Pushing the boundaries of the mining industry by leveraging tech-based innovation

By Analytics Insight magazine

3 min read

Our CIO, Anuj Anand was featured in Analytics Insight magazine’s ‘The Top 10 Most Innovative CIOs to Follow in 2021’ December issue. Anuj discusses overcoming technological challenges, integrating AI, the four must-have attributes of a CIO and ends with advice for future leaders.

Below is an excerpt from the feature article – with permission from Analytics Insight.

Engineering and mining companies have faced a growing range of pressures in recent years, including price volatility, the need to drill down deeper to find new resources, and an industry-wide skills shortage. To address these challenges, many mining companies have embraced digital technology to enhance engineering design and develop ‘smart mines’. Ausenco is a tech savvy engineering company that delivers innovative, value-add consulting services, project delivery, asset operations and maintenance solutions to the mining and metals, oil and gas, and industrial sectors. The company’s experts provide tailored solutions that help clients respond to changes in the market by combining global experience and a flexible approach that is both innovative and cost-efficient.

An Expert Insider in Information Management

Anuj Anand is the CIO of Ausenco. He joined the company in 2006 as a graduate engineer and held various roles across engineering design, systems, and innovation. In 2018, he was appointed VP, Technology Services and Solutions and subsequently in 2021, to CIO. In his current role, he leads a global team of IT professionals who support Ausenco’s 26 offices across 14 countries. Anuj has developed a high level of expertise in the integration of systems and processes with a key concentration on information management. He has spent time in various Ausenco offices deploying new systems and standardizing best practices - with a focus on transitioning legacy systems and infrastructure to modern platforms. He tailors change management practices to suit the different cultures across the company.

Failure is the First Rung in the Ladder of Success

Anuj explains that his industry experience from working on the floor, as well as at mining sites in the middle of nowhere, gave him key insights and a sound understanding of the nuances and intricacies of a very complicated business. He states, “I often tell this story about my first foray into IT. I was challenged to come up with a vision and strategy of how I perceived the industry in 5 years and what we needed to do to get there.” He confesses that not coming from the IT space and not having a background in the sector was bound to make this a challenge. Anuj was given three months to gain an understanding of the situation and then present it to the CIO and CTO at that time. After spending almost a month trying to understand the lay of the land and interviewing the IT team, he thought he had come up with a brilliant strategy and set a time to present to the C-suite. He was thrilled that he had completed the task in six weeks - rather than the allotted three months. However, it didn’t go well and the presentation ended with the words “Anuj, how about you take the time to rethink this and present it to us again in three months’ time?” This experience taught him a lot. Anuj believes that the only time one actually “fails” is when one chooses to believe so. During this experience, he received a lot of constructive feedback and excellent commentary. He presented again three months later after doing extensive research and incorporating the feedback he had received. And as they say, the rest is history in the making of a Top 10 CIO.

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