CIO Nkosenhle Ngongoma transitions from healthcare to hospitality

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Nkosenhle has recently joined the City Lodge Hotel Group as its new IT director.

City Lodge Hotels has appointed 2023 CIO Awards nominee Nkosenhle Ngongoma as its new IT director. Nkosenhle was previously the group CIO at Ascendis Health.

Speaking exclusively to CIO South Africa, Nkosenhle said that Ascendis has undergone recent major structural changes, namely the divestment of major local and international businesses under the group, and decentralising head office functions back to business units. As a result, the business’s current structure no longer accommodates the position of a CIO.

“I have been with Ascendis for four years now, and at this stage, I firmly believe that I have executed my mandate with the company, and this is the right time to explore new opportunities,” he says.

It’s only been a few weeks into his new role and Nkosenhle has already observed a distinct difference between the pharmaceutical industry and hospitality. “For example, at Ascendis, the company trades mostly B2B, versus City Lodge where it trades B2C,” he notes.

Nkosenhle reflects on his biggest highlights during his time with Ascendis Health, including saving the company more than R11 million in his first year by supplier rationalisation, implementing robust IT security, risk management, governance, and compliance discipline for the group. A noteworthy achievement was when Nkosenhle led the smooth and successful centralisation and later decentralisation of IT services for Ascendis.

Nkosenhle is a chartered CIO (SA), a software developer by training who completed his qualification in information technology: software development at the Durban University of Technology, and has a postgraduate diploma in management: digital business from Wits. He is also a council member of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), audit and risk management committee for National Credit Regulator (NCR) and ICT strategic committee member of Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) .

At City Lodge, Nkosenhle plans to transform his new team to operate like an F1 pit crew, as he puts it. Nkosenhle also wants to use his experience and knowledge to mentor younger members on his team, who are inexperienced but eager and hungry to learn.

From a technology perspective, Nkosenhle wants to leverage emerging technologies to drive revenue growth, improve customer service and realise efficiencies that will improve workplace satisfaction.

There are no festivities on the cards for Nkosenhle this holiday season. He will be spending most of the festive season working and will only take time off to relax on public holidays. However, this isn’t such a bad thing, he explains. “It will give me quiet time in the office with fewer distractions, to work on the new year plans for IT.”

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