Custom Critical CIO Cheryl Bevelle-Orange on the changing tech landscape at FedEx

There are a handful of businesses whose name is synonymous with keeping America – and the world beyond – operating smoothly; FedEx is among them. And its transformation is a big part of its continuing success.

Bevelle-Orange spends a lot of time helping team members develop while overcoming obstacles, and being the first generation in her family to work in corporate America, she’s faced many herself. Bevelle-Orange comes from a close-knit middle class family and always had big aspirations for herself, but a lack of visible role models in the form of successful corporate women of colour made those aspirations feel unrealistic to begin with. 

As Bevelle-Orange grew older and gained a broader view of the world, she found influences that enabled her to unlock the confidence she needed to pursue her ambitions. “That’s why I try to be visible,” she explains. “I want people to see that it’s possible. You have to work hard, but it’s possible.”

The technology landscape at FedEx

In 25 years, technology has evolved to the point that it’s completely indistinguishable to what it was at the start of Bevelle-Orange’s career. “People now can’t even imagine the way we used technology back then,” she says. “With AI, data, and blockchain capabilities, the possibilities are endless.  

“FedEx is a very technology-forward yet flexible company; and is hugely innovative. FedEx is paving the way for customers to get more relevant information faster about their packages while delivering with excellence. We keep up with innovation and technology by rewarding team members who take risks and keep us on the cutting edge, which is part of the great culture here. For new graduates entering the working world, it’s a fantastic place to start your career because of the ability to learn and grow while making a contribution to the company and customers. We give you the space to fail fast while making a difference.”

Professional transformation – or company transformation in particular – from an IT perspective is critical because you have to keep up with technology. Bevelle-Orange says: “FedEx takes pride in innovating for our customers and has teams that are solely focused on innovation; they talk about it, they teach people how to do it, and we work with partners – like NexTech, Mphasis, InfoGain and others – to help with benchmarking, innovation, market trending and to provide augmented IT resources to help us deliver on our strategies.”

The Courage to Continue

Bevelle-Orange’s passion for people and improvement, has now also been published in the form of a book. The Courage to Continue: Navigating Your Corporate Journey is filled with tools and advice that make transitioning into the working world a little less intimidating, based on Bevelle-Orange’s own hard-won experiences. 

“I want people to know that it’s okay to start from wherever you are, and it’s okay to be broken. You can still overcome and be successful. You don’t have to be the smartest – you just have to work hard, be willing to learn, know who you are, be strategic, and have courage to continue the journey.”

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