CIO Exchange Podcast

Human Connections with Digital Experiences - Guest: Jason Conyard, CIO, VMware

Episode Summary

Technology leaders, right now, are experiencing a once-in-a-career opportunity to lead the business in reimagining the future of how their teams get things done. A future that attracts and inspires the best people to do their best work. In this episode Jason Conyard, VMware’s CIO describes how he is helping to create human connections in a distributed work environment, not by digitally replicating the office experience, but by creating what he calls the “3rd Experience.” Jason talks about what that new experience could be and how employees would be able to have more control over their digital presence within different modes of work.

Episode Notes

Technology leaders, right now, are experiencing a once-in-a-career opportunity to lead the business in reimagining the future of how their teams get things done. A future that attracts and inspires the best people to do their best work. In this episode Jason Conyard, VMware’s CIO describes how he is helping to create human connections in a distributed work environment, not by digitally replicating the office experience, but by creating what he calls the “3rd Experience.” Jason talks about what that new experience could be and how employees would be able to have more control over their digital presence within different modes of work. 

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Episode Transcription

Jason Conyard (00:01):

We want to enable a lot of capability, but it's essential to our employees and our colleagues remain in control of that. It's not about just pushing buttons and moving pieces of paper, uh, it's really an act of creativity and we want to facilitate that.

Yadin Porter de Leon (00:19):

Welcome to the CIO Exchange Podcast, where we talk about what's working, what's not, and what's next. I'm Yadin Porter de Leon.

Yadin Porter de Leon (00:25):

Technology leaders right now are experiencing a once in a career opportunity, to lead the business and reimagining the future of how their teams get things done. A future that attracts and inspires the best people to do their best work.

Yadin Porter de Leon (00:37):

In this episode, Jason Conyard, VMware CIO, describes how he's helping to create human connections in a digitally distributed work environment. Not by digitally replicating the office experience, but by creating what he calls the third experience. Jason talks about what that new experience could be and how employees will be able to have more control over their digital presence within different modes of work.

Yadin Porter de Leon (01:00):

Jason, it's great to be chatting with you today as the CIO of VMware. What does it feel like, Jason, to be a CIO, especially during the current times we are. We're not in the beginning, we're- we're, kind of, maybe in the middle or kinda at the end of this global pandemic, this shift in business. What does it feel like being a CIO right now?

Jason Conyard (01:18):

Yeah, I think wh- what is the old Churchill quote, "This may not be the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning."

Yadin Porter de Leon (01:24):


Jason Conyard (01:24):

It's hard to, it's hard to judge, uh, quite where we are. I think the reality is many people around the world are at different places, and let's just hope that things are, uh, are definitely on a path to improvement. And, you know, people are, uh, you know, availability of vaccines, and healthcare, and all those other things are- are moving in the right direction.

Jason Conyard (01:42):

So, in terms of being a CIO right now, I think we're definitely beyond the how do we ensure our workforce is enabled, and productive, and all of those other things. And I think more of our effort and time is on the how do we create a work environment that people can potentially return to, recognizing that may not be people's preference. Maybe the thought about where and how people work is forever changed and the idea of people physically going to an office is forever changed as well. So, I think as a CIO and a team we're- we're definitely thinking about all of those things.

Yadin Porter de Leon (02:12):

And that's ... One thing that you posed to me, and I thought was really interesting, is that 100 years ago there was an influenza outbreak and the world had to deal with that. And there's, of course, I mean quite obviously, a technological chasm between what was happening at that point and what was happening at this point.

Yadin Porter de Leon (02:28):

And give me your thoughts on that 'cause I ... You brought up a couple, really, interesting points about how that shift has happened and what that shift really means for humans trying to connect with other humans just on the planet, I mean just at a basic level.

Jason Conyard (02:38):

I think, uh- uh, if people are fortunate enough to have a profession that is knowledge work based, in other words doesn't include the physical interaction with other components, uh, in a restaurant manufacturing, or some other, sort of, logistics consideration, uh, then we're privileged because there is a lot of technical capability that exists today that absolutely didn't, uh, exist 100 years ago, possibly didn't exist 10 years ago. So, we're very privileged in that regard.

