influencing factor in letting teams become autonomous and take ownership, continuously improve, and buy into the mission of the NHS.

Callow also believes in the value to reflect on past achievements in order to tackle future obstacles and land key messages in meetings. The weekly notes he writes have also become a routine that helps crystallize successes and challenges, but also prompts new conversations with colleagues and third parties, helping to make sense of the more troubling weeks.

“I look back [at my notes] and say, ‘There was that situation’ or, ‘That conversation was fantastic’. Or, actually, ‘There’s a situation I need to put more effort into progressing’, or, ‘There’s a person I need to give more time to.’ If no one else read them, I’d still do them because it’s a discipline to look back on and think about what you’re doing.”

Callow keeps what he calls shadow notes of circumstances he’d rather not make public, and attributes this activity to the importance of being open, a key NHS principle that’s pinned to his wall at his office in Kettering, in North Northamptonshire. He takes a similar approach to Twitter, saying the social media platform doesn’t have to be about mudslinging, but an opportunity to forge connections. He recalls a time he Tweeted about the possibility of machine learning being used to improve bed management, an idea that would eventually spark online conversations, NHSX funding, and a proof-of-concept on bed scheduling with AI start-up faculty.

“That has now gone into a product that’s available, and that code is open-sourced on GitHub,” he says.

A CIO’s guide to addressing white privilege

Ranked in the top five of this year’s CIO UK 100, Callow drew high praise from the judges for a proactive approach to tackling diversity, equity and inclusion.

Last autumn, he bought 10 copies of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and invited the 300 staff across the digital directorate of both hospitals to borrow them. He also bought each member of the board a copy of the book. Later that year, Callow hosted discussions about tackling diversity and discrimination with the directorate and trust board, leading to a joint board development session on how to address racism.

The University Hospitals of Northamptonshire would go on to launch a new leadership programme for Black and Asian staff in the spring, while Callow has since recruited up to 25 board members to volunteer their time for career coaching sessions to these same professionals. Callow himself offers two hours a month.

“A lot of colleagues don’t have access to somebody who can have those kind of conversations, particularly if you’ve come from overseas and you haven’t built up a network,” says Callow, who is executive sponsor of both Trust REACH (Race, Equality and Cultural Heritage) staff networks. But he admits that addressing such issues can only begin with leaders getting uncomfortable, and tackling subjects that may be beyond their expertise.

“Reading White Fragility was a pivotal moment,” he says. “It made me feel more equipped to have some of these conversations.”

2023 is about stability and the next job

Callow says he is most proud of his automated coding project of endoscopy patient episodes, whereby the Trust has used AI to automatically code 87% of monthly endoscopy activity, with an average accuracy of primary diagnosis and procure assignment of 94%—approximately the same as a human coder.

He acknowledges there are challenges ahead for his successor Dan Howard to the CDIO post, from integrating digital strategies to rolling out electronic patient records, but as interim CEO, Callow is looking at the bigger picture of improving clinical collaboration, managing rising costs, and supporting staff through a difficult winter.

“We need to strip out some of those things that are no longer needed [from Covid],” he says. “And that’s hard when you’ve still got your emergency department full, ambulances queuing, and wards where people wait a long time to be discharged.”

Callow believes that CIOs are equally equipped to take the CEO role as other board members, and admits he would be more interested in a deputy CEO position than six months ago. Yet a return to familiar territory beckons.

From mid-January, Callow will become CDIO at the University Hospitals of Nottingham, a move influenced in part by a new challenge as well as a shorter commute. “There’s a lot I can contribute to their digital progression and I like the established links with the university that I can be part of,” he said. “The focus for the new year will be on getting up to speed with the NUH CDIO role and strong delivery.”

Diversity and Inclusion, IT Leadership, IT Management

Nvidia used to be just a graphics chip vendor, but CEO Jensen Huang wants you to know that the company is now a full-stack computing service provider, and that he may be an artificial construct.

With such lofty ambitions, Nvidia is moving into the cloud, delivering both hardware and software as-a-service. At the company’s GTC Fall conference last week, Huang showed off a few new toys for gamers, but he spent most of his keynote speech outlining the tools Nvidia offers CIOs to accelerate computing in the enterprise.

There was hardware for industrial designers in the new Ada Lovelace RTX GPU; a chip to steer self-driving vehicles while entertaining passengers; and the IGX edge computing platform for autonomous systems.

But it wasn’t only hardware. Software (for drug discovery, biology research, language processing, and building metaverses for industry) and services including consulting, cybersecurity, and software- and infrastructure-as-a-service in the cloud were there too.

