CIO is proud to unveil the expanded CIO100 awards in 2022, recognising the top 100 senior technology executives and teams driving innovation, strengthening resiliency, and influencing rapid change.

Winners were unveiled during an in-person awards ceremony at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, housing more than 200 executives from all key markets across ASEAN, Hong Kong and the wider region.

Aligned to Foundry’s global awards program, CIO100 is viewed as a mark of excellence within the enterprise.

First launched as the CIO50 in ASEAN during 2019, the decision to expand the initiative to CIO75 and now CIO100 is in recognition of a wealth of standout submissions, increased interest levels, and a desire to showcase examples of transformation best practice across all markets and sectors.

In addition to individual recognition, new Team of the Year awards were launched spanning the key categories of Innovation, Customer Value, Strategy, Talent, Resiliency, and Culture.

Collectively, CIO100 registered a record year in 2022 with more than 280 nominations submitted, over 20 industry sectors on show and more than eight markets represented — including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Myanmar among others.

CIO100 is not only a true representation of the regional market but a true illustration of the outstanding achievements delivered by individuals, wider teams and entire organisations.

“This is a stunning statement from the market,” said James Henderson, Editorial Director of CIO. “Irrespective of ongoing societal challenges and worsening economic conditions, this region continues to power forward unperturbed – the market has once again raised the bar to set new levels of innovation.

“To house another record-breaking year of CIO100 is testament to the transformative nature of CIOs and their respective teams – all are playing a crucial role in delivering on the promise of technology to customers across the region. Congratulations to our standout winners.”

In 2022, CIO100 was judged on the core pillars of Innovation and Leadership, honouring transformational, inspiring, and enduring CIOs at both in-country and regional levels.

Under the Innovation pillar, the nomination described the technology innovations introduced over the past 18-24 months that changed the way the business operates. Under the Leadership pillar, the nomination outlined the ways in which the technology leaders collaborated and influenced the wider organisation and its leadership team.

All entries were reviewed by a select and independent CIO100 judging panel, who rated each section of the questionnaire to determine the final list. The most powerful nominations provided real-world examples of where technology and digital chiefs are successfully providing value to organisations, driving innovation and leading teams.

As evidenced in 2022, this is a market which continually raises the bar for industry excellence through the deployment of bleeding-edge technologies and enhanced business models.

Such work also cements CIO100 – held in association with Slack, Workday, Korn Ferry and SoftServe – as the leading awards program for technology leaders in the region, forming part of a broader Asia Pacific initiative alongside the CIO50 Australia, CIO50 New Zealand, and CIO100 India awards. These are in addition to CIO100 awards in the US and UK, plus CIO50 Middle East awards.

CIO100 Awards – Sponsors 2022

Honouring the top tech leaders and teams in 2022

Top ranked CIO is Charassri Phaholyotin – Chief Information Operations Officer (CIOO), Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG) – of Thailand. This was followed by Suhail Suresh (Group CTO, Maybank – Malaysia); Rowena Yeo (CTO, Johnson & Johnson –Singapore); Jimmy Ng (Group CIO, DBS Bank – Singapore) and Bryan Leo Asis (CIO, Alaska Milk [FrieslandCampina] – Philippines).

The remaining top 10 included Yan Mung Hou (Head of Group Technology, CapitaLand –Singapore); Aaron Lee (CIO, Blue Insurance – Hong Kong); Stuart Gurr (Group CIO / CTO, Deutsche Bank – Singapore); Rama Sridhar (EVP of Strategic Customer Solutions, Mastercard – Singapore) and Alvin Ong (CIO, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Singapore).

Team of the Year honours spanned Singapore Airlines (Resiliency); NTU (Strategy) and DBS Bank (Talent) alongside joint winners J.P. Morgan and Ministry of Social & Family Development (Customer Value); DHL and Standard Chartered (Innovation) and Maybank and Tokopedia (Culture).

CIO congratulates all honourees in 2022. The top 10 CIOs are ranked – the remaining 90 honourees recognised are listed alphabetically by name.

CIO100 ASEAN 2022:

Charassri Phaholyotin – CIOO, KBTGSuhail Suresh – Group CTO, MaybankRowena Yeo – CTO, Johnson & JohnsonJimmy Ng – Group CIO, DBS BankBryan Leo Asis – CIO, Alaska Milk (FrieslandCampina)Yan Mung Hou – Head of Group Technology, CapitaLandAaron Lee – CIO, Blue InsuranceStuart Gurr – Group CIO / CTO, Deutsche BankRama Sridhar – EVP of Strategic Customer Solutions, MastercardAlvin Ong – CIO, NTUAlan Chiu – CTO, MoneyOwlAllan Wong – Director of IT, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)Andri Hidayat – IT Director, Prodia WidyahusadaAnthony Buchanan – CIO, ManulifeAries Suswendi – SVP of Digital Services, TripatraArmik Ayoubdel – CIO (Asia Pacific), BGC PartnersAswin Utomo – CIO, TokopediaAthikom Kanchanavibhu – EVP of Digital & Technology Transformation, Mitr Phol GroupAugustine Wong – CIO, Vietnam Prosperity BankAxel Winter – Chief Digital Officer, Siam PiwatBhuvanesh Shukla – CTO, AGD BankBiren Kundalia Regional – CIO, Tokio Marine AsiaBrian Chan – IT Director, Jebsen GroupBudi Tedjaprawira – Head of IT, Starbucks IndonesiaCarlos Santos – Chief Technology and Transformation Officer, AXA PhilippinesChee Yuen Yap – Group CIO, Surbana JurongChew Han Wei – IT Director, Ritz-CarltonChi Chong Lim – Director of Group ICT, S.P. SetiaChoo Hoo Neoh – Head of IT, Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing (SAM)Dickie Widjaja – CIO, InvestreeDodi Soewandi – CIO, Adira FinanceDonseok Ahn – Global IT Director, ReckittDr. Andy Luk – Head of Digital Transformation & Insights, HK Express AirwaysEd Bizaoui – CIO (Asia Pacific), J.P. MorganEdmund Situmorang – Group CTO, Asian Bulk LogisticsEe Kiam Keong – CIO, Gambling Regulatory Authority of SingaporeFilipus Suwarno – Head of Technology Group, OCBCFrankie Shuai – Director of Cyber & Technology Risk, UBSGeorge Wang – SVP of IT, Singapore AirlinesHamid bin Hussain – President, Sepang Municipal CouncilHandi Tjandra – Head of DevSecOps, UOBHenk Van Rossum – Director of Group Cloud International, SOSHerman Widjaja – CTO, TokopediaIchwan Peryana – CTO, Finansial Integrasi TeknologiIshan Agrawal – Group CTO, Funding Societies | ModalkuIvan Ng – Group CTO, City Developments LimitedJeffrey Sheng – Head of IT (Asia Pacific), Sompo HoldingsJim Man – CIO, United Asia FinanceJim Sarka – Regional CIO, Johnson & JohnsonJocelyn Austria – Group COO, One MountJohn Ang – CTO, EtonHouseJohn Hsu – CIO (Asia Pacific), HSBCJulian Brinckmann – CIO (Asia Pacific), OlympusJuliana Chua – Senior Director of Global Digital Acceleration, EssilorLuxotticaKeith Chan – VP of IT, Wilcon Depot

CIO100 Awards – Sponsors 2022

Ken Soh – Group CIO, BH GlobalKevin Li – VP & CIO, GSKLeonard Ong – Regional CISO, GE HealthcareLeslie Yee – IT Director, Pacific International LinesMark Frogoso – CISO, MyntMel Migrino – CISO, Meralco and Women in Security Alliance PhilippinesMiao Song – Global CIO, GLPMohamed Hardi – CIO, National Heritage BoardNilo Zantua – SVP and CTO, RCBCNirupam Das – SVP of Global Digital Transformation, Liberty MutualNorman Sasono – CTO, DANA IndonesiaParminder Singh – Chief Digital Officer, MediacorpPeter Tay – Chief Digital Officer, IncomePoh Cheng Pang – CIO, SkillsFuture SingaporeRahul Shinde – CIO, Coca Cola (Vietnam)Rajiv Kakar – Group CIO, Thai Union GroupRajiv Renganathan – Global Head of Technology, Schneider ElectricRalph Ostertag – Director Digital & Technology (Asia Pacific), HeinekenRichard Lord – CIO (Asia Pacific), HSBC (Wholesale)Richard Parcia – Group CIO, Citadel PacificSachin Nair – CIO, Khan BankSanjay Thomas – CIOSetiaji Setiaji – Chief of Digital Transformation Office, Ministry of Health IndonesiaSetsiri Settaphakorm – SVP of Open Banking, KrungsriShariq Khan – VP of IT, Ergo InsuranceSharon Ng – CIO & Cluster Director, GovTech SingaporeShashank Singh – Group Chief Transformation Officer, Validus CapitalShekher Kumar Agrawal – President of Digital Transformation, Indorama VenturesSiti Rohana Mohamed Amin – Director of Technology, Malaysian Institute of AccountantsSudhanshu Duggal – Regional CIO, P&GSujit Panda – CTIO, BDxSupriya Rao Patwardhan – EVP / Global Head of IT Services, DHL GroupSutheshnathan A/L Sunmuganathan – CIO of International, MaybankTeck Guan Yeo – Chief Business Technology Officer, Singapore PoolsTerence Yeung – Executive VP / Group CIO, China Development FinancialTim Delahunty – Director of Technology, Commonwealth Bank IndonesiaTuan Anh Pham – CIO, Becamex VietnamWanthana Chotchaisathit – EVP of IT, TISCOWart Teao Phoon – Global IT Director, APL LogisticsWay En Yong – SVP of IT, Genting MalaysiaWinnie Rebancos – CIO, Coca-Cola (Philippines)Yee Pern Ng – CTO, Far East OrganizationYee Yu – CIO, Hung Hing Printing GroupYessie Yosetya – Chief Strategic Transformation & IT Officer, XL AxiataYew Jin Kang – CTO, PLUS Malaysia

Team of the Year – Customer Value

J.P. Morgan

As financial institutions embrace digital only solutions, J.P. Morgan is providing a digitally enabled experience for clients – offering a truly personalised engagement and journey empowered by seamless integrations with advisory tools and omni-channel functionalities. Such an approach ensures customers stay up-to-date, enhance communications and execute trades with real-time authority and insights.

Ministry of Social & Family Development (GovTech Singapore)

Government Technology Agency (GovTech) collaborated with Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS) to deploy transformative initiatives that deliver customer value and support social mobility. Significant investments have been made to develop people, processes and systems – including Social Service Net (SSNet), a case management system enabling the efficient administration of services and programs, such as COVID-19 schemes, all implemented within the space of 3-4 weeks during the height of the pandemic.

