Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

The physics of a healthy business

Tim Mendham | Nov. 12, 2013
Dr Philip Nesci is a nuclear physicist who also happens to be a CIO.

Change is a consistent aspect of Nesci's experience. In addition to his Orica and Energy Australia background, he has also been head of IT for China Light & Power in Hong Kong, and worked for Shell International in Australia, UK and the Netherlands.

That changing locations is reflected in the general role of the CIO profession, he says.

"Over the last 30 years it has become less technical and more business-focused, which is a good thing. The current trend for consumerisation of IT, mobility and cloud services will shift the role of the CIO even more towards business value and further away from the technology itself.

"With his shift, the competencies of the CIO are about strategic and commercial orientation, change leadership, collaboration, influencing strategy, and a strong customer focus."

But a strong business focus doesn't mean that IT itself should be run as business.

"If you are running an internal IT organisation, you should be cost neutral. Businesses would resent any internal service with captive customers making a profit, particularly when businesses are always under pressure to manage their costs," he says.

Making money out of internal customers would diminish the trusted relationship you are trying to achieve, he adds.

But the role of the future state CIO, he says, is a challenge in achieving the right balance between business focus and technology focus.

"That line is always moving."

So his advice for those moving down that career path? Focus on the business first, he says. Your priorities should be the priorities of the executive team.

"Always think about what the business outcomes are that the technology can help achieve rather than the technology per se."

This means there should be no 'technology speak' with the business. "Talk about how we can change the business for the better. Develop your soft skills, and spend time outside of the IT function in a commercial role," he says.

And probably just as important as all other aspects, "get yourself a mentor".

Perhaps even one who understands the ins and outs of inelastic proton scattering as much as the role of IT in business ... and the role of business in IT.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.