Jason Conyard (03:06):

I- I know just if I think about my nieces and nephews and, uh, how they interact with technology, and they don't give a second thought to starting FaceTime or another video chat solutions room or something else in- in interacting with me, their- their uncles and aunts, or- or their cousins.

Jason Conyard (03:23):

So I think from workforce perspective we are absolutely in a very different place. We have the ability to communicate with each other in close to real time, if not real time. But I think that is very powerful and enabling. If one thing I have observed and certainly experienced is also that lack of human interaction, direct personal in-person human interaction, and how important that is. And I think the last 15 months have- have really amplified for me just how critical it is that we do interact with each other when we can.

Jason Conyard (03:56):

So, technology has sustained and maintained us, but I think that it also has highlighted the fact that we are humans and we do need to communicate and interact with each other when we can in person. Which I think then opens the door to all sorts of other technical possibilities and- and I could spend an hour talking about.

Yadin Porter de Leon (04:12):

And I could probably talk to you forever about those pieces too. But I love the fact that the whole conversation's about the human connection too, because it is. Uh, this situation that we've been in right now, it has really highlighted the importance of ultimately we are humans and we need to make that connection. And we've done our best to do that digitally, but there's, uh, interesting ways in which some of those connections can be made. Some of the warmth and impressions can be delivered, even through digital. And on one side there's some of the habits that we have of change, some of the acceptability of certain interactions have changed.

Yadin Porter de Leon (04:41):

In addition to the technology, kind of, helping with that, for us to be able to, in real time, just see each other, hear each other, that's, sort of, a basic component too. But, there is some other really interesting ways that you can enhance that human connection that you wouldn't even thought of. You had a really great example of something you did, kind of, right out of the gate of how you help people just present themselves digitally throughout the different ways that they touch people.

Yadin Porter de Leon (05:03):

And I think you mentioned something about their photos, about their image, and where that image showed up, and when that image showed up. And it's, and it's interesting to me, because it's not something you would think about right away. Like, well who cares, like, I'm in some system or I'm some interaction, and the fact that I see your image, and that image is the same everywhere. Tell me what you did with that and, sort of, that impact?

Jason Conyard (05:19):

I think the- the reality is- is that many companies have been on a journey of digital transformation for many years, at different paces, with different focuses. The last 15 months, the pandemic has absolutely required companies to change and shift their thinking, but without question accelerate their thinking, and, uh, where possible to enable people in new ways, because they had no choice, and I think that that's showing up in lots of different ways. You know, some leaders will have had a preference or a bias towards, you know, having all of their team physically present all of the time in an office. Well guess what? When you can't do that, you have to find-

Yadin Porter de Leon (05:58):


Jason Conyard (05:58):

... new ways of working together.

Jason Conyard (05:59):

So I think there's a ton of that that's goin' on. But, when you ask specifically about the [inaudible 00:06:04] management, that actually has it's genesis in us thinking about, uh, pre- pre-pandemic, thinking about how we bring our colleagues together regardless of their physical location. We have 34 plus thousand people at VMware, all over the planet.

Jason Conyard (06:19):

So we're- we're operating in most time zones around the planet, people are working together all the time. And we wanted to think about not only how do we enable these people to be productive, but how do we create a more personal connection between our colleagues, regardless of their geography.

Jason Conyard (06:35):

And we realized that many of the business systems that we use had the capability of storing a photo, or something as mundane, important, but as mundane as an expense approval system. You may see someone's picture pop up when their expense report lands in your in-box or whatever, or a purchase request for something, you know, the approval process. You know, as that comes through, how do you personalize, create a personal connection between the request for an approval of something and the process, the business process itself.

Jason Conyard (07:04):

So we created a system internally, colleague photo management system, that basically acts as an intermediary between all the different systems, and the file formats that all these different systems need, and expect, and want, and allows a colleague to upload, actually, a couple of photos of themselves. Will allow you to upload a professional photo or something that, you know, may be more appropriate for external communication, maybe on Zoom calls and things like that for folks.

Jason Conyard (07:26):

We also allow you to upload a p-, a personal photo, which is maybe more appropriate for when you're in, say, Office 365, or in Slack, or in something other tool that is a little bit more familiar, a little bit more relaxed. And then the kicker we added, actually, not so long ago, was also the ability to have an avatar, and that really, kind of, spins into some work we're doing around virtual reality, or- or augmented reality, and wanting people to have a digital manifestation of themself.

