Ganesh Bell is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for GE Power. He joined GE in 2014 as the company’s first ever CDO and is now leading a team building solutions for the digital transformation of the electricity industry.
Recently named as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Bell has spent more than 20 years leading technology businesses. Prior to GE, he served as Chief Products Officer at ServiceSource and played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and successful IPO. As VP of Portfolio Strategy and then Product and Business Strategy at SAP, Bell lead strategic initiatives and product strategy. Prior to SAP, he led platform strategy at PeopleSoft integrating J.D. Edwards product portfolio after the company’s acquisition, then serving as Chief Software Architect. Prior to that, he created YOUcentric’s leading CRM products and led its core development to successful acquisition by J.D. Edwards.
The Toughest Problem I Encountered in Transformation
I used to think developing great software was tough. Then I became GE's first chief digital officer and took on responsbility for digitally transforming GE Power and the industry it serves. That's when I realised software was the (relatively) easy part. The electricity industry had barely changed during GE's 125 year history. Then, seemingly overnight, it shifted massively, and irreversably towards a lower-carbon, more decentralized future wherein wind farms, rooftop solar, micro grids and electric vehicles are ubiquitous. Navigating that type of transition requires great software, but it also requires a whole lot more. It requires inspirational leadership. It requires rethinking conventional metrics and business models. It requires a different type of culture. And it requires the reinvigoration of talent.
In the past two years, more than 60 of the world's power producers and utilities have started their digital journeys with GE on Predix. We've learned, side-by-side, how tough leading a digital transformation can be, but there's nothing I'd rather be working on.