With globalization expanding its wings across continents, the world of technology has realized the pivotal role of women in the IT industry. Today, global businesses are witnessing the potential of female leadership in steering the wheel of social transformation, and HCL Technologies has been spearheading this change by appointing Siki Giunta as its EVP & Head of HCL Technologies CloudSMART Consulting and Offering Strategy.
Siki leads the global team to formulate HCL’s vision and to develop CloudSMART Solutions. Believing that the challenges of today, for anyone representing a gender, a generation, or a class, is in mastering skills and making it the focus of working relationships, Siki is innovating, leading, and being a contributing member of the HCL community.
Intending to live a life of purpose – do good work, mentor others, challenge the status quo, and take risks for a better outcome; Siki is pushing the boundaries of the cloud, crushing gender stereotypes, and achieving the unimaginable! Siki is the perfect example of morden leadership, driving cloud technology into the future and inspiring millions.
Rising Above the Storm
Siki is an Italian woman who prides herself on being expressive with the flexibility of four languages. She believes that her investors, teams, and colleagues adapted to the differences because they witnessed the results that she brings to the table.
The saying, ‘Challenges are the stepping stone to success’, proves to be very true when you look at the early career of Siki Giunta.
Reminiscing about the beginning of her career, Siki shares, “At the beginning of my career, I could often go several days without seeing or talking to another woman in my field. I had to be better than good every day. Besides gender, I had a different temperament – when I was excited, I shared it; when I was frustrated, I shared it.”
Adding to her professional challenges, she says, “I speak four languages, and sometimes I think in one language and talk in another, which can be challenging for the listener and me. As I look back over my career, I believe that my investors, teams, and colleagues adapted to the differences because they witnessed the results and came to trust my ability and appreciated the differences.”
With an experience of two decades in leadership roles, Siki has served global tech giants with an innovative mindset. “I had my moments, there were disappointments, but it’s been more good than bad in general,” says Siki.
Evolving with Time
In Siki’s early days of cloud, all the vendors and analysts could talk about was ‘opex replacing capex’ and how the cloud would change the cost structure of IT. While this came to be true, Siki was more intrigued by the impact of the cloud on the speed of innovation. Cloud had the facility to enable companies to pivot and adapt. Cloud challenged everything that had governed IT for decades.
Sharing about the transitioning phases of global businesses towards the cloud, Siki remarked, “I am fortunate that I love what I do, I am passionate about technology and the impact and promise it has for our world. As a student and then as a new technologist, mainframes were a marvel. A decade passed and then client-server architectures were taking the enterprise by a storm. Then one day Amazon accepted the first check for cloud consumption, and it was a new beginning. In my work I have had the advantage of spending time with CIOs in all industries, and I saw then and see clearly now that cloud was the future – the next big thing.”
Pushing the Boundaries
When Siki stepped into the cloud, she had served as the CEO of several companies with successful exits. She was recruited in 2010 to build a cloud business in a traditional IT services company. At first, they debated public or private, on premise and off-premise, while she said let the workloads be the guide. When everyone was preoccupied with rate cards, Siki joked that companies weren’t lining up to ‘buy a pound of cloud’. Instead, they were interested in how cloud adoption would change the way they did business and facilitate growth and competition. This position was the defining moment of Siki’s career.
To mitigate the fear of on-premises cloud infrastructure, Siki brought in a brilliant team of people and worked with her partners EMC and VMware to build a cloud stack that could live on-premises, delivering the value of opex infrastructure combined with the speed and agility of the off-premises cloud. Siki says, “We called it BizCloud and introduced it to the market with an equally unique pricing model. For a company that specialized in managing onpremises, legacy infrastructure, BizCloud was a gamechanger.”
Siki adds, ” This private cloud provided a way for companies to learn about and appreciate the agility of cloud while they overcame their fear of off-premises infrastructure.”
During this time, Siki met Kaylan Kumar, now Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for HCL Technologies. She shares, “I continued to push the boundaries of cloud at other large consulting companies until KK, as we call him, made me an offer to join HCL and I couldn’t refuse. I joined HCL because I believed that KK and the ideapreneurs at HCL would again push the boundaries of the cloud one more time. No other company has the extensive portfolio of HCL and the human capital and engineering expertise to continue the evolution to the modern cloud.” At HCL, Siki is on a mission to enable her clients to envision their future, finding their north star, and bringing that future vision into focus with the modern cloud.