Team of the Year – Strategy

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

NTU wins this award in recognition of kick-starting a new phase of technology-enabled transformation to support the University’s five-year strategic plan – NTU 2025. The team designed an IT strategic planning process anchored on four key pillars (LEAP) – (1) Look Beyond Ourselves; (2) Engage Business Direction; (3) Architect IT Portfolio and (4) Prioritise the Way Forward… enhancing the experience of 33,000 students and 7,600 employees in the process.

Team of the Year – Innovation

DHL

DHL wins this award for leveraging the power of cloud-based APIs to capitalise on accelerating market trends in logistics, using new solutions to address globalisation, digitalisation, e-commerce and sustainability priorities. The team developed a Group API Platform aligned to the mission of “delivering best-in-class logistics APIs for everyone” – now allowing the business to process more than two billion requests per month, forming a key cornerstone of the organisation’s innovation agenda.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered wins this award in recognition of elevating the client banking experience to meet corporate transformation goals – housing a laser sharp focus on impactful innovations to drive commerce and prosperity. The team created observability platform Skynet to resolve the complexities of the end-to-end customer journey, leveraging the power of AI, ML, big data and advanced analytics to ingest 2.1 billion data markers in one day across four markets, six business services and 15 customer journeys – spurring significant revenue growth in the process.

Team of the Year – Culture

Maybank

Maybank wins this award for building a healthy internal culture that strives for excellence, underpinned by the three core principles of Recognise, Energise and Actualise. Recognise in the form of employee awards recognising exemplary leadership, teamwork and innovation; Energise to help staff surpass personal and group goals and Actualise aligned to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Tokopedia

Tokopedia wins this award for creating a culture of collaboration, togetherness and trust, evident by three core company initiatives designed to nurture the next generation of leaders. Tech Bench allows the top 1% of talents to be involved in a structured mentorship program; Challenge Period helps staff work on leadership skills and MyCoach focuses on training and certifications for those with a passion for coaching.

Team of the Year – Talent

DBS Bank

Central to the success of DBS as an example of digital transformation best practice is an expanding team housing industry-leading talent and capabilities – accelerated by coaching and mentoring programs, plus employee awards and technology academies. One such example is RISE (Reskill and upskill; Inspire; Share and Engage), viewed as the foundation recognising, showcasing, and nurturing talent through personalised programs, tools and resources – achieving 92% approval rate from employees across the company.

Team of the Year – Resiliency

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines wins this award in recognition of overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 and a drastic reduction in flight capacity to scale up operations with limited lead-time and changing government regulations. Within the space of three months, the Healthcert Service Layer (HSL) was developed and launched on flights from Singapore to Frankfurt and Munich in mid-July 2021 – offering a digital solution to verify health certificates alongside rolling out a Crew Journey application to optimise operations and enhance staff productivity… a relentless undertaking amid unprecedented difficulties.

CIO 100, IDG Events, Innovation, IT Leadership

If you’re planning a career as an enterprise architect, certifications are a great way to validate your enterprise architecture (EA) skills. As an enterprise architect, you’ll be responsible for developing the IT strategy for a business that keeps business goals in line with IT goals. Companies rely heavily on technology, so IT is now a foundational part of any strong business strategy. These certifications test your EA skills, knowledge, and abilities working with frameworks, tools, software, and best practices.

Whether you want to focus on cloud, applications, software, or other areas of enterprise architecture, one or more of these 15 certifications will help strengthen your resume.

Top 15 enterprise architecture certifications

AWS Certified Solution Architect
Axelos ITIL Master certification
Certified Pega Robotics System Architect
Certified Pega System Architect certification
CISSP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSIP-ISSAP)
EC Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
Google Professional Cloud Architect
ITIL v3 Master certification
The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)
The Open Group TOGAF 9 Certification
Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification
Red Hat Certified Architect
Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA)
Virtualization Council Master Infrastructure Architect
Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect

AWS Certified Solution Architect

The AWS Certified Solution Architect exam covers building an architectural design solution based on customer or client requirements, delivering best practices for implementation and overseeing the long-term management of an EA project. You’ll need hands-on experience with all AWS computer, networking, storage, and database services to pass the exam. The exam covers topics such as how to deploy, manage, and operate workloads on AWS, implement security controls and compliance requirements, identify the right AWS services to meet technical requirements, and knowledge of topics such as AWS Management Console, Command Line Interface (CLI), and more. You won’t have to take a course to pass the exam, but Amazon recommends at least six months to two years of hands-on experience using AWS before you attempt the exam. You can also download practice exams and training materials directly from Amazon to help you prepare for the exam.

Cost: $150

Certified Pega System Architect certification

The Certified Pega Systems Architect certification is designed for developers and other technical staff members who want to learn how to develop Pega applications. It’s an entry-level certification on the path to the Systems Architect certification path from Pega Academy. The certification path includes two more levels of certification with the Senior System Architect and Lead System Architect exams. The Senior System Architect covers topics such as application development, case management, data and integration, user experience, reporting, performance, security, and mobility. The Lead System Architect exam covers Pega platform, application, data model, user experience, security, reporting, asynchronous processing, work delegation, deployment, and testing design.

Cost: $175 per exam

Certified Pega Robotics System Architect

The Certified Pega Robotics System Architect certification is designed for systems architects and software developers interested in improving their skills with robotic automation and workforce intelligence. The certification covers the fundamentals of robotic automation, process flows, terminology, and the core building blocks of the Pega Robo Studio software. The course covers 15 modules with 10 challenges to help teach you how to “integrate robotic automations with Windows and web applications” and how to test your solutions with debugging tools. The exam covers topics such as case management, data and integration, security, DevOps, user experience, application development, reporting, and mobility.

Cost: $175

CISSP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSIP-ISSAP)

The CISSIP-ISSAP certification is designed for professionals with a Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSIP) certification who want to add a concentration in architecture. You’ll need to have your CISSP certification in addition to two years of experience working with one or more domains in the CISSP-ISSAP common body of knowledge (CBK). The certification validates your ability to develop, design, and analyze security solutions and to give risk-based guidance to help senior management meet business goals. The exam covers knowledge domains such as architect for governance, compliance and risk management, security architecture modeling, infrastructure security architecture, identity and access management (IAM) architecture, application security, and security operations architecture.

Cost: $599

EC Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)

The Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA) certification from EC Council is specifically designed for government and military agencies, with a focus on security and compliance. You’ll need to earn your CEH certification and be employed by a government or military agency or be a contracted employee of the government before you can take the CNDA course. It’s similar to the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and it’s intended for individuals who are trusted by their employer to “undertake an attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods as a hacker,” according to the EC Council.

Cost: $200

Google Professional Cloud Architect

The Google Professional Cloud Architect certification demonstrates your abilities working with Google Cloud technologies. The certification is designed to validate that you have the necessary understanding of cloud architecture and Google technology, and that you know how to design, develop, and manage secure, scalable, dynamic solutions to drive business objectives. The exam covers topics such as how to design and plan cloud solution architecture for security and compliance, manage cloud infrastructure, analyze and optimize business processes, and oversee the implementation of cloud architecture. There are no prerequisites for the exam, but it must be taken in-person at an official testing center location.

Cost: $200

ITIL 4 Master certification

ITIL is a popular IT management framework used by enterprise architects to help manage service processes. If you work in an ITSM environment with the ITIL framework, the ITIL Master Certification from Axelos is useful for demonstrating your aptitude in service management. The certification validates that you have the necessary skills and abilities to apply ITIL principles, methods, and techniques in a corporate environment. To earn the certification, you “must be able to explain and justify how you have personally selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods, and techniques from the ITIL Framework” and demonstrate your practical experience. Therefore, the exam is different for every candidate based off their own personal experience with ITIL in their careers. To qualify for the ITIL Master, you need at least five years of experience in ITSM in a leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory role. You’ll also need to earn the ITIL managing professional and ITIL strategic leader certifications before you can move onto the ITIL Master exam.

Cost: Exam fees vary by vendor

The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)

There are three levels of Open CA certification: Certified (Level 1), Master (Level 2), and Distinguished (Level 3). Unlike other certifications, you won’t have to take a course or pass an exam to earn your Open CA certification. Instead, it’s a program that requires applicants to “demonstrate skills and experience against a set of conformance requirements through written applications and peer reviews,” according to The Open Group. The certification is targeted at business, digital, enterprise, and solutions architects. You can use the online self-assessment tool to determine your potential qualifications for the first two levels of certification.

Cost: $1,250 with an annual renewal fee of $175 and recertification every three years for $250

The Open Group TOGAF Certification

TOGAF is one of the most used frameworks for enterprise architecture, which makes it a useful certification to add to your resume. The TOGAF certification is a globally recognized and vendor-neutral certification that will demonstrate your skills using the TOGAF framework to implement and manage enterprise technology. It’s offered through The Open Group and there are two levels of certification: the TOGAF 9 Foundation (Level 1) certification and the Level 2 certification, which you can take once you pass the first exam. There are also three new certifications designed to tie in the latest version, TOGAF 10, which was released earlier this year. This includes the TOGAF Enterprise Architecture Foundation or Practitioner certifications and the TOGAF Business Architecture Foundation certification.

Cost: $360 per exam

Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification

Offered by the Cloud Credential Council (CCC), the Professional Cloud Solutions Architect certification is designed for technology, application, system, and enterprise architects, as well as cloud strategy consultants and senior developers. The certification course covers ITaaS, cloud computing and service management, customer requirements, implementing cloud technology and evaluating cloud solution architecture. It’s targeted at technology, application, system, and enterprise architects as well as cloud strategy consultants and senior developers. There aren’t any requirements to take the exam, but it’s recommended that you earn your Cloud Technology Associate and TOGAF 9 certifications first.

Cost: $495 for the self-study materials and an exam voucher

Red Hat Certified Architect

The Red Hat Certified Architect certification includes the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), Red Hat Certified Enterprise Microservices Developer (RHCEMD), and Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer (RHCJD), which is the highest certification tier. To reach each level of certification, you’ll need to pass a handful of certifications on the systems administrator path or developer path. With the number of certification options, you can customize your certification path for your career by focusing on specific skills and technologies. The cost of each course varies depending on the subject matter and your location, but they run anywhere from $1,500 to around $4,000.

Cost: Fees vary depending on the course and location, but you can purchase a year-long learning subscription for either $5,500 or $7,000, depending on how many course credits you want.

Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA)

The Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) certification demonstrates your knowledge, skills, and ability to design and build solutions on the Salesforce platform. You’ll first have to earn your Certified Application Architect or Certified Systems Architect certifications before you can move onto the CTA exam. To earn your Salesforce CTA certification, you’ll also have to pass the Technical Architect Review Board exam. You’ll be provided with hypothetical situations, be given customer requirements, and then be asked to design an architecture solution. You have two hours to prepare and then four hours to present to the judges, including time for breaks.

