Creating value through a continuous technology and digital evolution

We chat with Devan Naidoo, the Technology Director of our Retirement & Superannuation Solutions (RSS) business, to share his vision and how he plans to work with clients to innovate and deliver on the challenges they are facing and expand on our range of digital solutions.

With more than 20 years of successful achievements as a technology management executive, Devan has had a highly rewarding career, including influential roles with two of the big four consulting firms and in superannuation with UniSuper and Aware Super. Learn a little more about Devan below.

Can you tell us about yourself?

My career has always been in technology. I started as a software developer, working my way to becoming the youngest Group Chief Information Officer (CIO) in South Africa at just 29. My leadership style could probably be described as a ‘transformational coach’ because I share and use my vision to drive strategy and encourage my teams to apply their strengths to emerge as leaders.

bakingI’m a people person! I believe having that personal touch is important. I like to spend meaningful time with our teams and have received emails from many employees telling me how connected they feel. I’ve never forgotten where I come from, which greatly impacts my leadership style.

More personally, I grew up in South Africa during the apartheid regime, so experiencing a lot of that history gave me a great appreciation of a multicultural society. It’s also something I find akin to Australia after moving here five years ago, and I am fortunate to live in this beautiful country. 

I have two sons who have motivated me to become a better baker. They have challenged me to make some very intricate cakes and they think it’s quite amusing to see me in the kitchen next to a mixer. 

How does your experience provide a unique perspective to our business? 

Almost two decades ago, I set up my first offshore team and since then I’ve continuously delivered strong technology outcomes and projects through a distributed delivery model. 

Having worked across three continents – Europe, Africa and now Australia – I bring global technology experience and perspective to RSS. My work in technology consulting exposed me to a variety of overseas clients across different sectors, primarily financial services but also manufacturing and mining. This diverse global mindset, coupled with being highly technical, is essential to a technology role where we operate in multiple geographies.  

How does your role support our new strategy for the future? 

When leading the technology function, I focus on creating value for clients by directing a continuous technology and digital evolution that aligns with our growth ambitions. My emphasis will be on architecting systems that innovate and pivot with client needs, delivering leading technology platforms that are responsive to market trends. 

A critical part of my role is to partner with clients to further innovate and expand on our range of leading technology solutions to meet their strategic goals and deliver on member expectations through pragmatic and analytic data-driven decisions. 

What are some key priorities within the next 12 months? 

One essential priority is to embed technology within the RSS business seamlessly. Previously, technology operated as a separate business line, part of Link Group’s global operations. However, now we have full end-to-end accountability, delivering closer alignment to client needs and the way we do things.

Other focus areas include:

  • Our digital-first capabilities 
  • Working with funds to co-design solutions 
  • A customer-led data strategy
  • New product offerings to support our clients in all markets
  • Improve agility to simplify how we operate

How can we help funds improve member engagement? 

Delivering and improving the member experience is an immediate priority for every fund. For some, this means using our capabilities to customise for the nuances in a particular member journey, while others will require the provision of data via APIs to develop their own first-class member experience system. 

Regardless of the solution, a key consideration is how we focus on data security, to protect our clients and their member and employer data. 

What have you enjoyed so far and what are you looking forward to in the future? 

I’ve enjoyed meeting our clients and all the people in our business. Everyone shares a common purpose of delivering great outcomes for members which really touches my heart. It’s a golden thread that spreads all the way from technology into the broader business, then through our clients and flows onwards to members.

We’re an essential cog in a larger machine that is producing great outcomes for people who will live extraordinary lives after they retire. 

Any last words?

I continue to be fascinated by technology and how it can transform human life, enhancing not just the way we work but the way we live. We spend a large part of our lives focused on our careers, and it’s important to anchor that in a vision or purpose. I’ve found meaning in my work by delivering outcomes that I know will affect people’s future lives. It makes me happy knowing that my work at Link Group will make a positive difference. 

For more information or to set up a discussion, please contact your Client Partnership Manager.