Jason Conyard (07:49):

But what we've now done is we're synchronizing all of that across our systems. It's a, in- in relative terms, a very- very simple thing, which has a very big impact when it comes to stitching those connections.

Yadin Porter de Leon (08:01):

Well what fascinates me about this is that something that simple, things that are simple usually have the most fundamental effect on our lives, You can just think of just some of the most basic things that we have that are simple, like, having a picture of ourselves wrapped in a particular interaction. In this case, where you're not just interacting with a procurement tool, you're not just interacting with an approval tool, an expense tool, you're actually interacting with, sort of, a- a human response.

Yadin Porter de Leon (08:24):

Like, when I see something, and if I just see a- a, sort of, a line and, like, a button, that's one interaction. But if I see that line, whether it's approval or whatever that happens to be, and I see the picture of somebody I work with, our brains are hard-wired to have a human reaction to that. Like, I see that person, and then they're smiling at me. I mean, on one hand level it seems, kind of, silly and benign, but it's not. It's very much, let's turn all these digital inter- interactions that actually have a human connection component to it. And it's funny, 'cause I didn't even think about that until you mentioned, we had a chat about that.

Yadin Porter de Leon (08:51):

I think it profoundly changes the way in which we interact with all these digital system, 'cause they're not just clicks, they're not just check boxes, there are people behind those. They're wrapped, sort of, in an emotional response to a particular activity. And I think that is what you really are talking about when you're talking about human connection and digital experience, 'cause you're taking things normally that might have been just a benign click to, now I'm interacting with this person. No matter how, sort of, small or how insignificant that interaction might be, it's with a human and not with a machine.

Jason Conyard (09:17):

Absolutely. Yes, the intent is to give people a more consistent experience and a presence across our systems. Build connections between people, absolutely connect the person with the process, not just having this abstract process. And then, ultimately, the goal is to allow people to have a digital manifestation of themselves, because I think some of the work we're gonna do in the future will mean that people can gather together regardless of space and time, but still have their presence be there for them. So, I- I think there's a lot of interesting things that are happening in space, yes. Relatively straight-forward in concept, but quite impactful.

Yadin Porter de Leon (09:52):

Yeah, and so what you mentioned there, sort of, like, beyond space and time, people connecting. So, Jason, right now you're working on how to plug me into the matrix with the thing that goes in the back of, like, Neo's head. And I can just have the digital representation of myself in, like, the space, right? Can we do that, and I can move, maybe, stuff around?

Jason Conyard (10:09):

Yeah, there you go. Uh, so I think you're actually, you're hitting on, uh, some important points, some important human points and considerations around privacy and other things in your question as well, and something we've actually been spending an awful lot of time on.

Jason Conyard (10:22):

We want to enable a lot of capability, but it's essential that our employees and our colleagues remain in control of that. So, you can determine how you show up in the usual space. Not ... You should be able to decide how you want people to see you and interact with you.

Yadin Porter de Leon (10:41):

I love that content, that control over your digital presence. Because in many cases it doesn't feel like you have that control in a, sort of, enterprise environment. At least there's not the perception that you have that control, so I don't think that's something people are aware of, but you're expounding on that. But, please, uh, that does fascinate me, that control of your digital presence within an enterprise.

Jason Conyard (10:58):

Look, there will always be some boundaries and limitations based on local regulation or considerations, and also the fact that we are running a business and we've got to be thoughtful about that. But we want to give our colleagues a lot of control on how they show up, because we want people to use the systems, we don't want people to be afraid of using them because they're concerned about the outcomes.

Jason Conyard (11:18):

We want people to see the potential of being able to meet somebody in virtual reality or- or augmented reality, to interact with them, to co-create with them, to do their best work in a way that is not just an extension of, say, a Zoom call as an example, but it's truly an immersive and an emotional experience, because that is when I think the real magic happens.