Huang punctuated his keynote with demos of a single processor performing photo-realistic, real-time rendering of scenes with natural-looking lighting effects, an AI that can seamlessly fill in missing frames to smooth and speed up animation, and a way of training large language models for AI that allow them to respond to prompts in context-dependent ways. The quality of those demos made it at least somewhat plausible when, in a videoconference with journalists after the keynote, the on-screen Huang quipped, “Don’t be surprised if I’m an AI.”

Joking aside, CIOs will want to pay serious attention to Nvidia’s new cloud services play, as it could enable them to deliver new capabilities across their organizations without increasing equipment budgets. In an age when hardware costs are likely to climb and the industry’s ability to pack more transistors into a given area of silicon is stalling, challenges still exist for many.

“Moore’s law is dead,” said Huang, referencing Gordon Moore’s 1965 statement that the number of transistors on microchips will double about every two years. “And the idea that a chip is going to go down in cost over time, unfortunately, is a story of the past.”

Many factors are contributing to the troubles of chip makers like Nvidia, including difficulty obtaining vital tooling and the rising cost of raw materials such as neon gas (supplies of which have been affected by the war in Ukraine) and the silicon wafers chips are made from.

“A 12-inch wafer is a lot more expensive today than it was yesterday,” Huang said. “And it’s not a little bit more expensive, it is a ton more expensive.”

Nvidia’s response to those rising costs is to develop software optimized so customers get the most out of its processors, helping redress a price-performance balance. “The future is about accelerated full stack,” he said. “Computing is not a chip problem. Computing is a software and chip problem, a full stack challenge.”

Fine-tuning NeMo

To underline that point, Nvidia announced it’s already busy optimizing its NeMo large language model training software for its new H100 chip, which has just entered full production. The H100 is the first chip based on the Hopper architecture that Nvidia unveiled at its Spring GTC conference in March. Other deep learning frameworks being optimized for the H100 include Microsoft DeepSpeed, Google JAX, PyTorch, TensorFlow, and XLA, Nvidia said.

Nvidia Hopper

NeMo also has the distinction of being one of the first two Nvidia products to be sold as a cloud-based service, the other being Omniverse.

The NeMo Large Language Model Service enables developers to train or tailor the responses of large language models built by Nvidia for processing or predicting responses in human languages and computer code. The related BioNeMo LLM Service does something similar for protein structures, predicting their biomolecular properties.

Nvidia’s latest innovation in this area is to enable enterprises to take a model built from billions of parameters and fine-tune it using a few hundred data points, so a chatbot can provide responses more appropriate to a particular context. For example, if a chatbot asked, “What are the rental options?” it might respond, “You can rent a modem for $5 per month,” if it were tuned for an ISP; “We can offer economy, compact and full-size cars,” for a car rental company; or, “We have units from studios to three bedrooms,” for a property management agency.

Such tuning, Nvidia said, can be performed in hours, whereas training a model from scratch can take months. Tuned models, once created, can also be called up using a “prompt token” combined with the original model. Enterprises can run the models on premises or in the cloud or, starting in October, access them in Nvidia’s cloud through an API.

Omniverse Cloud

Nvidia’s Omniverse platform is the foundation of the other suite of cloud services the company offers.

Huang described the platform as having three key features. One is the ability to ingest and store three-dimensional information about worlds: “It’s a modern database in the cloud,” Huang said. Another is its ability to connect devices, people or software agents to that information and to one another. “And the third gives you a viewport into this new world, another way of saying it’s a simulation engine,” Huang said.

Those simulations can be of the real world, in the case of enterprises creating digital twins of manufacturing facilities or products, or of fictional worlds used to train sensor networks (with Omniverse Replicator), robots (with Isaac Sim), and self-driving vehicles (with Drive Sim) by feeding them simulated sensor data.

There’s also Omniverse Nucleus Cloud, which provides a shared Universal Scene Description store for 3D scenes and data that can be used for online collaboration, and Omniverse Farm, a scale-out tool for rendering scenes and generating synthetic data using Omniverse.

Industrial giant Siemens is already using the Omniverse platform to develop digital twins for manufacturing, and Nvidia said the company is now working on delivering those services to its customers using Omniverse Cloud.

Omniverse Farm, Replicator and Isaac Sim are already available in containers for enterprises to deploy on Amazon Web Services’ compute cloud instances equipped with Nvidia GPUs, but enterprises will have to wait for general availability of the other Omniverse Cloud applications as Nvidia managed services. The company is now taking applications for early access.

Nvidia is also opening up new channels to help enterprises consume its new products and services. Management consulting provider Booz Allen Hamilton offers enterprises a new cybersecurity service it calls Cyber Precog, built on Nvidia Morpheus, an AI cybersecurity processing framework, while Deloitte will offer enterprise services around Nvidia’s Omniverse software suite, the companies announced at GTC.

