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You can bet on IT

Tim Mendham | Nov. 4, 2013
Keeping core systems online is vital when you're processing transactions for one of Australia's largest sporting events

"It is a very real opportunity for Tabcorp. This would see the IT department having a modest contribution to revenue for the organisation. However, I do believe we should focus on our core competency, and that is to deliver new product that grows revenue and market share, rather than diluting our efforts and getting distracted on minor revenue share models."

She admits, though, that more and more of the technology budget will move to the CMO.

"Technology is moving so quickly, and the creation of new and exciting cloud offerings enables key business executives to do things cost effectively and without engaging the traditional IT department," she says.

"What used to work in the past just isn't going to cut it into the future. The CIO needs to embrace and understand that we are business enablers and relinquish the control model of the past. Our role is to influence that roadmap to ensure that what gets implemented is robust and secure long term and to traverse that very complex web of technology trends."

Interestingly, CIOs can often be seen as the 'glue' and are in unique positions to be able to see opportunities across the whole business, Wenn says. Glue or not, a sticking point for Wenn is the lack of females in the IT side of business.

"Across all facets of technology, we're struggling to attract women, which is a crying shame. IT can be a terrific career for women, providing flexible work options. I think 'blokey' components such as networking and coding need to be optional in project management streams," she says.

But regardless of gender, she stresses that the CIO needs to be a peer at the executive table.

"You need to have the full support of the CEO to be strategic and influence direction. This is instead of the traditional role CIOs tended to play, where they focused on operational stability and pretty much took orders."

And her advice on being a future state CIO? "Work collaboratively with your peers. Have passion for what you do ... or find something else to do. We are a long time working and if you don't love it, change."


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