At the executive table

While many people get into a technology career because of their love of technology, in progressing up the career ladder, there’s a need to acquire other skills. Strong commercial understanding, the ability to communicate the value of IT and skilfully managing a team are highly valuable abilities that will serve a rising IT employee well. Michael Page Technology’s CIO thought leadership series connects a peer group of chief information officers to look to the future, discuss the challenges and opportunities of the industry and make valuable connections with industry leaders. We asked participants what it takes to be a technology leader within an organisation – here are some of the highlights:

Chris Stevens, former CIO and leader of TalentFlow

“Businesses are looking for consulting partners, bringing thought leadership to the table in terms of creating business value for clients. [A CIO] also needs to be a change leader, being truly connected to what’s possible and taking the lead in facilitating change. Accept that change is a continuum – there used to be a belief that we could set plans and ‘get there’. IT departments need to be comfortable with continuous change; we have to be adaptive to business needs and partner with the organisation as a change agent.”

Michelle Beveridge, CIO Open Universities Australia

“Being CIO means being able to change businesses through technology and providing strategic guidance in business areas. You can change what a business is doing sometimes just by changing the way people use the technology they’ve already got. The best part of my job is seeing people make the best use of technology. Don’t forget people skills – you’re managing a team of people. Never talk tech to the business side of the company; they won’t get it and nor is it their job to – it’s yours.”

Philip Roe, Head of IT, UBS Wealth management

“The job of the CIO is to be able to identify those service areas that are going to benefit the business the most. It’s the job of the CIO to identify the technologies that will best facilitate the strategy.”

Linda Price, Group Vice President, Gartner

“The board expects the CIO to interact as a mature business executive. They are not interested in many of the activities that typically CIOs might have used to measure success in the past. The board is interested in the value contribution of the CIO. They’re interested in the advancement of business outcomes. People don’t buy exercise machines so they can measure revolutions per second, but to achieve their health and fitness goals. CIOs should consider this analogy and make sure they’re talking the quality and value outcomes of IT, rather than the cost.”

Get in touch with the Michael Page Technology Sydney team today to find out more about the CIO thought leadership series.

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