Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Melbourne CIO Community

Bastian Uber

Chief Digital and Information Officer

John Holland

Bastian Uber is the Chief Digital and Information Officer at John Holland, a $7 billion, 6000 employee construction company primarily operating across Australia and New Zealand.

Learn more about the Melbourne CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I have been fortunate to have had opportunities in several different industries over my career, including banking and finance, telecommunications, agribusiness, health insurance and most recently construction.

Having held senior roles in enabling functions like IT as well as operational positions, I can appreciate how each plays a part to achieve the organisational strategy. Attracted to the tangibility of the construction industry and the assets it delivers to communities, I joined John Holland at the beginning of 2018. Five years on, I still love this tangibility and importantly, the culture. I have been Chief Digital and Information Officer here for almost two years.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Be authentic and true to your values. The challenges we face day to day can be tough and I find being authentic is a strong anchor. Crucially, do not forget to have some fun along the way!

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CIO role going in the next 1-2 years?

My industry is not as advanced as others when it comes to technology adoption and digital transformation, so it’s an exciting journey ahead! My focus is on delivering technology-enabled change which makes us more efficient, informed, and safe, both physically for our project site-based workers as well as virtually for cyber security. 

The CIO plays a key role in ensuring the organisation’s digital dexterity grows over the coming years and that opportunities to embrace technologies like AI are understood by the broader executive team. Whether it’s tagged as disruption or evolution, the role of the CIO needs to be visible, people-oriented and focused on guiding the organisation through significant change.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CIO?

Be clear on what the priorities of stakeholders are and consider how you can enable these priorities. First and foremost, build a great team and culture – without this, you cannot achieve the first point. Find yourself a trusted mentor or sounding board who has already walked this path.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

  1. I have collected wine for many years and built up a nice cellar which I enjoy sharing with family and friends. 
  2. Having played loads of sports, including martial arts, I had managed never to break a bone my whole life, until last year!
  3. I am looking forward to taking my young children on their first overseas trip soon.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community? 

I find Evanta very valuable, especially their ability to bring together so many peers to facilitate sharing, learning, and networking. Being able to reach into this community is really beneficial and I have developed some great trusted relationships from it.

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