Jason Conyard (11:42):

Or ... And remember, VMware is a creative, innovative company, and we need people to be in the right state of mind to do that work. It's not about just pushing buttons and moving pieces of paper, uh, it's really an act of creativity and we want to facilitate that. So, yeah, there's some very exciting things that we are working on. Definitely thought, there's a lot of consideration afloat around how we evoke particular emotions, uh, how we connect people in very interesting ways. But, yeah, that's probably an entirely different podcast.

Yadin Porter de Leon (12:12):

This is exactly along the lines of this focus too, because when you're talking about interactivity and you're talking about connections here, it's interesting the way that you look at it through the lens of, sort of, emotional response. And trust is another big thing as well, so that leads yourself into another, sort of, whole realm of when you're looking at digital experiences, you're not lookin' at them, well how can I increase productivity by 10 or 15%?

Yadin Porter de Leon (12:33):

Now 10 or 15% productivity increase may be the result of you creating a more human connection, it my be an efficiency, because you're able to gain emotional responses, be able to determine things that are intent or meaning much more quickly in a particular interaction. But that's where, then, the productivity, then, becomes a result of that, and then you also have trust that's built, you have efficiency there built because you're able to connect with people in different ways.

Yadin Porter de Leon (12:57):

And one thing you mentioned, too, which was consistency. So you have these digital experiences ... What interests me is- is how you approach, how to create those experiences, and that consistent experience in what many [inaudible 00:13:09] that hybrid work environment, or that work environment of choice, or choice first, where you have that consistency. So whether you're on your mobile, or at your laptop, or in the office, or in your car, there's that consistency of digital presence and digital connection, and how do you address that?

Jason Conyard (13:24):

Yeah, so I'm just gonna talk to you on something you said, and then I'll jump to answer your question. Let me be clear, while I absolutely feel strongly about, and the whole team feels very strongly about providing that emotional connection and that experience first, colleague experience first mindset, there are very hard business links around productivity behind that. It's not just touchy feely, feel good, there is very scientific pragmatic thoughtful approaches behind all that.

Jason Conyard (13:53):

Because we are a business, and we're about getting stuff done, but we recognized that the way we get the very best outcomes is by recognizing the importance of that experience, that sense of belonging, that sense of connectedness is really important.

Yadin Porter de Leon (14:06):

I liked the way you framed that, I liked the way you framed that.

Jason Conyard (14:08):

So to questions I think the reality is, the way I think about it, is in the past they used to be very much, kind of, this view that technology and especially collaborative technology, you think about conference rooms and things like that. Well, very much designed and built with the expectation that the people using them would [inaudible 00:14:26] 'em, and the other people that they were communicating with what, in a similar room, somewhere else.

Jason Conyard (14:32):

And the ... If anyone was doing something other than that, (laughs) I being in their car, or at home, or something else, they were more an observer of what was occurring rather than a participant.

Yadin Porter de Leon (14:43):

No, I think that's a really important distinction. Anyone who's experienced that knows that distinction, and it, and it, and it makes a huge difference.

Jason Conyard (14:50):

Yeah, absolutely. So it's not for me about flipping it on its head and saying, "Oh wow, okay, we'll just make everybody else have a rich experience when they're at home." No. What we have to do is actually create this third state, if you will, and that third state is a state of hybrid. That third state is a place where we will provide people with a rich experience.

Jason Conyard (15:13):

It's not about lowering the bar to the lowest common denominator, it's about inviting a rich common experience that can adapt to and be responsive to your circumstances.

Yadin Porter de Leon (15:25):

But I- I love that third experience model.

Jason Conyard (15:27):

Let me give you a very practical personal experience for you. Just as we started talking this morning, you and I were chatting about, you know, how our days were going, and we're both in back-to-back meetings and so on. And I'd mentioned that I'd really like to get away from my desk when there's an opportunity to just get a l-, a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of fresh air. Put my mask on and go for a lap around the block or whatever it is.

Jason Conyard (15:48):

There's a hesitation from me to do that sometimes, because even though I have a meeting that I could just do an audio call on, I hesitate because I recognize there's all this other information that I'm missing out on. Maybe there are slides that are being shared in the meeting, or very candidly, maybe, just being able to see the person and see their emotional response to a conversation or whatever, and get a sense of who they are, and where they are, and all those other things.