Cost: $200 per exam and an additional $6,000 to pass the Technical Architect Review Board exam

Virtualization Council Master Infrastructure Architect

The Virtualization Council offers four certifications for popular virtualization products. Although the certifications focus on products from VMware, Microsoft, Xen, and Virtual Iron products, the exams are vendor neutral. The Virtualization Council is made up by a group of “industry-leading experts who have joined forces to create an organization which can offer an independent route to certification.” Membership is free, and the council focuses on offering certifications in four of the biggest virtualization platforms currently available. Each exam covers a specific enterprise architecture platform, so you can pick and choose the tools that align best with your career.

Cost: $125 per exam

Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect

The Zachman Framework is a popular matrix-style framework that helps organizations manage and oversee enterprise architecture. The Zachman Certified Enterprise Architect certification scheme includes four levels of certification: associate, practitioner, professional, and educator. The associate level exam focuses on the fundamentals of the Zachman framework and teaches you how to apply framework concepts to real-world scenarios. The practitioner and professional level exams further build off the associate-level exam, introducing how the methodology can be used to produce architecture models and implementation models. At the educator level of certification, the exam focuses on those who wish to create and teach curriculum based on the Zachman Framework concepts. Certification is offered via virtual workshops, either self-paced or instructor-led.

Cost: $2,999

More on advancing enterprise architecture:

What is an enterprise architect? A vital role for IT operations7 traits of successful enterprise architectsThe dark secrets of enterprise architectureTop 18 enterprise architecture toolsWhy you need an enterprise architectEnterprise architects as digital transformersCareers, Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, IT Skills

Senior executives around the world are realising their business success is irrevocably tied to their network strategy. Yet, the goalposts keep moving amid rapidly evolving network technology, making it harder to stay on a sustainable path of network growth.

This is clear from NTT’s 2022–23 Global Network Report, for which we conducted 1,378 in-depth interviews across 21 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Australia and New Zealand.

The interviews delivered a treasure trove of data about the importance of the network to organizations, how the network is transforming, how organizations manage and buy the network, and how it is delivered.

Insights from the top

From the survey results, another valuable layer of insight emerged: it soon became clear that most organizations at the top of their game from a business-performance perspective shared certain characteristics when it came to their network strategies.

For example, we found that nearly all executives (98%) agree that the network is a critical part of driving business growth – yet 72% believe that a lack of network maturity is negatively affecting their delivery and goals.

Ever-increasing security and compliance risks present further challenges. Distributed hybrid work models present far more attack opportunities for malicious actors, and compliance (including data privacy) is a complicated topic in a multicloud-enabled world. So, for most of our respondents, much remains to be done to future-proof their networks. But when we looked at the top performers, it was clear that they had already made great strides in this regard and in other areas.

We classified top performers as those with:

Higher revenue growth (increased by more than 10% in the last fiscal year)A stronger operating profit as a percentage of revenue (more than 15% in the last fiscal year)

Conversely, underperforming organizations were categorised as having:

Poor revenue growth (0% or less in the last fiscal year)A weaker operating profit as a percentage of revenue (less than 5% in the last fiscal year)

Network traits of top performers

Strategic alignment: Almost 9 in 10 top-performing organizations have aligned their technology strategy and their business goals; similarly, nearly 8 in 10 have aligned their network and business strategies, compared with only about 40% of underperformers on both counts.Investment in digital transformation and the network: Nearly 90% of top performers are accelerating their investment in digital transformation compared with less than half of underperformers.Increasing dependence on the network: Almost 70%of top performers believe strongly that their network dependency will grow in the next two years, but just more than 40% of underperformers say the same.Adoption of leading technologies: Almost 8 in 10 top performers have implemented leading technologies such as multicloud networking, edge computing, SD-WAN and 5G.A preference for outsourcing: More than 7 in 10 top performers already outsource most of their network management; more than half also believe their future network information technology needs will be fully outsourced and managed, compared with just over a quarter of underperformers.Network as a service: Top performers are almost twice as likely as underperformers to strongly prefer a network-as-a-service model (6 in 10 compared with 3 in 10).Sustainability: Top performers are almost 90% more likely to focus on sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals than underperformers.

These are just some of the many relevant and actionable insights contained in our full 2022–23 Global Network Report. The report also includes a look at the technologies on the rise that are affecting the network, suggests steps to follow to transform your network, and gives practical advice on future-proofing your network.

Download the 2022–23 Global Network Report now.

Amit Dhingra is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Network Services at NTT

Business, Business Intelligence, Multi Cloud

Supply chain management is a growing field and a satisfying profession, as a recent survey from the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) found that 96% of those surveyed were highly satisfied with their career in SCM, with average rating of 8.4 out of 10. The survey also found that it pays to get certified: SCM pros with at least one certification get paid on average 19% more than those who aren’t certified, and those with two or three certifications earn salaries that are 39% and 50% higher than the median, respectively.

And with the global supply chain remaining a vital concern for businesses across nearly every industry, the value of those with verifiable SCM skills will likely only increase, especially as IT turns to analytics and other data-related measures to help alleviate issues businesses face with their supply chains.

Whether you’re already making a career in supply chain management, or want to break into the field, here are 12 supply chain management certifications that can round out your resume and give you a leg up against the competition.

Top 12 SCM certifications

ASCM Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD)ASCM Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)ASCM Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)ASCM Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) EndorsementCertified Six Sigma Black BeltISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)Oracle E-Business Suite 12 Supply Chain Certified Implementation Specialist: Oracle Purchasing CertificationSCPro Council of Supply Chain Management FundamentalsSCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)SOLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)

ASCM Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD)

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), formerly known as the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), offers a number of certifications to demonstrate your SCM skills. The ASCM Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD) certification is designed for those focused on improving efficiency in distribution and warehousing in order to optimize the overall customer experience. The exam covers the best practices around logistics, transportation, and distribution with a focus on topics such as logistics overview, network design, sustainability and reverse logistics, capacity planning, demand management, order and inventory management, and global logistics and transportation. According to the ASCM, CLTD certified professionals report earning 25% higher salaries than those without the certification. To earn the CLTD designation, you will need to pass one exam, and to maintain the certification you will need to earn and submit 75 professional development maintenance points every five years.

Exam fee: $985 per exam for Plus members, $1,315 per exam for Core and nonmembers

ASCM Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

You’ll need to pass two exams within three years to earn your Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification from ASCM, and you’ll need to maintain your certification every five years by completing 75 professional development points. If your certification isn’t maintained within five years, it will expire before the 10-year mark, and you will be required to retake the exam. For every year that your certification is suspended, you’ll need to submit an additional 15 professional development points. When considering the cost, remember that you’ll have to pay the fee for both exams — the fee only applies to one exam at a time. According to ASCM, those with a CPIM certification reporting earning up to 23% more per year over their uncertified peers. The exam covers supply chain fundamentals, plan supply, inventory management, continuous improvement and quality management, strategy, sales and operations planning, and inventory, among other topics.

Exam fee: $545 per exam for Plus members, $760 per exam for Core and nonmembers

ASCM Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)

To be eligible to take ASCM’s Certified Supply Chain Professional exam, you’ll need three years related experience or a bachelor’s degree or international equivalent. As with the CPIM certification above, you’ll need to submit an extra 15 points for every year your certification is suspended if you let it lapse. The CSCP certification exam covers topics such as supply chains, demand management and forecasting, global supply chain networks, sourcing products and services, internal operations and inventory, supply chain risk, and optimization and sustainability. According to the ASCM, those with a CSCP certification report earning salaries that are 40% higher than their peers.

Exam fee: $1,095 for Plus members, $1,425 for Core and nonmembers

ASCM Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) Endorsement

The SCOR-P endorsement from ASCM validates your knowledge in the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model and methods. The SCOR model is a supply chain approach that helps link SCM to business goals, metrics, processes, and other internal departments and stakeholders. The exam is included in the course, which extensively covers the SCOR model to help you apply it to real-life supply chain problems, support organizational goals, improve efficiency, organize SCOR projects, and implement processes. To become SCOR-P certified, you will need to attend a three-day SCOR-P public training or an in-house corporate training where you’ll study the workbook material in a group setting and take the exam at the end of the three-day training. 

Exam fee: The exam is included in the course fee, which varies per program

Certified Six Sigma

The Six Sigma method was designed to streamline quality management and it’s still widely used today to help eliminate waste in processes, identify areas for improvement, and keep track of the supply chain while developing products. The Six Sigma certification scheme is often found within organizations, earning you “belts” as you move from green belt all the way up to black belt and make your way up the certification ladder. It’s typically used in large companies to create paths towards leadership in operations and to maintain a focus on efficiency and quality. The principles in Six Sigma can be extremely helpful for keeping your supply chain lean and agile, and it’s a valuable certification if you’re working in an organization that leans on the Six Sigma method.

Exam fee: Varies by location and provider

ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) offers a Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) certification that validates your knowledge on supply management functions across several industries. The ISM touts the CPSM as the “most recognized supply chain management certification” you can earn. To gain your credentials, you will need to pass three exams. The ISM offers several certification paths, including self-paced learning, learning bundles with everything you’ll need for all three exams, guided learning hybrid courses, and classroom-based training onsite at your organization. You can take the three exams in any order but to qualify, you’ll need three years of full-time SCM experience in a position that isn’t clerical or support. To maintain and renew your certification after four years, you’ll need to earn 60 hours of approved continuing education credits. If you already passed ISM’s CPSD certification (see below), you will not need to take the foundation exam for the CPSM certification, since it’s included in both. If you aren’t already a member, the cost of the nonmember fee for the exam also includes one year of ISM Direct membership.

Exam fee: $495 for members, $725 for nonmembers

ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)

The second certification from the ISM is the Certified Professional Supplier Diversity (CPSD) certification, which you can earn on top of the CPSM certification from ISM. It’s a relatively unique certification that focuses on the growing demand for companies to “engage in supplier diversity to be socially responsible or to meet customer or federal requirements,” according to the ISM. The CPSD certification consists of two exams, but you can skip the foundational exam if you already hold your CPSM exam. To qualify for the exam, you’ll need three years of supplier diversity or management experience and a bachelor’s degree, or five years of experience. To maintain your certification, you’ll need to complete 50 hours of approved continuing education credits over a three-year period. According to the ISM, those with a CPSD certification earn around 10% more than their uncertified peers.

Exam fee: $229 for members, $379 for nonmembers

NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)

The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) offers multiple certifications, including the Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM). The certification is designed for those who participate in government-to-business and business-to-business contract and subcontract activities, who want to better understand how buyers’ actions impact sellers and vice versa, and those interested in learning more about contract management. Candidates for the exam will need a strong understanding of the Certified Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK) and a minimum of five years’ experience in a relevant field. The NCMA also offers a Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM) certification for those working in or with the government and a Certified Commercial Contract Manager (CCCM) certification for those in the commercial industry.

