Advice for leaders: ‘Give oxygen to innovation’

20 Dec 2022

Tosca Colangeli, Kyndryl. Image: © Connor McKenna/

Kyndryl’s Tosca Colangeli shares her advice for tech leaders as digital transformation accelerates and adaptability becomes critical.

Being a leader has never been an easy task and for tech leaders. The pace of change has always been a challenge to contend with.

However, the past few years have seen a much faster rate of change than many leaders might have expected, especially when it comes to digital transformation.

Kyndryl is an IT infrastructure services provider that designs, builds, manages and develops large-scale information systems.

The company was created as IBM spun off its infrastructure services business in November 2021. Kyndryl has since established major partnerships with Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud and Nokia to help grow its offerings.

Speaking to, Kyndryl UK and Ireland president Tosca Colangeli said that one of the biggest trends within the tech world is how change has become the new normal.

“Companies are having to rewire themselves to be able to adopt,” she said. “They want to be able to be agile, they want to be able to adapt technology to be able to accelerate to meet the change that we’re seeing in the market.”

Harnessing technology

For many leaders, harnessing the power of technology will be critical to their agenda going forward and Colangeli said it’s about more than just the tech itself, but how it benefits employees and the culture of an organisation.

“That’s how employees are empowered,” she said.

“What we’re doing is helping our Kyndryls, as we like to call ourselves, visualise being in a culture where change is the norm. Because we’re seeing so much change – and there’s more to come,” she added.

“I think when you have that mindset, when you have that culture, then I think you can pretty much adapt to anything.”

Colangeli is also a big advocate for automation and said that automating common processes at Kyndryl has freed up more than 3,000 professionals to move onto new technologies.

“If I’m one of those 3,000 professionals, to be able to be certified and develop deep technical skills in those new technology areas, that’s really going to captivate me.”

Other advice for leaders

While she has been at the helm of Kyndryl’s UK and Ireland branch since September last year, Colangeli has held several prominent leadership roles within IBM and has a wealth of experience.

With this in mind, she said one of key pieces of advice for business leaders getting the best out of their teams is to be bold.

“I think having the courage to be bold is a really important factor today and underpinning that then is investing in having a culture which centres around your people,” she said.

“The third thing is giving oxygen to innovation. I think it’s really important to make sure that innovation is prioritised.”

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Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic