CWT EVP and Chief Technology Officer Andrew Jordan spoke to Senior Online Editor Thomas Macaulay during episode 16 of the CIO UK podcast about leading product and tech functions at the $1.5 billion revenue corporate and business travel company.
Jordan discussed putting data and product at the heart of the organisation’s strategy, taking a leaf from the Silicon Valley startup book by focusing on customer experiences, recent innovations with emerging technologies, and the leadership lessons learned from his recent trip cycling 3,000 miles across the United States. [Read next: Andrew Jordan’s bid to turn CWT into the ‘Netflix of corporate travel’]
“I run an organisation called product and technology, and really product is at the heart of that. We take product ideas and incubate them, and then take it all the way through from solution design, technical design, software engineering, all the way through to taking something ready out into market,” Jordan said.
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Jordan said the organisation’s mindset was shifting from thinking purely around transactions to creating compelling experiences for their customers, as well as putting data at the heart of its processes.
Having launched new products which used machine learning and predictive analytics, Jordan said that CWT was investigating innovative emerging technologies but stressed that it was important to look outside of your own sector for ideas and inspiration.
“We’ve got a lot of work going on in machine learning, robotics and AI, and how that can be applied in the in the corporate travel space,” he said.
“The thing that I’ve learned most is, look for technologies and trends that are outside of your industry.”
A multiple CIO 100 high-flyer and a keen cyclist, Jordan also shared with the CIO UK podcast some leadership lessons from a recent trip cycling 3,000 miles across the United States with a number of his CWT colleagues.
“It really makes you rethink the whole concept of team because you’re thrown into this emotionally stressful, very challenging environment for over a week,” he said. “You’ve got to think about what a team actually means to you, and how you can be respectful of each other even though you’ve had no sleep, and something’s gone wrong, and what do you do about it?
“When I think about my team in CWT, I don’t think of myself as being ‘the boss’ just because I happen to have been given a nice job title – I’m just one of the team and I think that was really reinforced in me with the Race Across America.”
Launched in January 2018, the CIO UK podcast is a monthly discussion featuring CIOs, commentators and technology executives thrashing out the key issues relevant to the UK’s business and technology leaders – as well as the tangential and irreverent musings of guest CIOs.