Inspirational Executives Series – IBM Europe
Anna Bianchi – An Inspirational Executive: Global Business Services Leader – Italy. London, United Kingdom.
Anna is Vice President and Global Business Services Leader in the UK. She is also currently leading Global Business Services (GBS) in Italy.
Previously she led the European Business for Enterprise Applications (SAP, Oracle, & Microsoft) for GBS in the Distribution Sector for industries such as CPG, Retail, Pharmaceuticals, and T&T. Prior to this Anna had been an Account Partner for a leading Multinational CPG client based in London for three years where she was responsible for the sales and delivery of the biggest and fastest global transformation program aiming to deliver an accelerated deployment for SAP and Target Operating Model in 180 markets. In this role she was leading more than 700 consultants.
Anna has also undertaken a wide range of clients’ programmes across multiple geographies in IBM including UK, Italy, Belgium, France, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Anna started her career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 1995, joined IBM Global Business Service in 2003 as part of the PwC acquisition, and has over twenty years of international, complex IT led, Transformation Management experience in multiple industries such as Oil & Gas, CPG, and Retail.
Anna holds a Degree in Economics and Business Administration and a Master’s Degree from Oxford University.
This interview discusses how Anna’s career has grown over the past twenty-one years, how she manages her work-life balance, and what advise she would give to others aspiring to an executive career at IBM.
Can you describe your current role at IBM please?
I am currently leading IBM Global Business Services in Italy: I have responsibilities for the consulting business, go to market strategy, P/L, all practitioners (2000+), and driving the clients’ agenda in the Digital transformation and Cognitive space. We are shifting to a new delivery model that includes our new nearshore center. I work in tandem with other Line of Business to build our end-to-end solution for our clients.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
The most rewarding aspect of my role is that we are, as IBM, in the middle of a global transformation so it is exciting to deploy the strategy in a local market and be an active part of the transformation.
My network is one of my key elements and I can proudly say I know IBM’ers literally in every country
I like to hear from clients how the IBM teams have been making the difference in transforming their business or IT or operations. I also feel excited to work in such an international environment with many opportunities to work in different countries and experience different cultures. I have been traveling literally everywhere and that has given me a different perspective.
Furthermore, I really enjoy working with international teams.
Loyalty, longevity, and hard-work are quite apparent in your career-path. Are there other attributes that are important for career progression at IBM in your opinion?
Hard work is definitely a key for success, but it is not enough. I like to be up-to-date with the latest and greatest so I always like to learn new things and at the same time I like taking new challenges. The Key is to stay relevant.
I always tell my mentees that in IBM “you are managing your career” and this is really true. I have always asked for more challenges and bigger responsibilities: every 2-3 years I like to face new ones (sometimes in different countries) so I can complete my experiences and develop myself in different areas. So my advice is to be curious, be fearless.
How do you manage your work life balance?
This is a good question! I like sports so I try to find always some time to do some activities also when I travel. I also try to plan quality time with friends around Europe and family. Lots of colleagues are now friends too, which make things easier!
Do you have any recommendations for employees aspiring to an executive career at IBM?
I have built my career working on big clients, top accounts, covering both sales and delivery roles, working internationally, and cross sectors. This has given me a 360 degrees perspective as I have an understanding of different markets too.
My network is one of my key elements and I can proudly say I know IBM’ers literally in every country, which means I get lot of support when needed. My advice is that it is important to get out of the comfort zone and be always open to new experiences and challenges.
The Inspirational Executive series consists of interviews that profile executive IBM’ers across Europe to demonstrate how one may successfully build an executive career in this increasingly demanding market.
Juggling work, life, and family commitments is a daunting challenge, but this series reveals how, with careful time management, flexible leadership, and a willingness to embrace challenge, IBM can support successful executives throughout Europe to succeed in every aspect of their careers.
If you are interested in learning more about our executive opportunities within Global Business Services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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