Meet the judges—Phani Burra

In our Meet the judges series, we’ll be chatting to some of the cloud tech experts on our judging panel to find out more about their experience, their passion for cloud tech, and what they’re making a beeline for at the awards ceremony buffet… 

Phani Burra is Director of Cloud Transformation at Albertsons Companies.

Phani brings 21+ years of direct, deep, hands-on experience with expertise in the Strategy, Planning, Integration, Implementation, DevSecOps, and Operations of large business transformation programs. He has held various senior leadership positions and has successfully managed portfolios with budgetary responsibility over $100M+. Phani creates exceptional customer experiences by combining transformation and product design approaches. He leverages the shared aspiration model to be his north star for strategic decisions and execution.

As a transformational and product design leader, Phani utilizes the power of data and analytics to build value, drive growth, streamline costs, and help achieve organizational strategic objectives.

A graduate of the Authentic Leader Development Program at Harvard Business School, he also holds a master’s in Computer Science from Gannon University.

Phani has experience servicing the government, pharmaceutical, life sciences, healthcare, technology, education, insurance and retail industries. Phani has expert-level knowledge of ERP, SCM, HCM, and CRM cloud-based application suites. His approach is to lead from the front and his leadership competencies include building high-performing teams through vision and purpose and ensuring accountability.

Which category are you most looking forward to judging?

Outstanding Leader of the Year, Cloud Technology Employer of the Year, and Outstanding Contribution to the Microsoft Ecosystem.

How has cloud technology made an impact on your life, or within your business?

Migration to the cloud has reduced my organization’s dependency on a few key vendors, and accelerated our investments in automation around infrastructure and information security. Our current strategy is to be a public cloud-only company by early 2022.

You're at an awards ceremony; what food are you making a beeline to the buffet table for?

Fish and salad. I'm a pescetarian!
Phani Burra
Director of Cloud Transformation at Albertsons Companies

Are there any people or businesses from the cloud tech space that have caught your eye with their work in the past year?

Yes! To name a few companies, I’d say GitLab,  FreshWorks, and Coinbase. To name a few people, Ganesh Srinivasan, CPO of Confluent, Anisha Vaswani, CIO of Toast, Matt Cain, CEO of Couchbase, Jitesh Ghaim, CPO of Informatica, and Marc Benioff,  CEO of Salesforce.

If you were to win an award yourself, perhaps for a secret talent, what would it most likely be?​

A Disruptive Leader or Innovative Leader Award!
Phani Burra
Director of Cloud Transformation at Albertsons Companies

These awards are all about celebrating what's happened in the last year; but what kind of developments are you expecting to see in the cloud industry in the coming year?​

I think automation, enterprise core services as product offerings, and a drive for productivity and resiliency for applications in the cloud. 

What do you think the biggest opportunity will be for organizations in the cloud space in 2022? What will be the biggest challenge to overcome?

Automation is the biggest opportunity; the biggest challenge is people’s mindset. We need to invest in business process uplift with a heavy emphasis on change management.

Technology and the cloud space will be effective only when both people and business processes utilize it in the right way. 

How important are awards in promoting diversity and inclusion, especially in sectors like tech?

They’re very important. Focusing on D&I has proven to be better at attracting top nominees, developing relationships with customers and communities, improving decision-making, and maximizing nominee satisfaction.

Inclusion and belonging will ensure that each nominee’s voice is heard and integrated into the award process, allowing different views to coexist in a way that benefits the award decision-making process.

Cultivating a supportive, welcoming, inclusive, and fair recognition environment will allow nominees to feel connected to the overall mission and success of the Digital Revolution Awards.

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