Exam fee: $135 for domestic, $160 for international exams

Oracle E-Business Suite 12 Supply Chain Certified Implementation Specialist: Oracle Purchasing Certification

The Oracle E-Business Suite 12 Supply Chain Certified Implementation Specialist certification is targeted at intermediate-level implementation team members who are members of the Oracle PartnerNetwork with a focus on selling and implementing Oracle E-Business Suite Supply Chain Management modules. The certification is designed to show employers that you have the right skillset to navigate the R12 E-Business Suite, enter data, pull information, form queries, and access online help. You’ll also need to know how to manage the purchasing process, set up and use the R12 Oracle Purchasing software, and navigate purchase orders. The exam covers topics such as navigating in R12 Oracle applications, introduction to Oracle Applications R12, shared entities and integration as well as the fundamentals of Flexfields, Multi-Org, and Workflow and Alerts. It also covers topics such as purchasing, suppliers, document security, routing and approval, RFQs and quotations, approved supplier lists and sourcing rules, requisitions, and automation.

Exam fee: $245

SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Fundamentals

The SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Fundamentals certification is an entry-level supply chain management certification that offers eight certification tracks that cover the most important aspects of SCM. These tracks include supply chain management principles, transportation operations, demand planning, manufacturing and service operations, customer service operations, warehouse operations, inventory management, supply management, and procurement. There are no eligibility requirements and each exam for the eight tracks consists of a 40-question multiple-choice format and the credentials do not expire or need renewal.

Exam fee: $200 per certification track

SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

The SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) certification is unique in that it combines a multi-level education with a three-tiered exam process. There are three levels of SCPro certification and the first level, SCPro Level One, covers the fundamentals and eight elements of supply chain management. At the second level, SCPro Level Two: Analysis and Application of Supply Chain Challenges, you’ll be tested on your ability to apply SCM knowledge in various scenarios. The third and final level, SCPro Level Three: Initiation of Supply Chain Transformation, certifies your ability to “positively impact an organization” through a hands-on project that demonstrates your skills. You will need to renew your certification for all three levels every three years, which will require 60 hours of eligible professional development activities. You will need to complete at least 20 hours of professional development annually, but no more than 30 hours per year.

Level 1 exam fee: $650 for members, $975 for nonmembers

Level 2 exam fee: $1,095 for members, $1,500 for nonmembers

Level 3 exam fee: N/A

SOLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)

The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) offers a Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) certification in logistics, which is a key element of supply chain management in certain industries such as commerce, defense, federal and local government agencies, and education. The exam takes place twice a year in May and November over an eight-hour period, with two four-hour sessions; you will need to pass all four parts of the exam before you can earn your certification. It’s a relatively advanced certification — to qualify for the CPL exam, you’ll need at least nine years’ experience practicing or teaching logistics and two years’ experience in at least two fields of logistics. Each year of undergraduate accredited coursework in logistics subjects is equivalent to one year of professional experience, up to four years. For those with a master’s degree or doctoral degree, you’ll need four or three years’ additional experience, respectively.

Exam fee: $225 for members, $375 for nonmembers

More on supply chain management:

What is supply chain management? Mastering logistics end to endHow CIOs can help reduce supply chain anxietiesSupply chain woes? Analytics may be the answerSupply chain analytics: 5 tips for smoother logisticsSupply chain analytics: 3 success storiesWhat is SCOR? A model for improving supply chain management10 best graduate programs for supply chain managementCareers, Certifications, IT Skills, Supply Chain Management Software

Whether you are just starting your IT career or looking to upgrade your career path by benchmarking your skills, exploring CompTIA certifications could be a wise choice. It provides vendor-neutral, entry-level to advanced certifications on a wide range of technology topics.

According to CompTIA, it has awarded more than 2.5 million certifications in areas such as technical support, networking, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

Here are 14 top CompTIA certifications that will help enhance your skills and add value to your career.

Key CompTIA certs

A+Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)Cloud+Cloud Essentials+Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+)Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)Data+Fundamentals (ITF+)Linux+Network+Pentest+Project+Security+Server+

A+

The CompTIA A+ certification proves your strength in supporting core technologies ranging from networking to virtualization to end-point management and more. It also proves your strength in dealing with hardware, operating systems, troubleshooting, security, mobile devices, cloud, and operational procedures.

To earn this certification, you need to pass two exams, Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102), covering skills to support a hybrid workforce, including more dependance on SaaS applications for remote work; increased emphasis on troubleshooting and ways to remotely identify and mend software, hardware, or networks; managing and changing core technologies such as cloud virtualization, IoT device security, data management, and scripting.

More specifically, A+ 220-1101 covers mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization, and cloud computing. And A+ 220-1102 covers operating systems, security, software, and operational procedures.

It is recommended to have a nine to 12 months of hands-on experience in the lab or field[YS1] .

Cost: $246 USDper exam

Job roles: Help desk technician, desktop support specialist, field service technician, associate network engineer, system support technician, junior systems engineer

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes per exam

Passing score: For220- 1101: 675 (on a scale of 900); for 220-1102: 700 (on a scale of 900)

Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)

The CASP+ certification is for extremely skilled cybersecurity practitioners, not managers. While cybersecurity managers aid in identifying the cybersecurity policies and frameworks to be implemented, CASP+ certified professionals work out ways to establish solutions within those policies and frameworks.

This certification covers both security architecture and engineering.

The skills required to earn this certification include the ability to architect, engineer, integrate, and implement security solutions to combat complex environments to establish a strong enterprise; to implement security measures to on-premises, cloud, endpoint, and mobile infrastructure, keeping cryptographic technologies and technologies in consideration; and to understand the effect of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) requirements across the enterprise.

It is recommended to have at least 10 years of IT experience, with a minimum of five years of broad-based cybersecurity experience.

Cost: $494 USD

Job roles: Security architect, SOC manager, senior security engineer, security analyst

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 165 minutes

Passing score: No scaled score; pass/fail only

Cloud+

The performance-based Cloud+ certification puts cloud-based infrastructure services in perspective of broader IT systems operations irrespective of the platform.

With more and more organizations moving to the cloud, professionals get the scope to deploy, optimize, and protect critical applications and data. This certification validates the skills to secure these valuable assets, as well as your expertise in cloud architecture and design, cloud deployment, operations and support, and troubleshooting.

Operating in multicloud environment brings in new challenges, and the Cloud+ certification best suits cloud engineers who needs to possess deep knowledge and experience of multiple products and systems.

Cost: $358 USD

Job roles: Senior systems administrator, systems engineer, senior network engineer, cloud project manager, cloud engineer, senior network administrator, cloud specialist

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 750(on a scale of 900)

Cloud Essentials+

The Cloud Essentials+ certification is for both IT and non-technical roles that require a baseline knowledge to make educated cloud services decisions. It demonstrates that the holder, regardless of technical background, understands how to improve efficiency, manage cost, and lessen security risks whenever they need to make cloud technology decisions.

The certification proves that you have the basic comprehension of business and technical components included in a cloud evaluation. It also shows that you have knowledge of specific security concerns and measures. It also establishes that you can understand new technology concepts and solutions.

Cost: $134 USD

Job roles: Sales and marketing staff in cloud product or service management, business process owners, new data center staff, business analysts, managed service provider personnel, technical support staff

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 60 minutes

Passing score: 720(on a scale of 900)

Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+)

The CTT+ certification validates your forte as a technical trainer and designates you as a knowledgeable and effective communicator, with the ability to plan engaging lectures and practice tasks and exams. It proves your knowledge to utilize tools and techniques for imparting training and teaching in the modern-day business environment.

The certification demonstrates your skills and aptitude to organize, present, assist, and evaluate physical or virtual training sessions. You will have to submit a video of the training session instruction as part of the certification. In addition to having to pass the CTT+ Essentials TK0-201 exam, you will also have to pass either TKO-202 (classroom performance-based exam) or TKO-203 (virtual classroom performance-based exam).

Cost: $358 USD (TKO-201); $382 USD (TKO-202 or TKO-203)

Job roles: Training consultant, career technical training instructor, training developer/instructor, academic instructor

Exam duration: 90 minutes; instruction recording must be 17 to 22 minutes long

Passing score: 655(on a scale of 900); 36 (on a scale of 40[YS2] )

Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)

As cyber threat actors continue to become smarter in dodging traditional solutions such as anti-virus software and firewalls, organizations are taking an analytics-based approach to addressing these overwhelmingly sophisticated threats. This is why a strong cybersecurity certification makes you a coveted asset today. The CySA+ certification validates your ability to apply behavioral analytics to devices and networks to avoid, diagnose, and mitigate threats by continuous monitoring.

Skills tested include the capability to analyze and interpret data; detect and diagnose vulnerabilities; utilize intelligence and threat detection methods; implement preventative measures; respond to and recuperate from attacks; and compliance and assessment.

It is recommended to have the Network+, Security+, or equivalent knowledge and  a minimum of four years of experience in information security or related experience.

Cost: $392 USD

Job roles: Security analyst, security engineer, incident response or handler, threat hunter, threat intelligence analyst, application security analyst, compliance analyst

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 165 minutes

Passing score: 750(on a scale of 900)

Data+

The foundational-level Data+ certification is for professionals concerned with data-driven business decision-making.

Skills verified include data concepts and environment; data mining; data analysis; visualization; and data governance, quality, and control.

It is recommended to have 18 to 24 months of experience in a report/business analyst job role, basic knowledge of statistics, exposure to data virtualization, and experience with databases and analytical tools.

Cost: $246 USD

Job roles: Data analyst, reporting analyst, business data analyst, business intelligence analyst, clinical analyst, marketing analyst, operations analyst

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 675(on a scale of 900)

Fundamentals (ITF+)

The ITF+ certification is an entry-level certification for those who want to be verified for broad-based computer fundamentals. Whether you are a student on the brink of taking charge of your IT career or a professional working in a sector that requires a broad understanding of IT, this certification is for you. It validates your knowledge of basic IT concepts, as well as your skills for troubleshooting devices and tracking and preventing security risks.

Skills measured include expertise and knowledge of basics of computing, software development, IT infrastructure, and database use. No prior experience is required to take this exam.

Cost: $ 134 USD

Job role: Roles that require a broad understanding of IT, including marketing, sales, and operations staff in IT-based organizations

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 60 minutes

Passing score: 650 (on a scale of 900)

Linux+

The Linux+ certification proves your talent supporting Linux systems. It certifies that the candidate can secure an enterprise Linux environment, operate Linux in the cloud, and manage Linux-based systems.

