CIO Magazine recently launched its CIO 100 for 2012, an index that lists the top 100 CIOs in the UK based on their achievements over the last 12 months. I was delighted to be ranked 56 on the list, which you can see here.
Typically CIOs are judged on a combination of the size of the IT estate for which they are responsible, the size of their budget and the size of the organisation. However, this year’s CIO 100 has been judged principally on transformation skills and achievement. This reflects the judging panel’s view that transformation is “the most important aspect of a CIO’s role in any organisation.”
And it is this shift towards transformation that makes it particularly pleasing for me to be have been included in the top 100 for this year. It has always been my view that the CIO should be at the heart of their organisation’s transformation initiatives as we are uniquely placed to identify problems or opportunities for improvement and innovation. There is no other role that has the same view of the organisation as the CIO, this end-to-end view allows us to gain an unparalleled understanding of the people, process and technology issues spanning the full business lifecycle.
But turning this insight into something that transforms the business requires a broad set of skills that goes beyond the technical. And it is this broader range of skills that is acknowledged by this year’s CIO 100 as being what defines a modern CIO, one that leads business transformation. In compiling the CIO 100 the judging panel was looking for evidence that each of us had exhibited seven key strengths covering operational management, driving change, board influence, communication skills, vendor influence, entrepreneurship and vision for both the business and technology. This is a very different set of capabilities than has traditionally been required from a CIO but one that I very much agree with.
On a personal basis the opportunity to design and drive change is what motivates me. Throughout my career, whether in IT or another business function, I have constantly looked for opportunities to improve and innovate. And on just about every occasion the solution has been based on technology. This is another reason why as CIOs we are uniquely placed to be the engines for business transformation. It’s difficult to think of a major business change initiative or a recent game changing product or service that hasn’t been enabled by technology. We understand the technology, what it can do and how to make it work. We also understand the business context. That’s quite a combination.
The next few years provide an excellent opportunity for CIOs to showcase their ability to define and lead transformation across their organisations. With the economy still struggling and most sectors facing difficult market conditions, the need for technology enabled innovation and transformation has never been greater. If we take this opportunity then, as well as helping to lead our organisations out of these challenging times, we will also complete our own transformation from technology specialists to business leaders.