Jason Conyard (16:09):

I think what we need to do is make sure that the technologies that we implement help supplicate what you're missing out on because of the mode you are using. I think we need to be [inaudible 00:16:18]. I'll give you an example of people working remotely. Not being in a conference room, chances are you don't have easy access to a nice large whiteboard. Being creative and innovative company, many of us spend quite a lot of the time in front of a whiteboard with a pen in their hand, with other colleagues trying to draw or map things out, and imagine, and iterate. But that became very difficult with people working at home.

Jason Conyard (16:38):

So we had to find digital alternatives to doing that, which were equally rich. But- but what we tried to do is say, "Okay, let's just challenge ourselves not to think about how do we get the closest approximation to what the experience we have in the office. Let's think about how we go beyond that and the limitations that actually that medium in the office had, that we can do better than."

Yadin Porter de Leon (16:58):

Yes, exactly.

Jason Conyard (16:59):

And I think that's really important as well, So, yeah, I think this third state is evolving. It's not the lowest common denominator. It really is about building this far richer experience that accommodates different modes, both in terms of modes for where people are when they communicate or collaborate, but also pre-post preferences and needs.

Jason Conyard (17:18):

You know, uh, when you think about attracting a diverse workforce of great talented people, not everybody has the same personal situation. Some people have different abilities, or disabilities, and capabilities at their disposal. And we want to make sure those technologies adapt for them to-

Yadin Porter de Leon (17:33):

Yeah, and I'm glad that you mentioned talent, because this is a subject that a lot of people talk about, but it's not easy to execute on. Or people will say, "Well now we can hire talent from anywhere." Or without the same constraints that we had previously, whether that be ability or whether that be geography of some, I'm glad that you mentioned the ability as well."

Yadin Porter de Leon (17:50):

How are you looking at this as an opportunity, from a CIO perspective, to provide the type of enablement that will attract that, kind of, sort of, global talent, or be able to provide the company with the ability to pull in the best talent, 'cause you talked about that innovative and creativity that you harness in order to do what you do. And do you think about that on a daily basis when you create, and when you deploy, and when you design, about how to attract that best talent, so you can create that, sort of, v- virtuous circle?

Jason Conyard (18:16):

Yes, I am incredibly fortunate to have a team all over the planet of professionals with many different backgrounds and experiences. And that helps inform those choices as well. So, I may have a point of view, but I have an amazing team of people who bring many different perspectives, and expectations, and needs to that conversation as well. As well as the professional discipline to recognize that we don't represent everybody and every circumstance, we need to look beyonD that as well.

Jason Conyard (18:46):

I think the, historically, companies have looked for talent in the markets that they have offices.

Yadin Porter de Leon (18:52):


Jason Conyard (18:53):

Yeah. If you're physically making something, or manufacturing something, or whatever then, you can understand that people may need to come together in a specific location to participate in that activity. But if you are in the knowledge worker, if that's the nature of the business or the work that you do, I think it presents you with more possibility to source talent in other places. Maybe time zones are still a consideration for you, maybe based on where your customers are, or how you want people to work together.

Jason Conyard (19:20):

I think that expands the window and it allows you to look for talent in markets that maybe you haven't had before. It allows you to find skills in different ways. I think people tend to think about this in terms of cost, or ways, the best cost for getting this, or that, or the other capability.

Jason Conyard (19:35):

I think that ignores the fact that there's incredible talent in other markets regardless of the price point that- that you may not traditionally considered. As we think more about flexible work as a company, as we encourage leaders to look in new markets, I think we'll see greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Yadin Porter de Leon (19:52):

I think that's- that's a good point, because, uh, there are opportunities that potentially could be created with that effort and that focus where it could be credibly beneficial to areas that normally would not have had access to a large technology company, or a pharmaceutical company, or a financial services company if you have that enable and if you have experience.

Yadin Porter de Leon (20:10):

Now these people have access to these opportunities and it just helped the company. It also helps the local community, it helps the country they're in, it helps the family that they're a part of. It, it's the way in which not only you can get that best talent, but, also, effects change in areas that may have had opportunities like that before.

