The First Ever CIO of $7 Billion Dover Corporation’s Drives toward A Culture of Innovation16 February, 2018 / Articles
Dover Corporation is a diverse $7 billion revenue company, with businesses in Energy, Engineered Systems, Fluids, and Refrigeration, and Food Equipment. Given this diversity, across the company’s 60 years, it had never had an enterprise chief information officer. That changed roughly two years ago when Dinu Parel was named to that post. In the time since, he has provided strategy, governance, and shared services to the traditionally decentralized IT function.
In this interview, Parel notes that his vision continues to be to allow the business units to have some latitude in selecting strategic technology, but two areas of focus on standardization have been security and infrastructure. He is currently focused on transforming IT from a traditional, back-office support function to an advisory function that helps drive business growth and innovative technologies such as Blockchain.
Peter High: You are the CIO of Dover Corporation, a diversified company with $7 billion in revenue. Could you provide an overview of the operations?
Dinu Parel: We are a diversified global manufacturer that provides product innovation. We are headquartered right outside of Chicago and have 29,000 employees around the world. We have a customer-focused business model. We are currently structured and organized into four segments.
- Engineered Systems
- Refrigeration Food Equipment
Each of these segments has multiple operating companies that roll up under them and work directly with our end customers. Making decisions close to the customer while working on thousands of products enables and empowers an ownership mindset in the operating companies.
Many of the products that we manufacture may not be visible as consumer brands, but millions interact with our products every day when they fuel their cars, reach into a refrigerated case at a local grocery store, check for freshness of packaged foods and beverages, or even compare prices on retail tags at the department store. I find it an exciting place to work.
High: Dover Corporation is a very diverse set of businesses. How is IT organized?
Parel: Each operating company has an IT team that is responsible for providing the end-to-end IT function for the business. Each of the four segments has an IT leader, and a few key roles are consolidated at the segment level. Since I joined the company as the CIO, we have been on a transformation journey of establishing the enterprise organization from the ground up. For the enterprise organization, the vision is working with the operating companies and working with each of the segments to drive the enterprise strategy for IT, the governance, and providing centralized services.
It has been exciting for all of us who have been involved in this transformation because it is changing the historically decentralized IT operating model.
High: You were the first ever CIO at Dover Corporation. When you rose to the role two years ago, the organization had not had one in its 60 plus years of operation. What was the genesis of the role? How did the company conclude that time was right for a CIO?