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Future tense

Divina Paredes | Dec. 13, 2011
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.

Jan Smolnicki: As a CIO or as a leader, we've got to understand what motivates people, how we can get our teams to excel.

Bruce Tinsley: Part of it is actually giving something back. I first got involved back in the 90s with the old CIT (Central Institute of Technology) and it had an advisory board for their IT courses. Four or five of us used to meet every six or eight weeks and our job was to provide them advice on how they shape their courses to meet industry needs. That was a great introduction for me. I've been on the Auckland University Business Innovation Board... It is a good way to start getting involved in some governance type programmes as well.

Shifting ICT landscape

Bruce Tinsley: Technology is going to be a lot more embedded in the business and it's [about] how do you manage that right execution of the skills across the business...Across an organisation you need to make sure that IT doesn't become a disruption to a business but still keeps things moving forward. These are new ways of doing things, of using the tools we've got or looking at new tools to use. This is coming on to the whole consumerisation of IT, using consumer devices, using consumer tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Matt O'Mara: It's about challenging the business and showing them the possibilities... When I was working at Wellington City Council, we had our parking team who needed to do audits of parking meters. They were using hundreds of maps. We gave them PDAs, GPS [units], connected it to our asset management and GIS systems. It was a small thing but a complete transformation. We managed to show that to the CEO and he said: 'This can applied to street signage and all manner of things.'

Stephen Fox: We also have to prepare for a future without a technology group within a company.

Skill set for today's leaders

Roy Goldsmith: The skill set has moved - less technical to being more consultative, being more of a leader. Someone who can provide good advice, call it a savvy business advisor, who can facilitate that collaboration across the business. That, to me, is more what the business wants these days as well.

Grant Burley: What's even more important is notches on the belt, successful projects -- large or otherwise, implementation of new technology, and adaptation of that new technology.

Tina Ng: They want somebody who has good commercial business sense and right across a broad range of areas. You're touching on procurement, contract negotiation, change, recruitment, you are covering such a broad range of areas of expertise now.


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