Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Nordic CIO Community

Kari Anna Fiskvik

VP Technology

Strawberry (formerly Nordic Choice Hotels)

Kari Anna Fiskvik is a prominent technology executive, who is currently the Vice President of Technology at Strawberry (formerly Nordic Choice Hotels). She has over two decades of experience in the technology sector, and in recognition of her contributions to the technology industry, Fiskvik was named one of the Top 50 Women in Tech in Norway in 2022.

Learn more about the Nordic CIO community here.

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

Technology was never my passion in itself. My passion was to create value, and on this path, technology and change became the most valuable tools I found to create change that made a real difference. This passion has been what has guided my whole career; there is always a new challenge to take on and there is always somewhere new to go. 

I thrive in creative and lively environments and have worked my way through technology, e-commerce, logistics and business development in various industries - including music, publishing, sports apparel, fashion, and lately, hospitality. Being around people and creating good experiences for them, together with my colleagues, is very energizing and makes me wake up most days with a smile and an eagerness to go to work.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Prioritize tech that makes a positive change in peoples’ lives. There is so much to keep track of - so many new things, so many vendors, so many possibilities - it's quite easy to get lost along the way. But if you keep in mind that what you prioritize should make a positive change in people's lives, I believe this will keep your team, your company and yourself on the right path most of the time.

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

From managing technology to advocating and governing technology, architecture, data, networks and security, the business is becoming more and more self-sufficient and digital competence is rising among people in general. The IT industry in itself is really still quite young and there are only a few who have an understanding of engineering. 

Engineering is of course still a deal breaker, but with technology becoming a factor in so many things in our everyday lives, I believe the management of how to release power, but not lose control of cost, dataflows and security is what will be on top of the agenda moving forward.

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

Be curious and be commercial. Tech is about business results. If you want to align with the business, you have to learn their business model to support them well. It's all about getting to know not only your customers, but also your colleagues and what matters to them. Be open, dare to be vulnerable and always be yourself. Bring your own energy and uniqueness with you to work, rather than trying to fit in and copying someone else's personality.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I studied performance arts in school.
  2. I arranged a demo when they turned the arts rooms into computer rooms.
  3. At the beach, I like to lay upside down in the sunbed with my feet high up in the air.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community? 

It's inspiring to hear how other people view the world and their approach to problem solving and leveraging new opportunities. It broadens your perspective in ways you could never do on your own or through just reading articles or listening to podcasts. The value of conversation and human-to-human interaction is unique and cannot, in full, be replaced by any technology.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CIOs, for CIOs

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