Affiliated with:

Manish Sood

Chief Technology Officer, Founder, and Chairman at Reltio

Manish is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Technology Officer of Reltio, the industry’s first cloud-native, software-as-a-service (SaaS) data platform, launched in 2011. He oversees Reltio’s Office of the CTO, M&A strategy, business development, long-term product strategy, and innovation. Manish led Reltio’s evolution from the concept stage to a growth leader in cloud-based, modern master data management. Valued at $1.7 billion, with more than $100 million in annual revenue, Reltio unifies multi-source, complex data into a single source of trusted information for over 125 enterprise customers globally in more than 140 countries.

During his career, Manish has architected some of the most extensive and most widely used data management solutions used by Fortune 100 companies today.

What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?

The strategic impact of data on any business is massive, especially today. This impact was very visible to me early in my career and pointed me to better data management capabilities. The other aspect that really appeals to me is the fact that in software, data is the tactile element that you can work with and shape different solutions out of. This really appealed to the inner tinkerer in me and got me hooked very early in my career.

What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?

I launched Reltio in 2011 to help organizations accelerate the value of their data and deliver on business outcomes. Since Reltio’s inception, the company evolved from concept stage to a high-growth company valued at $1.7 billion. Today, Reltio unifies multi-source, complex data into a single source of trusted information for about 125 enterprise customers globally. Reltio has architected some of the largest and most widely used data management solutions used by Fortune 100 companies today.

What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?

The increasing data silos due to application proliferation make it difficult to provide the right data at the right time to consuming systems. Another challenge is the ability to show ROI for investments in data and analytics technologies, tied to business outcomes, as there is pressure on cost and time-to-value. Finally, we’re seeing a challenge many organizations have with managing more data to understand customers, power better experience and increase growth and efficiency, while also staying compliant with growing privacy regulations.

How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?

Technology departments, whether they have embraced it or not, have evolved from a siloed internal capability or business partner to one that drives revenue. No longer viewed as a cost center, enterprise tech leaders are now more engaged with their C-level peers in strategic discussions as information has become critical not only to the smooth operation, but also critical to the profit and revenue growth for most organizations. Today’s CIOs need strategic skills and a business mindset to influence and shape an enterprise strategy, in addition to understanding how tech keeps an organization running.

Do you have any planned next steps for your career?

With the massive set of opportunities with data and AI in front of us, my goal is to stay focused on uncovering those opportunities and scale the Reltio business to its full potential.

What is the single best piece of advice you have received in your data management / IT career so far?  Why has it been so important to you?

The data management space is very interesting. Everyone understands that if you have better data then you can drive better outcomes across your business. However, very few people tie data investments to measurable business outcomes. The best piece of advice that I received early in my career was to focus on tying the technology and data investments to measurable business outcomes to drive success for any business. Technology without that link to business value is wasted effort.

Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?

At times when you are in the middle of solving an intractable problem, taking a break, and focusing on something else helps you think differently. I find that activities like jogging, cycling and the occasional round of golf are great ways for me to do so. I have come up with some of the simplest and best ideas many times in this manner. 

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this interview!  The results will be published on the DataManagementU.com website under “CDO and Data Management Thought Leaders” http://www.datamanagementu.com

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