The exam covers hands-on knowledge of all major distributions of Linux, setting the basis for advanced vendor/distributor-specific understanding. The exam includes unconventional technologies that enable automating and orchestrating business processes such as infrastructure as code and containers.

Cost: $358 USD

Job roles: Linux administrator, junior DevOps support engineer, systems administrator, web developer/administrator, Linux engineer, junior cloud engineer, technical support specialist, network administrator, cybersecurity engineer

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 720(on a scale of 900)

Network+

This Network+ certification demonstrates the skills needed to steadily implement, maintain, and troubleshoot the important IT networks that organizations depend on.

The certification is vendor-agnostic. It thus prepares you to support networks on any platform, unlike other vendor-specific networking certifications.

This certification validates your skills of networking fundamentals, network implementation, network operations, network security, and network troubleshooting.

Cost: $358 USD

Job roles: Junior network administrator, network engineer, NOC technician, cable technician, datacenter support technician, system administrator, telecommunications technician

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 720(on a scale of 900)

Pentest+

The Pentest+ certification is for candidates who are into penetration testing and vulnerability management.

The certification focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to run a penetration testing task, including vulnerability scanning, assessing legal and compliance requirement, analyzing results, and providing a document with remediation techniques.

The exam requires candidates to prove their knowhow of the most relevant penetration testing skills for the cloud, as well as traditional on-premises and hybrid environments, and IoT and web applications.

Cost: $392 USD

Job roles: Penetration tester, security consultant, cloud penetration tester, web app penetration tester, cloud security specialist, network security specialist

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 165 minutes

Passing score: 750(on a scale of 900)

Project+

The Project+ certification provides IT professionals with fundamental concepts and skills to effectively handle small to medium-sized, less complex projects.

This certification is multifaceted as it entails essential project management concepts rather than an understanding of just one methodology or framework.

It will show that you own the skills required to operate the project lifecycle; maintain project documentation; help in suitable communication; and manage resources and stakeholders.

Cost: $358 USD

Job roles: IT project coordinator/ manager, IT project team member, business analyst, manager, director, team leader

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 710(on a scale of 900)

Security+

The Security+ certification opens the gate to your cybersecurity career and establishes your deep, hands-on expertise in dealing with IT security issues. It demonstrates your potential to evaluate the security posture of an enterprise environment and suggest and establish suitable security solutions. It also verifies your ability to observe and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT; operate with an understanding of applicable laws and policies, including governance, risk, and compliance; detect, evaluate, and troubleshoot security incidents.

Skills measured include your ability to address modern and enhanced threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities on the web, as well as newer devices. You should have the expertise to mitigate these threats and those that emerge from IoT and embedded devices, as well as social engineering attacks (manipulating people mentally to carry certain actions or reveal confidential information) and newer DDoS attacks.

Cost: $ 392 USD

Job roles: Security administrator, helpdesk manager/analyst, security engineer/analyst, IT auditors, systems administrator, network/cloud engineer, DevOps/ software developer, IT project manager

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 750(on a scale of 900)

Server+

This Server+ certification validates your skills to install, manage, and troubleshoot servers in datacenters, on-premises, and hybrid environments..

To earn this certification, you need to have sound understanding of hardware and software technologies of on-premises and hybrid server environments, including high availability, cloud computing, and scripting. The exam tests your ability to explain the granular knowledge of securely deploying, administering, and troubleshooting servers.

The certification also measures your skill with security and disaster recovery. 

Cost: $358 USD

Job roles: System administrator, server administrator, field service technician/engineer, data center engineer, datacenter technician, network administrator, IT technician

Location: Online as well as in person at designated test centers

Exam duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 750(on a scale of 900)

Certifications

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to call ERP (enterprise resource planning) the brain of an organization’s IT infrastructure. After all, an ERP system streamlines, standardizes, and integrates a wide range of vital business processes across diverse business functions.

Implementing an ERP solution ranks among the most capex-intensive projects any IT leader will undertake. In addition to substantial investments, the solution has the potential to impact all strategic business units of a company. It is, therefore, imperative for a CIO to follow best practices for deploying an ERP solution and then keep a close watch on the trends shaping it going forward.

Here’s a look at how the ERP category is evolving as an enterprise-wide solution and how these trends will impact IT leaders.

Customization gives way to standardization

The traditional practice of enterprise technology leaders customizing an ERP solution to meet their specific enterprise or business needs is giving way to implementing an off-the-shelf solution. A key driver for this is the steep resource cost in keeping customized implementations apace with the latest features — a cost many CIOs forgo in favor of stagnancy, at the risk of falling behind.

“There are regular updates to the ERP, which could be in the form of features and functionalities that are pushed into the live environment. If there is a high level of customization, a CIO will have to tweak the update in context of the customization. This is cumbersome and leads to additional cost. By going in for a standardized ERP solution, IT leaders can avoid these issues, and most are following suit,” says Abhishek Mundra, practice director for enterprise platform services at research firm Everest Group.

Implications for CIOs: Besides avoiding cost and complexity, deploying an off-the-shelf ERP solution also helps in accelerating time to market and making the business agile. “Earlier, because of the customization, the implementation lifecycle used to take anywhere between four to five years. With an out-of-the-box solution, implementation now takes just six months to one year,” Mudra says, adding that IT leaders using off-the-shelf solutions can better spend their time modernizing processes instead.

 

Best-of-breed solutions overtake the enterprise-wide approach

Earlier CIOs used to deploy an ERP solution and gradually extend it to the various strategic business units across the enterprise. However, rapid digitization and the SaaS revolution are pushing IT decision-makers to adopt a different approach.

“Enterprise technology leaders are aggressively undertaking digital initiatives such as marketing automation, customer experience, social media marketing, and HR transformation,” Mundra says. “However, in these areas, cloud ERP solutions are still behind in terms of functionalities compared to their on-premises versions. So, for a core function such as finance, CIOs go for a cloud ERP solution from a top vendor, which meets their requirements but for other areas, they adopt best-of-breed point solutions.”

Implications for CIOs: In making the most of best-of-breed SaaS solutions, IT leaders must shift their emphasis from implementation to integration. To get the best of both worlds —an ERP for their core functions and myriad targeted solutions for vital line-of-business needs, such as Workday for HR or a Salesforce for CRM — CIOs must undertake process modernization and take on more of an orchestrator role.

 

Integration takes center stage

With the emergence of next-generation technologies such as IoT, analytics, and AI, enterprises are looking to gain business advantages from them. Taking a cue, leading ERP vendors are aligning with this trend by integrating their solutions with such emerging technologies, and IT leaders are following suit.

“With the availability of web services and JSON, it has become easy to integrate an ERP solution with other satellite applications,” says Achin Sharma, vice president of IT at logistics company Movin India.

Abhay Bapna, CIO at fast-moving consumer goods company Adani Wilmar, agrees: “We have thousands of sensors in our plants and each sensor sends out data every 15 seconds. With ERP moving to the cloud and integrating with technologies such as real-time analytics, huge volumes of data can now be processes on the fly.”

Implications for CIOs: Integration of ERP with other technologies has eased the pains of CIOs to a large extent. For instance, the finance module is a key component of an ERP solution. In the absence of real-time data, at the end of each month, it took a few days to run the numbers and ultimately carry out management reporting. Now with near real-time replication, CIOs can close this month-end activity the very next day, making the entire process seamless and time effective. Similarly, in healthcare, electronic medical records are getting integrated with the ERP solution, providing better insights to healthcare practitioners.

 

The rise of industry-specific solutions

Given the diverse needs of each vertical, a one-size-fits-all approach is failing to meet the expectations of business and technology leaders. This is giving rise to ERP platforms that offer functionalities catering to specific business verticals.

“Industry ERP solutions are increasingly finding favor among CIOs. There are emerging vendors who have found their niche verticals. For instance, Infor has an ERP solution for the manufacturing vertical; Salesforce offers its ERP for healthcare, banking, and financial services verticals; and ServiceNow is strong in the telecom and public sector space,” says Everest Group’s Mundra.

Implications for CIOs: Industry cloud ERP solutions enable CIOs to get insights into the best practices being followed by their peers. Also, having a broad base of customers offers a better probability of the solution provider investing in product development and innovation.

 

The move to cloud

Enterprise technology leaders are replacing their legacy, on-premises ERP solutions by switching to the cloud. While the advantages of leveraging cloud were already acknowledged, the pandemic further highlighted its value as it enabled employees to work from anywhere.

“Currently about 60% to 65% of the ERP market in India is still on-premise. This will change over the next three to four years when cloud will surpass on-premise with about 55% to 50% deployments on it. This trend is fast catching up,” says Sheetanshu Upadhyay, research head at global market research firm Strategic Market Research.

Gartner defines the market for cloud ERP as a market for application technology. According to the technological research and consulting firm, within addressable market segments, enterprise IT spending on public cloud will overtake spending on traditional IT in 2025. It predicts that almost two-thirds (65.9%) of spending on application software will be directed toward cloud technologies in 2025, up from 57.7% in 2022.

Implications for CIOs: By taking their ERP solutions to the cloud, CIOs can benefit from lower costs, new functionality, mobility, simpler deployment, elasticity, less need for internal IT resources, and the ability to easily add users and functions to accommodate business growth.

ERP Systems

With companies increasingly moving their data to cloud, there is an extensive need for more professionals with sound understanding and expertise of cloud technology.

Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure, ranks among the top in the industry. Enterprises find Azure’s hybrid feature appealing, as well as the wide range of tools offered on the platform. As per data from Statista, the Azure market share has been on an upsurge and now accounts for 21% of the worldwide cloud market, making earning an Azure certification a strong career move.

Here are 16 role-based Azure certifications that will give you an in-depth understanding of the skills and knowledge required to elevate your IT career using Microsoft’s cloud.

Top Microsoft Azure certifications

Azure Administrator AssociateAzure AI Engineer AssociateAzure Database Administrator AssociateAzure Data Engineer AssociateAzure Data Scientist AssociateAzure Developer AssociateAzure Enterprise Data Analyst AssociateAzure Network Engineer AssociateAzure Security Engineer AssociateAzure Solutions Architect ExpertAzure Stack Hub Operator AssociateCybersecurity Architect ExpertDevOps Engineer ExpertIdentity and Access Administrator AssociateSecurity Operations Analyst AssociateWindows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

Azure Administrator Associate

The certification is designed for professionals with expertise in implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, storage, governance, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment. Many a times, this role operates as a part of a bigger team devoted to implement an organization’s cloud infrastructure.

To earn this certification, you should have a minimum of six months of hands-on experience managing Azure. In addition, you would also require a good understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. It will also test your skills of deploying and managing Azure compute resources, as well as your ability to configure, monitor, and maintain Azure resources.

