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US Army CIO leaves for ServiceNow amid Pentagon CIO exodus

Outgoing US Army CIO Dr Raj Iyer has joined software firm ServiceNow as Head of Global Public Sector.

He leaves after a well-regarded and highly modernising two year stint overseeing a $16 billion annual IT budget (including ~$3 billion in software and $1.5 billion in hardware costs)  for 1.4 million users working with 40,000+ different analytics products across 2,370 on-premises systems with 150 system interfaces at the Army.

Dr Iyer takes on the new role at ServiceNow as the Department of Defence faces a CIO exodus: Navy CIO Aaron Weis leaves his post this month, Air Force CIO Lauren Knausenberger stands down in June, and US Space Systems Command CIO Dr Jennifer Krolikowski-Stamer also announced her resignation this month.

The resignations are coincidental rather than coordinated – albeit leaving DoD with some big boots to fill – and in some cases, like that of Dr Krolikowski-Stamer, come after 27 years of military service.

Dr Iyer became the US Army’s first civilian CIO in its 243-year history in 2020, joining from Deloitte. He had announced his return to the private sector in January 2023 on the completion of his contract.

He helped lead major cloud migrations, the modernisation and migration of some of the world’s largest ERP environments and the early rollout of BYOD capabilities across the Army amongs other successes.

The Big Interview: US Army CIO Dr Raj Iyer gets tough

Writing (in some detail here) about his decision to go he noted: “From building the most advanced warfighting cloud in the DoD that is currently successfully supporting our operations in support of Ukraine, to our major pivot to prioritizing user experience through modern IT, we hit every target we identified in our Army Unified Network Plan, the Army Data Plan, and the Army Cloud Plan. We have established irreversible momentum at a scale where there is no going back. More importantly, we have shown that we can do this in a budget-neutral fiscal environment and never used funding as an excuse for not getting things done.”

DoD CIO John B. Sherman said at the time: “You've made a huge impact in terms of modernizing and transforming the Department of the Army's IT, cybersecurity, and overall technology posture in areas like AI, data, and others. You made hard decisions and took the Army towards new and needed pathways--you showed moral courage, technical acumen, care for the force, and, above all, true leadership.

“Rest assured that you've left big shoes to fill, and that I know I speak for all our colleagues in DoD CIO and the MILDEPs with my compliments to you, and in our commitment to ensuring we can continue supporting the Army in what you've started. Thanks so much, amigo. Be proud of what you've done here.”

Bill McDermott, chairman and CEO of ServiceNow said of his new high-profile hire: “Raj is the best of the best. He’s the perfect leader to accelerate the mission critical nature of the work we do with governments around the world, to transform experiences for employees, service members, and citizens.”

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