A Promising Future
With a passion for developing and delivering innovative offerings that enable HCL clients’ Cloud-driven business success, Siki ensures a transformative shift in the global business circle.
HCL Technologies CEO, C Vijay Kumar, encourages everyone to work with purpose and has chosen a simple-to remember mantra to guide personal development and keep them focused on their personal growth. The organization has adopted a guru mantra that characterizes HCL ideapreneurs: Do, Learn, and Contribute.
Talking about the mission and vision of HCL Technologies Siki says, “Original thinking is highly valued, which enables HCL to develop so many products that are embedded in the solutions we bring to the client. Always innovative, our solutions focus on automation and risk mitigation. HCL exists to grow and compete aggressively, to challenge the status quo. Every person at HCL derives personal pride from getting it done.”
As a visionary leader, Siki intends to be in the moment, innovating, leading, and contributing to the HCL community. She quotes, “Like my friends here, I will DO,LEARN and CONTRIBUTE to benefit our customers and myself.”
Driving Sustainability with Positive Work Culture
Siki is approaching the HCL workflow with a futuristic vision. “HCL understands the challenges. To meet the challenge the HCL human motor hums with productivity. Speaking about the positive work culture of HCL, which is known for its’ can-do attitude’, Siki expresses, “The company is obsessed with immortalizing how much they can DO and how they will do it! The leadership believes that our work is very relevant, integral to our clients’ businesses. Everyone here approaches their work with the right intent and with the intensity it deserves.”
At HCL Technologies, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are the centerpiece of the organization’s culture. The tech giant focuses on sustainability and discovers ways to protect resources to benefit the world. It represents 50 countries with many cultures and languages. Siki mentions that HCL CEO, C Vijay Kumar governs programs that develop women leaders, and create a culture that is conducive to women, ethnicities, multiple generations, and people with disabilities.
Advancing with Technology
Siki is a resilient leader who is known for her unique approach to the technological transformation of businesses without adding to their technical debt. She notes, “We bring agility and speed to our customers. Our customers expect us to fast-track their cloud journey with innovative tools and capabilities. They want HCL to modernize their applications and how they are leveraging data to innovate without risk and make risk-free decisions. Finally, they expect excellence in digital engineering.”
At HCL Technologies, the cloud is the consistent technology in all the business segments: IT Business Services, Engineering & Research Services, and Products & Platforms. It’s consulting-led CloudSMART is the HCL strategy to provide customers with continuous cloud modernization. Siki explains, the modern business is a perpetual state of change and #HCLCloudSMART provides the technology, expertise, and experience to enable our clients to reach their north star.
The Next Big Change
With modern infrastructure playing a pivotal role in cloud computation, business leaders are leveraging technology to promote health, wellness, and equitable access to education across socio-economic classes.
Sharing her vision of social development through empowering the Digital age, Siki expresses that technology is everywhere but not equitably accessible. There are rural towns everywhere in the world with limited access to the internet. This is a primary cause of generational poverty, infant mortality, and chronically ill populations.
Today, sustainability is emerging as a major consideration for clients consuming the cloud. Green IT is leading the way making sustainability central to the organization’s technology priorities in line with the UN-SDGs. Cloud services consume energy and must be monitored, controlled, and evolve to use better energy sources.
Predicting the future of cloud computing she explains that HCL sees tremendous potential in a data-centric approach to gaining insights and believes in achieving responsible AI. “I am personally monitoring Quantum Computing and see quantum computing and cloud at a crossroads. In the search for a better platform to crunch data for intelligence, enterprise organizations will continue streamlining quantum computing services by leveraging the cloud. Cloud and quantum computing will work together to support the Data-Driven Enterprises. In the not too distant future, cloud may run out of steam, and quantum will enable the outcomes that Cloud will not be able to compute,” says Siki.
A Smart Counsel
Advising the budding entrepreneurs who are likely to venture into cloud technology, Siki gives a three-fold business mantra. “First – love learning, be inquisitive. Second – embrace change without fear. Third – be honest with yourself, your customers, and the people you work with. They will trust you and be willing to follow you,” concludes Siki.