Agents of Change: IHS Markit’s Ben Tanner Ensures IT Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

VMware’s Agents of Change initiative celebrates smart CIOs who challenge the status quo. By harnessing the transformative power of technology, they are creating unlimited possibilities for their businesses. Here’s the next individual in the Agents of Change Series: Ben Tanner, director and head of Cloud Enablement, IHS Markit.

When faced with the merger of US-headquartered IHS and UK-headquartered Markit into a new global powerhouse offering critical information, analytics, and solutions, Ben Tanner, director and head of Cloud Enablement, recognised the importance of seamlessly integrating the two companies’ IT infrastructures. Both organisations relied on best-in-class technologies to provide their customers access to information, analytics, and solutions. Tanner wanted to unify and streamline IT and business processes across the entire enterprise, and enhance the ability of IT to support the new business.

Tanner used the people, process, technology framework, and concludes that technology was the simplest to address. “We looked holistically at what both companies were doing, evaluated what was working well, and decided to use those elements everywhere. There were already a lot of synergies with VMware solutions which helped too. Changing technology was the easy part,” Tanner said.

A Battle of Hearts and Minds
“However, bringing together two global companies with different mindsets, different approaches and different appetites for risk, and that’s very much about people and process,” he continued. “And that’s a battle of hearts and minds. It takes time.” Tanner emphasises the importance of showing people the way that things could be done and how it will benefit them, in order to bring them with you on your journey of change. As he said, “You can’t force it on people.”

See below for video diving into how Tanner integrated the IT departments of IHS and Markit.

Tanner is motivated to fix problems, to find efficiencies, and to find new ways of doing things. “IT needs to constantly innovate and keep moving forwards. Otherwise, we’re not servicing the business effectively, and we’re not delivering the best possible experience to our customers,” he explained. “Change agents question the status quo, ask what’s possible, and keep pushing harder. That leads to exciting outcomes.”

Transformative Innovation
As with any IT leader, Tanner gets excited about new technologies that have the potential to disrupt business models. “We’re exploring infrastructure as code,” he enthused. “Developers point their build environments to our private cloud platform, and when they want their code released, they hit a button, and it’s there! Boom! And it’s ready to promote to production in a couple of minutes. So it’s transformative.”

Tanner sees cloud as the foundation for innovation. “Cloud has given us so much more agility and speed. It’s the platform on which we can experiment with new technologies. This agility means faster time to market. And that’s a win-win for us and our customers.”