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Unlocking DX with engineer-friendly policies and tech

As a partner in McKinsey’s Technology practice, Thomas Delaet gets excited when he can plan and implement strategies that transform organizations into places engineers want to work.

I’m a computer scientist by training, and I have a PhD in IT infrastructure automation. Prior to joining McKinsey, I gained some experience in tech consulting as part of my post-doc work, but my background was largely academic.

Thomas Delaet
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I wasn’t familiar with the firm until a friend who was in economics at my university referred me. I liked that McKinsey was solving interesting problems for the right reasons. It felt less commercial than some of the other places I interviewed. While every company needs to make money, I got the vibe McKinsey cared more about doing the right thing for clients. That resonated with me.

Additionally, here I can gain a great deal of experience in a short time, and that professional development appealed to me. I felt McKinsey was the most tech-oriented management consulting firm so, I joined as a technology consultant about 12 years ago. Since then, McKinsey has continued to grow in this area and push the limits of innovation.

My role at the firm

I’m now a partner with at McKinsey, and my expertise is in core tech transformation, largely focused on helping a wide range of clients modernize their technology stack, with cloud migrations being a big component of what we do.

At McKinsey Technology, we are active on basically any topic that is on the agenda of a CIO. Sometimes this is more strategic of nature (e.g., help a CIO prepare a new IT strategy or design a new operating model or people strategy) but often it is also much more practical: helping to scale DevOps practices, conduct the move to cloud, build a new platform or modernize an existing one.

We know McKinsey won’t be with a client forever, so we focus on capability building. We want to empower our clients to have the engineering muscles to be successful in the long term.

Helping to resolve the engineering shortage

One of the most valuable services we offer our clients is to help them transform their IT operating models so they become much better places to work for engineers.

We’re dealing with a global shortage of engineering talent, and making your organization a great place to work for engineers is the biggest lever you can pull for a successful digital transformation. Attracting engineering talent must be an imperative.

To help make organizations more engineer-friendly, we advise clients on how to standardize processes, automate delivery and operations, implement agile and DevOps operating models, and create much better data dashboards. The goal is to give engineers more visibility into what’s happening and how customers are using the products and to grant engineers more autonomy in decision-making.

For organizations developing apps or software, so much direct value is being generated by engineers; building a culture and tech stack where they can develop great products is mission critical. The second part of that, of course, is to ensure that when you do have talent in place, you are using it to move the needle on the projects that matter most to the organization and end users.

More about Thomas

At McKinsey, Thomas is active in the cloud engineering guild and the people committees, where he evaluates and coaches more junior-tenured colleagues. Outside of those formal roles, he advises several people on how to develop technical skills and be successful in the firm. He considers himself an engineer at heart, so during his holiday breaks, he is involved in outside engineering projects. He is the father of two girls and has a cat who regularly joins in on McKinsey calls. He also loves to cook.

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