Job role: Administrator

Required exam: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure AI Engineer Associate

This certification validates your ability to develop AI solutions in collaobration with data engineers, data scientists, AI developers, and IoT specialists.

To earn this certification, you need to have a strong understanding of C# or Python and should have hands-on knowledge of REST-based APIs and SDKs to develop conversational AI solutions, natural language processing, computer vision, and knowledge mining on Azure. You should also be proficient enough to apply responsible AI principles and be able to plan and mange Azure Cognitive Services solution.

Job role: AI engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Database Administrator Associate

This certification demonstrates your ability to implement and manage the operational side of hybrid data platforms and cloud-native solutions developed with SQL Server and Azure data services. This exam verifies your proficiency in using varied methods and tools to execute regular operations, including know-how of using T-SQL for administrative management purposes.

The skill sets that the exam measures include the ability to: plan and implement data platform resources; implement a secure environment; examine, configure, and improve database resources; configure and manage task automation; and plan and configure a high availability and disaster recovery environment.

Job role: Database administrator

Required exam: Administering Microsoft Azure SQL Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Data Engineer Associate

This certification is a stamp of your expertise in integrating, consolidating, and transforming data pouring in from numerous structured and unstructured data systems and in providing structure to build analytics solutions on that data. An Azure data engineer ensures data pipelines and data stores are well-functioning, effective, structured, and reliable based on business requirements and limitations. You also need to navigate unexpected issues and reduce data loss.

To earn this certification, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of data processing languages, including Scala, SQL, or Python, and have an understanding of parallel processing and data architecture patterns. You should be able to design, implement, and optimize data storage, data processing, and data security.

Job role: Data engineer

Required exam: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Data Scientist Associate

This certification focuses on your expertise in leveraging data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure.

Candidates for this role should be able to conduct data experiments, train predictive models, and manage Azure resources for machine learning.

Job role: Data scientist

Required exam: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Developer Associate

The Azure Developer Associate certification is designed for professionals with one to two years of professional experience with Azure. It validates that a candidate is a cloud developer who takes part in all stages of development, deployment, and maintenance. And that the candidate works with cloud database administrators and clients to implement solutions.

The skills measured in the exam include the ability to develop Azure compute solutions; develop for Azure storage; implement Azure security; monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions; and connect to and use Azure services and third-party services.

Job role: Developer

Required exam: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate

The certification proves your standing to appropriately deal in areas of designing, creating, and deploying enterprise-scale data analytics solutions.

To achieve this certification, you should have advanced Power BI skills. You should have the expertise to implement and manage a data analytics environment; query and transform data, implement and manage data models; and explore and visualize data.

Job role: Data analyst

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Enterprise-Scale Analytics Solution Using Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Network Engineer Associate

The Azure Network Engineer Associate certification validates your prowess of deploying networking solutions by using the Azure portal and other methods such as PowerShell, Azure Command-Line Interface, and Azure Resources Manager templates. The certification demonstrates your aptitude to work with solution architects, security engineers, cloud administrators, and DevOps engineers to deliver Azure solutions.

The exam measures thorough expertise in planning, implementing, and maintaining Azure networking solutions comprising connectivity, routing, hybrid networking, security, and private access to Azure services.

Job role: Network engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Security Engineer Associate

This certification focuses on your expertise in implementing Azure Security Controls that secure identity, access, data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments. It proves your ability to execute responsibilities such as managing the security posture of the organization, responding to security incident escalation, conducting threat modeling, identifying and neutralizing detected flaws, and implementing threat protection.

To earn this certification, you need to have moderate to robust knowledge of most Azure offerings and an understanding of basic IT security principals. This exam tests your knowledge in four different subject areas: managing identity and access; implementing platform protection; managing security operations; and securing data and application.

Job role: Security engineer

Required exam: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Solutions Architect Expert

The certification validates your subject matter expertise in designing cloud and hybrid solutions on Azure, including network, compute, monitoring, storage, and security. It requires you to have advanced experience and deep knowledge of IT operations comprising networking, governance, disaster recovery, data platforms, virtualization, business continuity, identity, and security.

To earn it, you must have Azure Administrator Associate certification (see above), which tests your skills to implement, monitor, and manage an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment.

Job role: Solution architect

Required exam: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate

This certification focuses on your ability to plan, deploy, update, and maintain the Azure Stack Hub infrastructure. It evaluates your aptitude to work with teams that support datacenter infrastructure; teams that manage identity; and teams that use Azure Stack Hub resources such as DevOps engineers, developers, and virtual infrastructure administrators.

The certification requires you to possess strong experience in operating and managing Azure Stack Hub environments, and to do so by using PowerShell. It will also test the depth of your understanding of Azure, as well as your knowledge of networking, virtualization, and identity management as the certification is for administrator-level role.

Job role: Administrator

Required exam: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR                     

Cybersecurity Architect Expert

Cybersecurity Architect Expert is an enhanced certification that establishes your subject matter expertise in securing an organization’s digital assets by deploying cybersecurity strategy. It also focuses on your ability to design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture, which comprises applications, security strategies for data, identity and access management, and infrastructure. This exam also evaluates Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies; security operations strategies; and experience of hybrid and cloud implementation.

To earn this certification, you must have at least one of the following certifications: Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate; Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate; Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate; or Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate.

Job role: Security engineer, administrator, solution architect, security operations analyst

Required exam: Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

DevOps Engineer Expert

The DevOps Engineer Expert certification proves your ability to plan and implement strategies for collaboration, code, source control, infrastructure, compliance, monitoring, delivery, testing, constant integration, monitoring, and feedback. It requires you to possess experience with administering and developing in Azure, with solid skills in at least one of these domains. You need to be acquainted with both Azure DevOps and GitHub.

The exam evaluates your ability to develop an instrumentation strategy; oversee source control; design a security and compliance strategy; plan and implement constant integration; plan and implement a continuous delivery and release management approach; enable communication and collaboration; and build a site reliability engineering strategy.

To earn this certification, you must have either the Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification.

Job role: DevOps engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Identity and Access Administrator Associate

The certification verifies your ability to design, implement, and operate an organization’s identity and access management systems by putting into use the Azure Active Directory. It also validates your expertise to configure and manage authentication and authorization of identities for Azure resources, users, devices, and applications.

Job role: Administrator, identity and access administrator, security engineer

Required exam: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Security Operations Analyst Associate

This certification validates your skills in collaborating with stakeholders to secure IT systems from cyberattacks. It demonstrates that you are capable of reducing organizational risk by promptly emending active attacks in the systems, recommending improvements to threat protection practices, and stating breaches of organizational policies to applicable stakeholders.

The certification establishes that you are efficient for the role that predominantly investigates, responds to, and tracks attacks applying Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Microsoft 365 Defender, and third-party security products.

Job role: Security engineer, security operations analyst

Required exams: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

This certification proves your expertise in configuring and managing windows server workloads using on-premises, hybrid, and infrastructure-as-a-service technologies. It also demonstrates your ability to execute tasks in line with security, monitoring, migration, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery. It also covers Azure Automation update management, Microsoft Defender for identity, Azure Security Center, Azure Migrate, and Azure Monitor.

This certification tests your ability to deploy and manage active directory domain services in on-premises and cloud environments; manage windows servers and workloads in a hybrid environment; implement and manage an on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure; manage virtual machines and containers; manage storage and file services; and implement disaster recovery. You should have vast experience working with Windows Server operating systems.

Job role: Administrator,identity and access administrator,support engineer, network engineer, information protection administrator, technology manager, security engineer

Required exams: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure and Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD + $165 USD = $330 USD

India: ₹4800 INR + ₹4800 INR = ₹9600 INR

Certifications

Rich Gilbert, who joined Aflac in 2019 as chief digital and information officer, now serves as its chief transformation officer and head of individual benefits. The promotion and title are well deserved. Aflac is the leading provider of supplemental health insurance in the United States, and Gilbert has been recognized for his commitment to accelerating the company’s digital transformation strategy. He was named the 2021 CIO of the Year by GeorgiaCIO, receiving the ORBIE Award in the Global category for helping reinvent Aflac as a digital-first company.

On a recent episode of the Tech Whisperers podcast, Gilbert shared his career journey and the leadership philosophies that have guided him to his current role, where he’s not only responsible for the digital services department, but also Aflac’s largest P&L, Individual Voluntary Benefits, and the Shared Services and Communicorp organization. We centered our conversation around the seven Cs of top leaders — courage, customer centricity, change, cultivate, communication, collaboration, culture — traits that enable the best leaders to thrive in times of crisis while staying focused on the future and driving significant business value. We spent some more time after the show drilling down further into a few of those areas. What follows is that conversation, edited for length and clarity.

Dan Roberts: As an executive with both digital services and P&L responsibilities, what would you say has been key to your ability to navigate and bridge the technical and business sides of the role?

Rich Gilbert: My superpower is the ability to speak multiple languages. Now, I can’t speak French. I can’t speak German. I can’t speak any other language besides English. However, I must speak various languages to be able to communicate and connect effectively. I speak technology so I can communicate with our technology team. I also speak strategy, so I can communicate with our board. I speak financials, so I can communicate with our CFO. I speak value, so I can communicate with our chairman and CEO about what we’re able to deliver.

This multilingual model is my superpower because I can talk about something extremely technical with the technology team, but then I can communicate that in business terms to our business leaders in a way that has nothing to do with technology. And then to the board about the vision and value that you’re delivering with that technology. Being able to speak multiple languages helps drive connections and results.

In fact, I’d add that to the seven Cs of top leaders: connections. You’ve got to be connected to your people. You’ve got to be connected to your peers. You’ve got to be connected to your customers. You’ve got to be connected to your CEO, your CFO, and your board. Connection is key, and that’s all about two things: building relationships and being multilingual.

What does customer-centricity look like when you have 50 million people you’re protecting? That’s a staggering number.

Insurance is an interesting business, because you’re not building something; you’re in business to fulfill a promise. If something happens to an individual, you’re going to be there. If they get cancer, if they have a hospital stay, if they have an accident or they break their leg, our part of fulfilling that promise is to be able to make that as simple as possible. The whole point around building our solutions is really to say, how do you drive customer ease?

Our answer: We built new websites and new mobile apps where you simply answer some questions. It captures that material and routes into our claims processing. It’s making that process as simple as possible. What we’re trying to do is automate all the simple things, so if you have trouble and have to contact the call center, our customer care and claims agents can focus on understanding your situation instead of administrative things like address changes. We want them to be able to think about your case, how to help you with it and how to get money in your pocket as soon as we can.

