The ‘Executive Leaders Network’ delivering the ‘IT Leaders Event’ brings together over 100 CIO and CTO directors from key UK organisations. A mixture of roundtable discussions interspersed with keynote presentations provided the opportunities for peer to peer conversations about the changing face of the IT industry.
One key theme expressed by Gerry Pennel (Former CIO at London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic games), Chris Day, VP IT Strategy and performance at Astrazeneca and the CIO Panel discussion with Myron Hyrck Group CIO of Severn Trent Plc, Andy Williams Global CIO at save the children and Trevor Didcock Former CIO at Easyjet) was digital transformation and the CIO role.
All these sessions covered elements of the role of the CIO: they have to be business and commercial savvy, that CIOs have to reinvent themselves to stay abreast of the new technologies, new delivery methods and how it fits the business. Some advocated that the CIO needs to get out of IT and see IT from the customer, or user, perspective.
Gerry Pennel highlighted through his animal stories the challenge of delivering transformation and providing material front-line benefits while streamlining the back-end operations. He also highlighted the challenge of other business function leaders taking on the role of digital transformation and the need for CIOs to remain as leaders taking on risk.
Chris Day emphasised the changing nature of skills that IT needs to master and that there are new job roles evolving within the company that brings disparate educational disciplines together. Chris also highlighted the challenge of delivering change in an outsourced environment and relying on partners to show the understanding need to evolve the delivery of IT performance and have blended skill pools may be too challenging.
The panel session engaged the audience in a lively questioning and answer session covering the challenges of the CIO in leading through this environment, their own personal development and how they had transformed to meet their evolving business environment.
The role of the CIO, the relevance of the CIO, dual mode IT operations, skills were all top of mind. As part of the conference, the GIC Skills 2020 report was highlighted. This report is focussed on the new professional role of the IT professional for 2020.
John Morton, an Advisor on Digital Transformation and Big Data, was speaking at the ‘Executive Leaders Network’ conference and provided this post. John is a Vice-Chair of IP3 GIC, and the compiler of the Skills 202o Assessment report.