Sne Dlamini joins AECI as new VP: technology and digital

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Sne is succeeding outgoing AECI CIO Toni Serra, who is retiring this year.

IT industry powerhouse and 2023’s Young CIO of the Year runner-up Sne Dlamini has been appointed as the new vice president: technology and digital at AECI. She is responsible for leading the group’s information technology strategy – both the development and execution thereof. Prior to joining AECI, Sne was CIO at Discovery Insure.

Sne earned a BSc in computer science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as a BCom ( Hons) in information systems from the same institution. She also has an MBA, and she is a qualified chartered CIO.

AECI has just celebrated its centenary and has both a century-long track record and a strong vision for the future – which resonates with Sne. She says AECI’s new strategy entails building on their technical expertise that is backed by the company’s consistent production of safe, reliable and quality products, while building a new legacy for the next 100 years.

The new strategy further entails a digitally enabled AECI, an accelerated global footprint and a focused growth strategy, while ensuring that sustainable living is commonplace with the goal of net zero emissions. “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this legacy?” she says.

Transitioning from insurance to manufacturing

Surprisingly, Sne had no trepidation about moving from the financial services industry to manufacturing, since manufacturing happens to be her first love. “My 18-year career has predominantly been in the manufacturing and industrial sectors working on transformational projects, including various SAP implementations, Industry 4.0 transitions and IT/OT convergence, just to name a few,” she explains.

The experience Sne has gained across various sectors provides the foundations required for the journey ahead. “At the core, industries have a lot more in common than we’d like to believe, and bringing some cross-industry expertise enables us to explore new and diverse perspectives to problem-solving, which is a catalyst for innovation. What makes this opportunity more exciting for me is that I am an avid believer in lifelong learning – you never arrive.”

One AECI

Together with the cross-industry knowledge, Sne has accumulated over the years, she has also sharpened and honed her unique leadership skills, which she brings to AECI.

“I have led diverse teams across local, regional and global jurisdictions within multinational matrix and complex organisational structures,” she says. “Through these opportunities, I have learned some critical leadership skills and strategies for driving digital transformation and the ability of preparing for the future, while maintaining a high-performance culture.”

“In light of AECI’s new strategic imperatives, I believe that these leadership qualities are a prerequisite for our collective success.”

Then there’s the culture piece. Sne is very big on culture, because as she puts it, “People executing the strategy are the ones who truly make a difference.”

“Our collective vision of a digitally enabled AECI requires tech leaders who are not only technologically skilled, but who are visionaries with the ability to pioneer a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable One AECI.”

Massive global footprint

AECI is a global multinational with an ambition to further maximise its current global footprint. The company aims to attain a global market position of number three in mining by 2030. What does this mean for Sne from an IT delivery perspective? “Group IT currently manages over 100 sites globally and continuously seeks to modernise its tech stack to support our growing global footprint and I certainly plan to continue in this trajectory. Our increased global footprint, along with our ambition to transition to an AI-driven future, will however require a different approach,” Sne explains.

“I will be spending the first few months focusing on understanding the current business, technology and digital landscape. The outcome would be carving out innovative strategies and best practices for achieving secure, resilient, reliable and integrated tech and digital capabilities and executing on that strategy – a strategy which will enable our business imperatives.”

Aligning with vision

Sne’s ultimate vision for AECI is to see the company both continue to grow locally and expand internationally. “AECI stands as a leader in the industry. I envision an AECI that is not only scalable, but also strategically positioned to become a global powerhouse. Our commitment to innovation, excellence and sustainable practices will drive us to new heights and solidify our presence on the world stage,” she concludes.

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