We built all these front-end systems to make the input easier. But we’re also building this whole new machine learning/artificial intelligence engine to be able to take the inputs and auto-adjudicate the claims — because we’ve paid millions of them, so we’ve seen all this documentation. There are medical codes, diagnostic codes, treatment codes. We can take those and apply them to the benefits you have in your policy, and we know the probability of what we should pay from a benefits perspective. It’s a model that’s designed to increase quality and the speed to pay.

There’s an employee impact, too, right? Because this frees them up to do work that’s more meaningful.

Right. It’s not a full automation. What we do is present it to the claims adjuster and customer care agent and reveal the probability of benefits. We’ve given you 95% of the answers. Just make sure that there isn’t a situation that the computer can’t understand from an empathy perspective to be able to finish the claim. You can see how we’re doing this with inputs in our digital channels and even back-office functions, because now you elevate people from doing mundane things to focusing on the real needs and how we solve them.

Many times, people get confused about what you’re really doing as a technologist. It’s simple: Serve your customer.

This is part of your rebranding of digital services, which has really been multiple levels of change on change. Can you talk a bit about that?

The first phase of the rebranding journey was moving from IT to digital services, figuring out what it means to be customer-obsessed as a technologist and how you change the processes that you operate under. We had to go from a waterfall model to an agile model. Now we’re moving into DevOps, and we’re heading into a whole new methodology using different types of technology, especially becoming cloud integrators. The whole point of becoming cloud integrators is to be able to build solutions faster.

I’ll give you an example from our journey through the pandemic. First off, insurance is sold through independent agents, and if they don’t sell, they don’t make a living. Add to that the fact that insurance is a product that is sold and not bought, and it’s done at the worksite. With COVID-19, the whole business model is disrupted because there’s no personal interaction, there’s no worksite and you’ve got a product that requires it to be sold, not bought. How do you deal with that?

We launched a new vision around virtual enrollment. We pulled our leaders together from all different parts of the business and said, okay, how do we solve this? We decided that we needed to give the agents the ability to continue operating, but we’ve got to do it in a way that’s all virtual. We built a series of microsites that can be personalized and sent them out via a QR code, explaining all the product offerings. We have videos featuring how Aflac helps close the gap in your insurance coverage and why you should consider buying cancer insurance, a hospital plan, and things like that. We created a decision support tool that, with a little bit of information, shows you the best product for you. Then it allows you to have a digital calendar to be able to schedule time with an agent.

And this is the best part — we linked it to videoconferencing technology with co-browsing capability, so the policyholder and agent can meet virtually and have the ability to share information. We built a new enrollment application with shopping cart functionality to see what the combination of products would cost and estimate your monthly payment. The policyholder can now take over the screen and fill out all the information, sign by digital signature and the interaction is complete. Then we route the enrollment electronically and send a copy via email. All of those things that were handled face-to-face became virtual. That was a big change for us, and it’s an example of being disruptive while figuring out how to solve that problem and drive change.

That takes a lot of courage! Courage is a choice, especially since it goes hand in hand with fear. How do you make the choice and get past the fear?

Fear can be healthy. I always say, if you’re taking a new job and it doesn’t scare you, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Fear is a natural response to being out of your comfort zone and taking on a new challenge because you care about the outcome. It’s healthy because it sharpens you and makes you double-check what you’re doing.

Where people fall short is in taking action to overcome fear. Often, people will come up with a great idea or a great model, something they think will change the company, and then they don’t even take the initial step. The biggest overcomer of fear is action. That’s why, when somebody’s ready to jump off a high board, people count down: three, two, one, jump. The reason is because it instills action. You hear that and you’re like, okay, I’ve got to do it, so you overcome the fear.

It’s the same in corporate America. People have to overcome fear to be able to accomplish things, so fear can be a motivator, but it also can be an inhibitor and keep people from moving. Courage is not necessarily not feeling fear, because I feel fear all the time. Is this going to work right? Am I going to be able to hit all the objectives that we set out? Am I going to make sure that my people feel like they’ve accomplished things and are connected? But what I do with that fear is translate it into, okay, what is the step I’m going to take? And then I take actions to be able to solve that.

There are a lot of things that are outside of your control. There are a lot of challenging situations in which you’ll have to be able to respond and react. When I’ve seen leaders that are faced with a major issue, I’ll say, okay, what’s the next step? Take that step because it will help to overcome fear and initiate action.

For more digital leadership and business insights from Rich Gilbert, tune into the Tech Whisperers podcast.

IT Leadership

The agile approach to project management has gained immense popularity across nearly every industry due to its flexibility and its emphasis on visualizing projects as discrete parts that can then be delivered quickly in sprints.

Given the demand for speed in today’s digital business environment, agile stands out as a project management and software development methodology, helping IT professionals deliver high-quality outcomes quickly — and thereby enhancing their career prospects.

Developing agile expertise will also improve IT leaders’ ability to get the most out of their multi-skilled agile teams. Armed with agile know-how, enterprise technology leaders can increase their projects’ prospects for success in service of business goals, which will in turn help take their careers higher.

Here are 16 agile certifications that will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to take your IT career to the next level.

Top agile certifications

Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM)Agile Project Management (AgilePM)Professional Scrum Master (PSM)Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)Certified Agile Project ManagerSAFe AgilistSAFe Product Owner/Product ManagerSAFe Scrum MasterCertified ScrumMaster (CSM)Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)ICAgile Agile Fundamentals (ICP)ICAgile Agile Product Ownership (ICP-APO)ICAgile Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)ICAgile Business Agility Foundations (ICP-BAF)ICAgile Agile Project and Delivery Management (ICP-APM)PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM)

The AgilePgM certification offered by UK-based APMG International offers the planning, management, and communication skills required for agile program implementation. It offers hands-on knowledge of incremental development, in which each consecutive version of a product is usable, and is developed on the previous iteration based on user feedback. The AgilePgM can be earned independently without coursework, which various training providers do offer for those who need it. The certification is currently offered in foundational proficiency only.

Cost: $160; training fees are billed separately, if necessary

Agile Project Management (AgilePM)

The AgilePM certification offered by APMG aims at enabling practicing project managers and agile team members to scale up as agile project managers. The certification covers the framework and principles of agile, as well as the roles and responsibilities of team members within an agile project. It deals with an agile project lifecycle, containing alternative configurations and the techniques applied, as well as their advantages and constraints. The AgilePM can be done independently without coursework, which is provided by various training providers if necessary. This cert is currently offered in both Foundational and Practitioner proficiencies.

Cost: $160, Foundational; $240, Practitioner; training is billed separately, if necessary

Professional Scrum Master (PSM)

Anyone who desires to validate their knowledge of the Scrum framework and its application can avail the Professional Scrum Master certification offered by Scrum.org. Courses are available to aid your preparation for the assessment, including the Applying Professional Scrum and Professional Scrum Master courses, but you can also take the PSM I assessment directly without coursework. The certification is also offered at higher proficiencies (PSM II and PSM III). All Scrum.org assessments are conducted in English; many test takers use the Google translate plugin to take the assessment. There is no need to enroll in a course if you already have a substantial level of Scrum knowledge and an understanding of Scrum application within Scrum teams.

Cost: $150, $250, $500 for PSM I, II, III, respectively

Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)

The Professional Scrum Product Owner certification from Scrum.org aims to equip product owners with a clear understanding of the value drivers for their products, and to help them develop a keen sense of how to use agile practices and Scrum to maximize that value. Anyone intending to validate their knowledge of the Scrum framework and ability to support value creation and delivery should undertake this certification, which is also offered at higher proficiencies (PSPO II and PSPO III).

Cost: $150, $250, $500 for PSPO I, II, III, respectively

Certified Agile Project Manager

This certification offered by the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) is for candidates holding a basic knowledge of agile project management. It aims to help candidates understand how to establish and implement an agile project efficiently, giving them tools for completing routine project activities spanning from project initiation to project close-out. The IAPM certification is offered in three proficiency levels: Basic (Certified Junior Project Manager), Intermediate (Certified Agile Project Manager), and Advanced (Certified Senior Agile Project Manager). It can be taken without coursework from a training provider as long as self-preparation is robust enough.

Cost: From $90 to $580, depending on proficiency level

SAFe Agilist

The SAFe Agilist certification covers the foundations of SAFe, the principles and practices of Lean agile transformation, and the tools necessary to lead SAFe agile in remote environments with distributed teams. The certification helps candidates understand how companies can build business agility with SAFe and improve quality, productivity, employee engagement, and time-to-market. It provides certification holders expertise in making organizations more customer-centric and in running significant SAFe alignment and planning events, such as PI planning. The certification is coupled with trainings, which are provided by several training providers and are not offered independently. Depending on the training providers selected, prices may vary over a wide range.

Cost: From $650 to $900

SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager

The SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager certification guides candidates through the strategic responsibilities required for these roles in the Agile Release Train. It offers tools to work efficiently in remote locations with dispersed teams and imparts understanding of how product owners and product managers should work in collaboration to get the best customer and business outcomes. Topics include customer-centric design; test processes; collaborating with engineering teams and business stakeholders; how to write epics, features, and stories; and the ways to design, prioritize, build, test, and deliver products with enhanced productivity and superior quality. Certification is coupled with trainings provided by several training providers and is not offered independently. Depending on the training providers selected, prices may vary over a wide range.

Cost: From $550 to $850

SAFe Scrum Master

The SAFe Scrum Master certification aims to help candidates coach agile teams to deliver business value, providing tactical skills to be an efficient Scrum master in a SAFe organization. It also offers instruction in facilitating agile events such as iteration planning, standups, and retrospectives, and it imparts know-how of DevOps implementation for continuous flow and delivery. Certification is coupled with trainings provided by several training providers and is not offered independently. Depending on the training providers selected, prices may vary over a wide range.

Cost: From $595 to $1,300

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

The Certified ScrumMaster credential provides an understanding of the Scrum framework and a perspective of team accountabilities, events, and artifacts. It also provides an understanding of how to guide a team to apply Scrum. The interactive course helps increase leadership skills and influence organizational change. In addition to the foundational certification, it is also offered as advanced proficiency (Certified ScrumMaster Professional). Price for combined certification and training varies depending on the training provider selected and on the delivery channel, whether in-person or online.

Cost: From $445 to $1,595, for CSM; from $750 to $1,495, for CSM Professional

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

The Certified Scrum Product Owner certification provides an understanding of the framework and principles for efficiently deploying Scrum, as well as the critical skills and tools required to be an effective product owner. Scrum Alliance members can tap into the community to gain access beyond the classroom via resources, events, education, and coaching. Prices for training and certification vary depending on the training providers selected and the delivery channel chosen.