Yadin Porter de Leon (20:25):

And I think having that view, but technically that may be easy to solve, or easier to solve from the technology perspective. And the human perspective and, sort of, the cultural perspective of the company may be the largest challenge. But I think you're in a position where you don't have a challenge as much as other CIOs might have?

Jason Conyard (20:41):

Yeah, and that's where we get to the topic of virtual reality and augmented reality because, uh, as I said at the beginning, you can't really replace in person.

Yadin Porter de Leon (20:50):

Yeah, I would love to be in person right now, you know, 'cause we have a podcast studio on campus and I would love right now-

Jason Conyard (20:55):


Yadin Porter de Leon (20:55):

... for me to be having this conversation with you in person.

Jason Conyard (20:56):


Yadin Porter de Leon (20:57):

There's a great view out the window, that's a corner office too. It's really lovely. I don't know how we scored that podcasting recording room, but, we'll be in there again Jason-

Jason Conyard (21:04):


Yadin Porter de Leon (21:04):

... we'll be in there again. (laughs)

Jason Conyard (21:04):

Uh, yeah, indeed- indeed, and we're very fortunate to have a beautiful campus in Palo Alto, as well as some other places.

Jason Conyard (21:12):

I think that while we can't replace in person, I think we can definitely do better than what we're doing today. And during the course of the last year, we've hired many new people into the company, thousands of people, in fact, into the company, who have never been to a VMware office.

Yadin Porter de Leon (21:29):

It's, kind of, amazing now. It is, it is, kind of, amazing.

Jason Conyard (21:31):

Yeah, it is. Or met their colleagues in person. So, we are looking at ways of how do we address that, how do we mitigate some of the things that we lose out on by using virtual reality. But I think it then expands on your further point which is, "Okay, but if we're saying we're gonna have a future where coming to the office is no longer a requirement, and maybe we don't actually meet in person as often, how do we extend the [inaudible 00:21:56] of that connectiveness? How do we build upon our culture and our values as a company in a way that people feel included?

Jason Conyard (22:02):

I've challenged some of the leaders in IT to say we're looking for talent in particular areas of, maybe, we're struggling in, the markets we normally look in. Let's look in different markets, or let's look in different parts of the world and think about how we can bridge the gap, and build that sense of connectedness and togetherness.

Yadin Porter de Leon (22:19):

I like that too, because that is a strategic capability now that the business has, because before you wouldn't be able to say, "Hey, let's look at another market," 'cause there would all, be all these other challenges, all these other ways in which you couldn't create the connection and provide the productivity, maybe, before, at least there wasn't the perception that you could. And now there's, maybe, a cultural perception within the company that, okay, now this is an easy thing to say in a meeting, "Well let's look in a different market."

Jason Conyard (22:41):

I think the other thing there, as well, yeah, then is that we would typically say, "Well it would be very expensive to open an office in this-

Yadin Porter de Leon (22:47):


Jason Conyard (22:47):

... country."

Yadin Porter de Leon (22:47):

... exactly.

Jason Conyard (22:47):

Well maybe-

Yadin Porter de Leon (22:47):

Yeah. (laughs)

Jason Conyard (22:50):

... you don't need to open an office in that country. Maybe we need to have a legal presence in the country, but that's not the same as an office.

Yadin Porter de Leon (22:56):

Exactly. No, I'd say, and that's one of the things where the real estate footprint is very different. So, it's- it's not a question of, okay, well how do we open an office there, and how do we staff it, how do we make it an environment where people then can be pulled from that local area to, like you said, "Maybe we don't."

Yadin Porter de Leon (23:09):

Jason, I could talk to you forever about this stuff. I think there's a lot of really different ways in which you are approaching certain things that are really movin' the needle, you know, everything from talent, to productivity, to all the different things that I know a CIO is tasked with.

Yadin Porter de Leon (23:22):

There's a new segment of this show where I, kind of, like to say ... It's a little tongue in cheek, 'cause here we're all about what's working, what's not, and what's next. What's important to the CIO? Now I don't say that glibly, but I do have a little bit of a, of a history with talking to analysts, and lots of people, and what's important to CIOs" What do CIOs want? What is a CIO thinking about?