As Nvidia works with consultants and systems integrators to roll out its SaaS and hardware rental offerings, that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop selling hardware outright. Huang noted that some organizations, typically start-ups or those that only use their infrastructure sporadically, prefer to rent, while large, established enterprises prefer to own their infrastructure.

He likened the process of training AI models to operating a factory. “Nvidia is now in the factory business, the most important factory of the future,” he says. Where today’s factories take in raw materials and put out products, he said, “In the future, factories are going to have data come in, and what comes out is going to be intelligence or models.”

But Nvidia needs to package its hardware and software factories for CIOs in different ways, Huang said: “Just like factories today, some people would rather outsource their factory, and some would rather own it. It just depends on what business model you’re in.”

CIO, Cloud Management

By Viki Paige, Head of Broadcom Software Marketing

As recently announced, Hock Tan, Broadcom Inc.’s President and CEO, will be also directly overseeing the operations of the Broadcom Software Group. Now that Hock is leading Broadcom Software, we sat down with him to learn more about his career, personal philanthropy and areas of achievement.

Q: Having grown up in Malaysia, tell us a bit about how you got to the U.S. and what it was like to become an American citizen?

I came to the United States in 1971 on a scholarship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  I was both fortunate and proud to attend MIT. The American college and post-graduate educational system has always been a magnet for aspiring students around the globe. Like so many world-class U.S. colleges and universities, MIT has opened many doors for me, and made it possible for me to live the American Dream. I graduated from MIT in 1975 with both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, and then worked as a research engineer at Union Carbide Corporation for several years before attending Harvard Business School where I received my MBA in 1979. It was then in 1990 that I became an American Citizen.

Q: How have these defining moments shaped who you are and how you lead?   

I have the best job in the world as CEO of Broadcom because I get to work alongside some of the smartest and most creative people on the planet. Success is a team effort, and at Broadcom, we know that our talented workforce is our most valuable asset which is why we continue to take steps to ensure that we will have access to bright and hardworking talent in the future. The Broadcom Foundation, which funds science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs for middle school students inside and outside the U.S., is just one example of how Broadcom is working to encourage the next generation to take an interest in areas of study that will be critical to the continued growth of both our company as well as our country.

Q: What was your career path to becoming Broadcom’s CEO?

My path to becoming CEO of Broadcom was not a straight line. After getting my MBA, I began my career in the auto industry with General Motors, before moving to the food and beverage industry and spending a few years at PepsiCo. From there, I held leadership roles at Hume Industries, in the building materials space, at PacVen Investments, a venture capital firm, as well as at Commodore International, best known for its personal computers.

I made the transition into semiconductors when I joined Integrated Circuit Systems (ICS) in 1994. Five years later, I moved from being CFO into the CEO role after leading a management buyout. It was while working at ICS that I first had the opportunity to collaborate directly with the U.S. Department of Defense, gaining a security clearance as part of the work we did on the radar systems for the Patriot anti-missile program.

We eventually sold ICS to Integrated Device Technology in 2005 and one year later, I was hired by the private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts and Silver Lake Partners to become the CEO of Avago Technologies, which was a spin-out of the legacy Hewlett Packard semiconductors team. Avago later acquired Broadcom Corporation in 2016 and rebranded itself into the “Broadcom” that you all know today. I never would have predicted that I’d become CEO of this great company when I began my professional journey and consider myself fortunate to be where I am today.

Q: What personal initiatives and causes are important to you?

As I have had much good fortune in my life, it is really important to me to give back to the community and to others. Autism research is a cause that I’m deeply involved in and affects me personally as the father of two children with autism. My family has made substantial gifts to Harvard, MIT and Cornell to fund programs to improve the work-life of young adults with disabilities as well as to support research in the areas of neurodiversity.

Q: What has your greatest professional achievement been to-date?

I am very proud of the work that we have done at Broadcom in the 15+ years since I joined the company. The introduction of industry-pioneering products, such as optical navigation in PCS to the first Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM combo chip for mobile phones has enabled the company to achieve great success and to continue to be at the forefront of leading-edge innovation in technology. I look forward to welcoming the VMware team when the transaction closes to advance our strategy to build the world’s leading infrastructure technology company.

And if you haven’t taken a look, please visit https://Reimaginingsoftware.com, our recently launched website that contains useful materials about the VMware transaction and other relevant information.

About Viki Paige:

Broadcom Software

Viki is responsible for end-to-end marketing for Broadcom Software, ensuring that marketing strategies are developed and executed across the organization. Viki has extensive experience in product/solutions marketing, software solutions, and product strategy.

CEO, IT Leadership