Changing the advisory industry from the inside and with decades of experience from both sides of the table – the story of IZARA’s Charlotte Bortolozzo

Charlotte Bortolozzo is a Business Adviser, CIO-as-a-Service & Assoc. Partner at IZARA

“Customer-centricity and experience from both business and IT to be able to develop truly business-enabling solutions”. After more than 20 years’ in a variety of business and IT positions as well as CIO roles in large corporations, Charlotte Bortolozzo joined IZARA in August 2020 and it is clear to both her and her new IZARA colleagues exactly what value she brings. 

From the very first meeting, Charlotte’s smile and calmness shines through as a welcome breath of fresh air in a conservative, tie-flooded, and hour and money-focused industry. She is an accomplished professional who not only proudly carries her experience in everything she does, but also rests perfectly in it. 

And it is exactly this; the positive attitude, ability to listen and understand, and customer-centricity that Charlotte believes will add additional value to the customers. Because, after more than two decades in business, IT and bridging the gap between the two, Charlotte knows exactly what it feels like to sit on the other side of the table. 

With a huge welcome to Charlotte, we asked her about her thoughts and expectations when she took up her new position as Assoc. Partner on 1 August 2020. 

The decision to join IZARA has been on the way for some time. But how did it start? 

My first experience with IZARA dates a couple of years back when I was CIO. Jakob contacted me regarding an advisory opportunity. It turned out my husband and Jakob are professional acquaintances and, as my desire to go independent grew and without knowing much about IZARA, I accepted Jakob’s invitation for coffee in January this year. 

Since then, we have had a lot of coffee, discussing our views on the IT industry, consultancy, business challenges and innovation, and value-adding services while we slowly got a feel for the potential match between our experiences, competencies, values and world-views. 

Ultimately, what were the main drivers behind your decision to join IZARA? 

First of all, the team, the passion, the values and the customer focus! 

Secondly, I have been a CIO for many years, sitting on the other side of the table. From there, I have had both good and not so impressive experiences with IT vendors. Consultants who come in on short-term assignments and hour-billing in mind and who start with optimising IT as-is instead of identifying the company’s long-term business objectives and working backwards from there. 

Yes, I feel there is a strong match between what IZARA stands for – both internally as well as in the market – and our view on IT. I look forward to exploring this match further and potentially become an equity partner, when we are sure that it is the right next step. 

Which experience and expertise do you expect to put the most to use? 

From my professional experience, failed IT implementations are usually the result of misunderstandings. My ability to listen and focus on business and customer needs, bridging the gap between the line of business and IT, is one of the most valuable strengths I have to offer our customers. When you listen with an open mind based on an invitation to dialogue, you increase the possibility of success for both Management and the employees. 

This approach – combined with my broad knowledge about IT and doing business on C-level – will be my primary contribution to an already strong team.  

Finally, I believe my personal qualities such as positive spirit, result-oriented approach, fast and flexible thinking and not least my sense of humour will make a difference and be a great add-on for IZARA. 

Which difference do you expect to make for our customers? 

From my point of view, IT is – and should be – nothing to fuzz about – but how you can use IT to make a difference, is. With the right IT foundation, we can enable our customers to focus on their future business and on value-adding projects and efficiency, instead of just business-sustaining operation. 

I hope I will make a difference for a lot of customers, setting them free from complex and time-consuming applications and infrastructure. I want to help our customers’ management teams with strategy and communication and the business side with optimised and improved processes and work tasks, while ensuring the IT department remains a value-adding partner that fully supports and enables the business strategy. 

What do you hope to achieve, both personally and professionally? 

For many years I have considered becoming self-employed, but it never seemed to be the right setup or time. For a lot of reasons, it feels right to join IZARA now and, although I have been in the business for a long time, I know I will learn much from the team and our customers. 

In the short-term I will commence as lead on a M&A IT due diligence assignment in August while I learn more about IZARA, my colleagues and our customers. In the longer term I want to become the advisor who our customers turn to no matter if they have an urgent issue or want to plan long-term for the next future. My ability to interact with all levels of the organisation makes me suitable for facilitating assignments, workshops and projects on C-level as well as in the factory. 

What advise do you have for potential employees reading your story? 

Find your passion and follow your dreams. Believe in yourself but remember, you must learn how to crawl before you can run. It takes time getting the deep knowledge our customers rightfully expect from us. And remember to listen, be curious and keep an open mind. 

– Charlotte has more than 20 years’ experience from a variety of business and IT project as well as CIO positions in large corporations and will join IZARA 1st August 2020. Read more about her professional trajectory and contact her.