The link between the two careers isn't necessarily explicit, but it's there. Not all CIOs make good analysts, he says, but, for some, the fit is natural.
"For some CIOs - for me at least - you get to the point of your career where you want to have more time to think about the wider ICT issues facing CIOs and hopefully emerge as a thought leader that can add value to the industry. This is often impossible to achieve when you are focused on the bush fires and in the thick operations day after day," he says.
"I had new CIO opportunities on the table but my decision point was, 'Do I dive into it again operationally, or do I take the strategic view of helping more CIOs achieve success?' and help to influence the industry in dealing with these problems."
It's that role he hopes to fulfil at Longhaus: Partnering and ultimately aiding CIOs as an independent expert, particularly in the fields of financial services and Cloud capabilities.
It was the desire to contribute to the wider industry rather than a single employer, that sparked the switch. The move is also one that carries into his academic life, given he is currently undertaking an IT doctorate at the Queensland University of Technology.
"The attraction of an analyst role for me as a CIO is it is the best of two worlds, academic and practitioner, you know the pain of the CIO because you have been there and done it," he says. "You know the traps and how hectic the role can be... but now you have time to think and research and not only draw on your own experience but talk to as many people as you can and analyse numerous case studies to draw out the patterns of both success and failure."
He also attributes the move to a conversion out of the "technology religion" that often affects some CIOs - becoming an IT shop that can come to illogically respect one vendor over all others. The Longhaus role, and the analyst roles being adopted by several ex-CIOs, are chances to become an agostic, an IT purist and ultimately an atheist to the aforementioned religion.
For others, the change is more likely the search for a new challenge above all else.
In reflecting on his experience at Tennis Australia, Yates has come to revere the CIO cycle as one that is exactly that: Cyclical.
"I admire people who are able to stay in one position for many years, yet IT is an industry that requires change and disruptive influences," he writes. "Perhaps this is where the life of a person in IT management can be different to other management roles in that it is more cyclical, moving through development phases and returning to take on another challenge."
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