Yadin Porter de Leon (23:40):

And I like to turn it on its head a little bit. I like to say, if you're talking to a CIO, you know, what would that CIO say is really important for you to start looking at, from the perspective in today's topic, human experiences with digital connections. And you were sitting across from a colleague. and they were asking you, "Well what's important to you, and what should I be looking out for?" Lind of, moving forward as a CIO, 'cause things aren't the way that they used to be, 'cause uh, things have changed at such a scale. And everyone's things, like, things have accelerated, things have changed.

Yadin Porter de Leon (24:07):

This is a very unique time, which things really have changed in a way that has been so dramatic. What do you think you would say is important to that CIO who is really looking to create that human connection with digital experiences. What's important, what should be important to them, what should they be looking at, what should they be talking about, what should they be focused on?

Jason Conyard (24:25):

So definitely thinking about experience first, both from a customer as well as from an employee perspective, I think is super important. I think the emotion that's most commonly associated with technology is frustration.

Yadin Porter de Leon (24:41):

(Laughs) Yes. Did I click on the right thing? Where's the settings? I can't change my settings. Where are my setting? You're on mute, I can't hear you. (laughs)

Jason Conyard (24:47):

So the challenge that our team has, and our- our experience team has internally, it is striving for delightful. That is, in fact, the emotional target that they have. So that's one.

Yadin Porter de Leon (24:57):

I like that. Can we make a T-shirt that says that, striving for delightful? And it was a team T-shirt and just put that anywhere.

Jason Conyard (25:02):

Yeah, absolutely. I'll buy one.

Jason Conyard (25:04):

But from, uh, stepping, kind of, out a level in the conversation, I think the conversations that I'm having with my peers, and I, I'm very mindful of and thinking about a lot, is about business agility. I think the last period here has shown the businesses that are agile, businesses that can move on a dime can adapt rapidly, will not only survive the challenges that we're currently dealing with, but actually will thrive as we move through them.

Jason Conyard (25:30):

And I think that the ensuring that the organization has that agility, that we have systems and processes, the design for agility, and that we jettison a lot of the baggage, the technical baggage, the process baggage that we've all accumulated over the last decade or so, and we really ensure that our energies are focused on where we're going and not just sustaining some idea in the past that doesn't represent who we are.

Yadin Porter de Leon (25:56):

Exactly. That's a tough struggle. It's easy to say it, it's tough to pull off, so I'm gonna be looking to you, Jason, to make that happen. That's ... I guess that's what you signed up for, it's what every CIO signed up for.

Jason Conyard (26:06):

Okay, all right, good.

Yadin Porter de Leon (26:08):

All right, well, Jason, it's been a fantastic conversation. Where can people reach out to you or find you online, whether it's social? Where can they create that human connection with you with digital experiences Jason?

Jason Conyard (26:19):

If folks want to know what's on my mind, then you can find me on Twitter at Jason Conyard, or in LinkedIn, the same-

Yadin Porter de Leon (26:24):


Jason Conyard (26:25):

... uh, Jason Conyard. And I think, uh, Twitter you'll get, kind of, what's on my mind for today, and I think LinkedIn, a little bit more depth and, of course, our various, uh, resources on

Yadin Porter de Leon (26:34):

Excellent, yeah. So, for that mention, too, it's, it's where Jason will have a lot of the things that he's thinking about and what's important to him. And so when they're looking at Twitter too, what non-CIO related subjects will they might find? Will they find gardening tips on there as well? What's the non, sort of, business subject that ends up on Twitter?

Jason Conyard (26:52):

Mostly space.

Yadin Porter de Leon (26:54):

Space, yes, that's right. That's right, you're a NASA fan aren't you?

Jason Conyard (26:56):

I am, uh, it's all things space fan, and discovery as well. And discovery is not limited to space for me. The ocean has- has been a long-term interest of mine since I was a boy. And I just think stretching beyond, you know, what we know, learning new things, it's always on my mind and something that piques my interest.

Yadin Porter de Leon (27:15):

Excellent. Well thank-you for joining the CIO Exchange Podcast.

Jason Conyard (27:18):

Thank you.

Yadin Porter de Leon (27:20):

Thank-you for listening to the CIO Exchange Podcast. For more conversations with technology leaders from around the world, consider subscribing to this podcast. And to get video perspectives and deep research visit