Anudeep Parhar became the CTO of Minneapolis technology benefits firm Bloom Health earlier this month. Prior to Bloom, he was SVP at Digital River and has also been with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota & Thomson Rueters.
How long have you been working in technology for and what is your technical background?
Most of my life. I am a technologist by trade and training, and have been in the business of technology for the past 20+ years. I have a bachelors and masters in computer science and engineering with focus on automata theory, discreet mathematics and software engineering. My career has spanned all aspects of technology – build, sell, support and implement innovative technology products and massively scalable/available platforms at large and midsize global corporations.
What are you focused on right now?
My current focus is on developing a technology strategy to enable business growth and our competitive posture. Bloom boasts a strong corporate culture, a forward-looking technology stack and a history of delivery winning results. Keeping Bloom a great place to work in the Twin Cities is a priority.
What are the some of the technologies within your company and IT environment?
Primarily AWS for the core infrastructure and Google corporate IT, Angular for UX, Groovy/Grails, MYSQL DB and REST APIs for our core business platform. Various open source solutions for devops, engineering productivity and infrastructure. I believe in polyglot architecture principles and surround myself with smart people to ensure we treat our technology operation as a business and run it with a keen business and common sense.
How do you ensure that IT plans, projects and objectives are aligned with business outcomes?
Context is everything – pragmatic business sense and collaborative disposition are essential. That is, spend a lot of time with business stakeholders/clients, make time to create a technology strategy and encourage (by example) a culture of making pragmatic business decisions. Give project leaders/teams ample responsibility but demand accountability.
How does your company approach recruiting and retention for technical positions in an increasingly competitive market?
We look for attitude and aptitude fit with our culture and values, penchant to solve tough problems using technology – and we strive to keep a tech stack which challenges and allows for creativity. We sponsor various local meetups and events to showcase what we do and how we do it. Our culture encourages our tech staff and leaders to be actively involved in recruiting activities.
How do you personally keep up with the ever changing technology landscape?
It is tough to keep up, but I continue to adapt my life hacks. I try to surround myself with inquisitive people. I have a few favorite Twitter feeds that I try to check every morning, I also try to recycle them every six months to keep fresh. @Techmeme and @arstechnica for technology business news, @infoQ and @hackernews for latest on core tech. Good old fashioned 1:1 networking or 1:n meetups are extremely good source to stay fresh.
What excites you about where technology is heading?
Connectivity (Internet of everything) and technology’s ability to change/forge consumer behavior, especially in my current business of healthcare.
What concerns you about where technology is heading?
Not enough kids interested in the science of technology – merely being consumers of tech. Privacy and Security of course are table stakes that are only getting reactionary airtime.
What are you into outside of technology?
Hang with my family and friends. Cooking and entertaining is therapeutic for us. Indulge in all sorts of world, jazz and fusion music. See the world. Binge watch Sherlock, GoT, Bourdain, Orphan Black, House of Cards and the like. Norwegian baked goods!!
What is your opinion of Minnesota’s tech industry?
Healthy and thriving. We have a ton of smart technologists with keen business sense to augment technology expertise. Midwestern sensibilities are in our favor, for us as technology leaders to capitalize on by investing in local talent and small businesses. I am highly optimistic.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Future looks promising.