Cost: From $495 to $1,495, for CSPO; upward of $1,500 for CSPO Professional

ICAgile Agile Fundamentals (ICP)

The Agile Fundamentals certification provided by International Consortium for Agile (ICA) offers an understanding of the foundational concepts along with an understanding of the agile mindset and principles. Also known as the ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP), the cert paves the way for ICAgile’s product and technical certification. With this, you can gain organizational agility without pinning on any particular agile methodology or framework (i.e SAFe, Scrum, Kanban, XP, DSDM, etc.). Certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person courses. Price varies depending on provider and delivery channel.

Cost: From $800 to $1,725

ICAgile Agile Product Ownership (ICP-APO)

The Agile Product Ownership certification from ICAgile imparts knowledge to successfully deliver software, products, and services via key agile practices. Product owners, product managers, business subject matter experts, business analysts, and project managers can take this certification, which is given on successfully completing the class and post-class survey. The certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person trainings. Price varies based on provider and delivery channel.

Cost: Upward of $1,000

ICAgile Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)

The Agile Team Facilitation certification is intended for professionals who wish to learn how to facilitate and coach agile in a team context. Befitting roles include Scrum master, product owners, business analysts, agile product managers, agile coaches, and those keen on harnessing facilitation capabilities. Certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person trainings. Price varies based on provider and delivery channel.

Cost: From $650 to $1,545

ICAgile Business Agility Foundations (ICP-BAF)

Professionals looking to drive organizational agility in modern business environments may find the Business Agility Foundation certification from ICAgile worthwhile. The ICP-BAF is not a direct substitution for the ICP credential, and those already in possession of the ICP may find the ICP-BAF more useful. Certification is bundled with training from various training providers, which provide both online and in-person instruction. Price varies by provider and delivery channel.

Cost: From $300 to $1,595

ICAgile Agile Project and Delivery Management (ICP-APM)

The Agile Project and Delivery Management certification is aimed at validating candidates’ skills for successful Lean and Agile product delivery. Various approaches including projects and value stream delivery methodologies are taught in the training. Trainees will be able to identify dependencies and blockers, enable rapid feedback and learning, and facilitate incremental value delivery through this training and subsequent certification. The ICP-APM is bundled with training from various training providers, which offer both online and in-person training. Prices vary depending on provider and delivery channel.

Cost: From $1,100 to $1,495

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The Agile Certified Professional credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI) covers several approaches to agile such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming, and test-driven development to increase your versatility, no matter how the project spirals out. The three-hour exam has 120 multiple-choice questions. To maintain the PMI-ACP, 30 professional development units in agile topics must be completed every three years. Prerequisites include a secondary degree, 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, 12 months of general project experience within the past five years, and eight months of agile project experience within the past three years.

Cost: $495

More on agile project management and certifications:

Agile project management: A comprehensive guide
16 tips for a smooth switch to agile
Scrum vs. Lean vs. Kanban: Comparing agile project management frameworks
7 simple ways to fail at agile
Agile’s dark secret? IT has little need for the usual methodologies
5 misconceptions CIOs still have about agile
Introducing the scaled agile framework (SAFe)
Comparing scaling agile frameworks
The 13 most valuable certifications today
13 emerging IT certifications for today’s hottest skills
19 big data certifications that will pay off
Top 11 project management certifications
Agile Development, Careers, Certifications, IT Skills, Project Management Tools

CIO Middle East is proud to unveil the expanded CIO50 Middle East Awards in 2022, recognizing the top 50 senior technology executives driving innovation, strengthening resiliency, and influencing rapid change across the Middle East.

The CIO50 Middle East Awards are aligned to Foundry’s global awards program and viewed as a mark of excellence within the enterprise. Last year, CIO Middle East launched the first edition of the CIO50 Awards in the region, judging four core pillars of Innovation, Diversity & Culture, Workplace, and Data Intelligence, honoring transformational, inspirational, and enduring CIOs at both in-country and regional levels across the Middle East.

Technology leadership in numbers and words

Leaders of the CIO50 Middle East award winners collectively hold responsibility for more than 40,000 IT employees across the Middle East, averaging more than 500 staff members per organization. The list covers a range of technology positions, spanning CIO, CISO, CTO, and CDO, in addition to transformation, business, and executive roles across five countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain

More than 15 industry sectors were represented as well, including financial services, healthcare, insurance, banking, real estate, telecommunications, aviation, government, transport, utilities, and trade unions.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, technology leaders remained resilient and pressed ahead with change-agent activities, evident through a transition away from being merely custodians of the IT department to entrepreneurs driving new ideas and strategies.

The CIO50 Middle East awardee list highlights technology executives focused on creation and development, building first-to-market projects capable of overcoming the pandemic and setting the business up for future growth.

Such work also cements CIO50 Middle East as the leading awards program for technology leaders in the region, forming part of a broader worldwide initiative alongside the CIO50 Australia, CIO50 New Zealand, CIO75 ASEAN and CIO100 India Awards. These are in addition to CIO100 Awards in the US and UK.

Ali & Sons’s Shumon Zaman takes top honors

The top-ranked technology leader in 2022 is Shumon Zaman, CIO and CDO at Ali & Sons. Saman and his team are leading a digital-first agenda, enabling Ali&Sons’ digital transformation journey while supporting the efficient and profitable operation of the company

Over the last year, Ali & Sons has started its digital transformation journey called Quantum, which is revolutionizing how the group operates and is a key enabler of its long-term double-digit growth. Quantum is set to help the company innovate, transform, and lead the industry with its multiple phases. In the initial phase, for instance, they’ve developed several different data harvesting platforms (collecting structured and unstructured data) that have already unlocked operational efficiencies to exceed over AED 14 million this year and is now providing new insights to help predict the future for our employees using embedded AI and ML tools.

The top 10 CIO50 Middle East awardees:

1. Shumon A. Zaman, Chief Information and Chief Digital Officer at Ali & Sons (UAE)

2. Jason E. Roos, CIO, KAUST University (KSA)

3. Mario Foster, CIO, Al Naboodah Group (UAE)

4. Veneet Purushotaman, Group CIO, Aster DM Healthcare LLC (UAE)

5. Anthony Lynsdale, VP Information Technology, Atlantis Dubai (UAE)

6. Abeer Khedr, Head of Cybersecurity, National Bank of Egypt (Egypt)

7. Heide Young, Manager Cyberstrategy and Engagement NEOM (KSA)

8. Murat Özkan, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Anadolu Efes (Turkey)

9. Sirin Aktas, CIO, Edenred Turkey (Turkey)

10. Mohamed Al Doseri, CISO, Tasheel Finance (KSA)

The complete list of CIO50 Awards winners listed alphabetically:

Ahmad Yahya, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Information Officer, American Hospital Dubai (AHD). Ali Juma Alajme, Digital Health Department Director, Ministry of Health and Prevention UAE.Aliasgar Bohari, Senior Director – IT, Zulekha Hospital.Arul Jose Vigin, Head of IT, DIFC Courts.Atul Aggarwal, Area Director of IT, Caesars Palace.Aysegul, CIO, Index Group.Damian O Gara, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Kent.Dr. Reem Faraj Alshammari, CISO, Kuwait Oil Company.Erol Ozguner, CIO, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.Fusun Borluq, Director of IT agile management, robotic process automation and quality, IGESA.George Eapen, Group CIO, Petrofac Limited.Germin Abouel, CIO, The British University in Egypt.Gigi Matthew Thomas, Group Head – IT & Digital Transformation, Ittihad International Investment LLC.Hajar Al Maazmi, SVP – Head of Information Technology, Ajman Bank.Hana Fareed Alsaleh, Head of IT, Al Jabr Finance.Hayriye Karadeniz, CIO and CDO, Ford Otosan Turkey.Hesham Daabes, CIO, Banque du Caire.Hisham Mohamed Aly, CISO, Emirates NBD Egypt.Hoda Alkhzaimi, Director, Center of Cyber Security in New York University Abu Dhabi.Jacob Matthew, Head of IT, Government of Abu Dhabi.Jijish Gopi, CSO, Department of Finance Dubai.Krishnan Gopi, Group Chief Disruption Officer, GEMS Education.Lars Gerhmann, Group Chief Digital Officer, Qatar Insurance Group.Mai Bader Alowaish, Chief Data and Innovation Officer, Gulf Bank of Kuwait.Manal Allam, IT Head and Business Partner, MerckMuath Alhomoud, CISO, Smart Digital Payments Holding.Mubarik Hussain, IT Director, Bloom Holding.Nani Mohammed Butti, Director Information System, Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs Bahrain.Nicole Webb, Manager Information Technology, Atlantis Dubai.Pankaj Bajaj, Head of Technology, Capital Health Abu Dhabi.Ph.D. Mohamed Hamed, CIO, Platino Group.Shahrin Oli Mohamed, Head of Information & Digital Technology, Shell LNG Trading.Sreedhar Suragouni, CIO, Oman Insurance Company.Sunil Nair, Group Chief Information Officer, GMG.Umesh Moolchandani, CIO, Bin Dasmal Group.Venkatesh Mahadevan, CIO, Dubai Investments PJSC.WILFREDO PÉREZ RIVERO, CIO, Infinity des Lumieres.Wissam Al Adany, Group CIO, ADES Arabia Holding.Yahyah Pandor, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Fine Hygienic Holding.

CIO of the Year

 Shumon Zaman, CIO and CDO at Ali & Sons

Leadership in Innovation

Veneeth Purushotaman Group CIO at Aster DM Healthcare LLC

Leadership in Culture and Diversity

Shahrin Oli Mohamed, Head of Information & Digital Technology at Shell LNG Trading

Leadership in the Workplace

Umesh MoolchandanI, CIO at Bin Dasmal Group

Leadership in Data Intelligence

Ahmad Yahya, COO and CIO at American Hospital Dubai

Leadership in Cybersecurity

Abeer Khedr, Head of Cybersecurity at National Bank of Egypt

IT Team of the Year

Atlantis The Palm

The CIO50 Middle East Awards criteria

CIO50 Middle East was judged on the core pillars of innovation, culture and diversity, workplace, data intelligence and cybersecurity, honoring transformational, inspiring, and enduring CIOs at both in-country and regional levels within the Middle East.

All entries were reviewed by a select and independent CIO50 Middle East judging panel, John Barton, ex-CIO at Abu Dhabi Airports, Shafique R Ibrahim, ex Chief Information Digital Officer, Debbie Botha, Women in AI Global Chief Partnership, Carmen Marsh, President and CEO at United Cybersecurity Alliance, Mario Moreno del Toro, Editorial Coordinator Computerworld and CSO Foundry Spain and Victoria Mendes, Research Manager at IDC MEA, who rated each section of the questionnaire to determine the final list. The most powerful nominations provided real-world examples of where technology and digital chiefs are successfully providing value to organizations, driving innovation and leading teams.

Foundry congratulates all CIO50 Middle East winners and finalists in 2022.

CIO