Chief Digital & Information Officer
Damian O'Gara is the Chief Digital & Information Officer at Kent, a leading global organisation in the oil and energy sector with the aim of designing, building and maintaining the assets that power the world for today and make it future-ready for tomorrow. Damian holds a master’s degree in computer studies from Staffordshire University.
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Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I began my professional journey with Oracle Consulting in the UK as a graduate, where I had the privilege of working with a diverse range of clients and industries. Oracle provided me with an exceptional environment to cultivate my technical expertise and leadership skills, allowing me to grow both personally and professionally.
Following my tenure at Oracle, I embarked on a fulfilling career in consulting, spanning numerous years and encompassing a wide array of clients across various sectors such as healthcare, retail, and defence. This experience granted me valuable insights into different industries, enabling me to understand and address unique challenges within each domain.
In 2013, I relocated to the UAE, where I had the opportunity to work with OSN, a prominent broadcast media company. During my time there, I contributed to the success of their operations, leveraging my expertise in the technology domain to drive innovation and efficiency.
For the past five years, I have served as Chief Digital and Information Officer (CIDO) at Kent, a leading global organisation in the oil and energy sector. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of progressively assuming leadership roles, culminating in my current position as a CDIO. This journey has allowed me to leverage my technical acumen and strategic vision to drive digital transformation and innovation within organisations.
One of the aspects I find most captivating about working in the technology field is the opportunity to traverse various industries. Witnessing and addressing the distinct challenges that each industry presents has been a fascinating and enriching experience, continually fueling my passion for leveraging technology to drive impactful change.
Overall, my career path has followed a traditional trajectory, encompassing technical software development, solutions and enterprise architecture, large-scale program management, and ultimately leadership roles as a CDIO. This diverse range of experiences has provided me with a well-rounded skill set and a deep understanding of how technology can be harnessed to achieve business success across different industries.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
The success I have achieved can be attributed solely to the exceptional individuals who work alongside me. When building my team, I actively seek out individuals who possess exceptional abilities in their respective roles, aiming to recruit those who surpass my own capabilities. Once they are part of the team, I provide them with the freedom, independence, and trust they need to unleash their full potential and achieve remarkable outcomes.
With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CIO role going in the next 1-2 years?
As we enter a post-digital age, I see my role placing more focus towards the delivery of AI and automation to deliver high-value business results. AI helps us analyse data and make informed decisions, while automation streamlines workflows and boosts productivity.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CIO?
Trust your team to deliver and provide the support, autonomy and coaching required to deliver incredible results.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I have lived in the UAE for 10 years and love it!
- I have a miniature schnauzer dog called Murphy.
- I played the keyboard in a band in the late 80s.
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
The chance to network and engage with fellow professionals provides a unique avenue for learning and growth. The power of such a community lies in its ability to foster collaboration, inspire innovation, and cultivate a mindset of continuous learning.
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