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Reno Bugiardini: achieving excellence in IT innovation

HOOPP Senior Vice President, Information Technology & Facilities Services on flattening the structure of an IT team

|Jun 8|magazine7 min read
Reno Bugiardini
Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)

Senior Vice President, Information Technology & Facilities Services

Reno Bugiardini has a wealth of experience that encompasses some 25 years of IT leadership, innovation and business optimisation. As Senior Vice President, Information Technology & Facilities Services at Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) he is responsible for providing strategic vision and direction for all IT and facilities services.

Bugiardini is an innovative leader. Speaking with him, it is readily apparent that he is driven by a combination of innovative thinking, a keen sense of strategic vision and direction for those businesses that he works for, and a pride in his ability to build and steer a highly efficient IT team.

It’s an approach that has served well. At the end of last year, he and his colleagues reached the end of a sweeping, innovative three-year IT strategy that was based around three fundamental areas: a cloud-first approach, adopting Agile working methods, and ‘flattening’ the team structure to encourage greater collaboration, innovation and autonomy.

The strategy has positioned the organisation firmly in the driving seat for 2020 and beyond, and is something of which Bugiardini is rightly proud. As an IT leader, he sees his team’s core function as delivering on the pension promise that HOOPP makes to its members. “We’re a world-class IT organisation that exists to provide and enable innovative IT solutions and strategies to the entire business,” he explains. “We exist to deliver the very best and the way in which we deliver all our services over the last three years has absolutely evolved - it has to, so as to ensure we maintain the competitive advantage that differentiates us in the sector.”

Naturally, innovative technologies and solutions play a crucial role in Bugiardini’s day to day work. Yet, as a leader, he places collaboration and an effective team structure as vital. He ensures, for example, that he works closely with HOOPP’s senior team and reports directly to the company’s CEO. This isn’t always the case for IT leaders, he notes, adding that “by giving IT a seat at the executive table, HOOPP ensures that its digital strategy is always aligned to the organisation’s strategy.”

Similarly, he outlines the importance of the work taken to flatten his department’s organisational structure. This, he explains, has been essential for delivering on the other aspects of the broader IT strategy. In developing that strategy, Bugiardini viewed his department as an ‘Agile development shop’ that works closely to those other stakeholders in the business.

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We’re a world-class IT organisation that exists to provide and enable innovative IT solutions and strategies to the entire business

Reno Bugiardini | Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)

“Flattening that structure and focusing on how the IT team worked was really valuable,” he continues. “You don’t have red tape, and that makes everything more simple. People and teams are empowered to make their own decisions and to take ownership of the results.”

The company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic proved this point. Because of this way of working, and the robustness of the rest of Bugiardini’s IT strategy, HOOPP continued to operate flawlessly. “We had the speed and agility to do whatever we needed to,” he notes. “There were several automation and process tasks in that initial period that just happened; no one needed approval to carry out a task, or to ensure they were in sync with the broader thinking of the business. If we weren’t built that way we’d probably still be here debating whether we should deploy another VPN in the cloud or not.”

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