“The CIO holds the most strategic role in the enterprise today, with the exception of the CEO,” says Powell, who spoke at the Auckland event.
Focusing on the imperative of preparing for a digital future, Powell says digital technology is one of the strongest value drivers businesses have at their disposal.
“If you, as a CIO, are not leading digital, then you are eroding your role," he states.
If you, as a CIO, are not leading digital, then you are eroding your role.
Digital roles and activities, such as the chief digital officer, shadow IT and ‘everyone’s IT will happen around you.
Powell says Fletcher Building has a group chief digital officer, Henry Boyden, who reports to the CIO.
“I view the CDO as a catalyst for change role,” he states. The CDO’s role is to “champion, innovate and educate the business in the digital cause”.
At the same time, he highlights the need for CIOs to focus on the metrics that matter. While efficiency metrics such as network availability and cost per ticket are important, value metrics, such as IT expense per employee, matter more.
The CIO100 is an annual forum presenting the results of the CIO100, the annual report on the top ICT using organisations in New Zealand. The forum was also held for the first time this year in Wellington.
Read more: Primed for change
Victor Vae’au, CIO of the New Zealand Defence Force, was the keynote speaker in the event held in Wellington. He talked about how he and his team are on a continuous mission of managing information as a strategic aspect of the organisation, and how they are providing a modern platform to enable the Defence Force to deliver on its mission critical goals.
“We, as an organisation, understand the criticality of our information – and as we digitise, automate and reconfigure our core processes across our logistics, human resources and finance – we will start to build a valuable strategic asset we can mine to provide some good intelligence across the Defence force,” he states.
We, as an organisation, understand the criticality of our information – and as we digitise, automate and reconfigure our core processes across our logistics, human resources and finance – we will start to build a valuable strategic asset we can mine to provide some good intelligence across the Defence force.
At the same time, Vae'au says, the ICT team is tasked with three goals that are common to other CIOs - ICT efficiency (‘optimise ICT costs), ICT effectiveness (the right tools for the right job at the right time’) and ICT resilience and security.
The featured analyst speakers this year - Denildo Albuquerque and David Spaziani of Gartner – shared pointers for working with the board and the executive team.
Albuquerque says when working with the board, the CIO needs to remember the BOARD guidelines to be: Brief, Open, Accurate, Relevant, Diplomatic.
Albuquerque and Spaziani highlight the need to build one’s credibility in order to influence and deal with the board.
But to build credibility, these two things have to be met – understand your security strategy and architecture, and provide stable and resilient systems and structures.
“Talk less about technology and more about the business,” says Albuquerque, and what you can do to influence bottom line result.
There is no such thing as a “good surprise” when it comes to execution of major projects, says Spaziani.
They point out the quote from a chairman of the board of a retail company who said: “Our CIOs have been reluctant to tell us that they will be late to implement – until it is too late.”
John-Paul Sikking, head of security at Cisco, talked about the top trend this year –how companies are confronting the escalating security threat.
He says the estimated total cost of cybercrime to the global economy last year was $455 billion. “That is more than twice New Zealand’s GDP that is lost to cybercrime.”
He shared key pointers from his work with organisations in understanding and addressing security risks, plus Cisco’s experience in securing its own network in a disruptive and transformative time.
@CiscoANZ - "Security is a people, process and technology issue - with people no.1" ... #CIO100 pic.twitter.com/91zjAfVHaM
— CIO New Zealand (@CIO_NZ) March 23, 2015
He concludes: “Security is a people, people, people; process and technology issue.”
Steve Griffin, country manager at Unisys says one question organisations can ask is whether their current security environment allows them to “fail safe”.
“Our Zero-Trust security approach makes security a deeply embedded and intrinsic part of your operations across both physical and virtual environments.”
Read more: The future of cybersecurity
His presentation details an approach towards innovation and keeping pace with change.
“We should take the heat out of failure,” he states. “Without failure, there is no innovation.”
The key, he says, is to learn quick, and fail safe without compromising mission critical systems.
Failing is only failure if you fail to learn, he states. “Let’s use ‘learn’ in place of fail.”
The goal is to create a culture of ability in the organisation, he states.
He believes the next role of the CIO is “to establish an environment that enables you to capitalise on the rate of technology change”.
The next role of the CIO is to establish an environment that enables you to capitalise on the rate of technology change.
A panel discussion on the top business technology trends CIOs should prepare for in the next 12 months was held in both Auckland and Wellington.
In Auckland, the panellists were David Spaziani of Gartner, Orion Health CIO David Kennedy and Manukau Institute of Technology head of ICT John Holley.
Panel discussion #cio100 David Kennedy Orion Health John Holley MIT Manukau pic.twitter.com/jm5bD0tZvS
— Jennie Vickers (@jennievickers) March 23, 2015
In Wellington, Spaziani and Kennedy were joined by James Walls, chief technology officer at Dimension Data.
.@Gartner_inc @OrionHealth and @DimensionData kickstart the #cio100 panel discussion in Wellington ... pic.twitter.com/TDjijpVj0u
— CIO New Zealand (@CIO_NZ) March 24, 2015
This year’s CIO100 is sponsored by Cisco, Unisys and Datacom.
The 2016 CIO100 events will be held next year on March 22 in Auckland and March 23 in Wellington.
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