How can CIOs implement their skills in change management to another constantly shifting area -- their role itself? IT leaders share their views during a CIO roundtable sponsored by Absolute IT. Here are excerpts from the discussion.
Roy Goldsmith, CTO, Bank of New Zealand
Stephen Fox, director of information, communications and technology, Department of Labour
Aaron Kumove, managing director, Horizon Consulting
Bruce Tinsley, CIO, Opus International Consultants
Jan Smolnicki, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Grant Burley, director, Absolute IT
Tina Ng, director, Absolute IT
Matt O'Mara, CIO, Careers New Zealand
Bruce Tinsley: In the past 15 or 16 or so years, I have been running a number of large transformation projects from an IT perspective. What I'm finding now is that not only am I involved in IT transformation and the business transformation that goes with it, but actually helping to lead the transformation through the business. Executives are looking at IT to help drive that change rather than just providing the technology behind the change... What this is challenging me to do is get that wider engagement with the business... At the end of the day, if you change the way they operate, they're the ones that have got to buy into it.
Roy Goldsmith: It is encouraging IT people to make certain they understand that what they do has a direct impact on our business, on our customers... making certain that you reinforce that all the time. Give them a mantra that says: 'Everything I do, does it help us go in the right direction?'
Matt O'Mara: The challenge we've got today is we are seeing the mass socialisation of technology. We now have new demands placed on us from our users...Our role has got to be as transformation agents, we've got to do that in a tangible way. My strategy has been to move us from being the traditional cost centre, keeping the lights on, to being that transformation agent and a value centre.
Stephen Fox: But before you can actually get to the transformation you've got to have the lights on. You do have to make sure those basics are right... Another thing that we're doing across government is the whole of government shared services. That's going to be really important going forward and changes the nature of our role to be less focused on our organisations and more over a wider community or collaborative grouping.
Aaron Kumove: Things have probably changed for the better -- 10 years ago, there was still this divide between 'the business' and IT. Such that, the attitude prevailing was: 'Oh, that's an IT project'. I see much less of that these days... I think the fundamental difficulty that is still around is that people don't like change. Any way you cut it, people don't like it.
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