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State of the CIO 2014: Treading new ground

Divina Paredes | June 12, 2014
Our annual State of the CIO research reveals how digitisation is prompting CIOs to apply their skills in leading transformation programs to their own roles.

"I am really looking to make a difference to the company and make this company what our competitors look to."

Checking future trends — for today

David Moss is a CIO for a technology company that is very much into checking out trends that could impact their respective enterprise and those of their customers.

The CIO at Vodafone New Zealand says these include developing new products and services that Vodafone could offer to customers, simplifying operations or providing new capabilities for the group.

"We are looking at what do we do to support those technologies," says Moss. These include wearable technology like Google Glass and new uses of camera technology. In California, for instance, cameras are being installed to be able to take a photo of vehicles running a red light.

The photo of the number plate will be emailed to the owner within 30 seconds. Moss says in a few months, these technologies may be adopted in this part of the world.

'Preparedness, not prediction'

"Aligning the IT strategy to the business strategy is what every IT executive is aiming for in the first instance," says Deloitte CIO Tim Fleming. "It really comes down to understanding what the business strategy is, and making sure that what we are doing is not just IT for IT's sake but to help deliver the business strategies.

"Our business strategy is all about agility [and] flexibility and what my CEO calls 'preparedness, not prediction'," says Fleming. "It is not about making the big long-term bets, it is about being positioned to move quickly and so we need an IT architecture that is quickly flexible, scalable and agile.

It is about being positioned to move quickly and so we need an IT architecture that is quickly flexible, scalable and agile.

"In the IT world, change is an accelerated curriculum," says Fleming, and keeping up with trends is increasingly important for CIOs. "Things are only moving faster and faster and so being able to understand the concepts and the mega trends helps you shape what you are doing now."

For instance, five years ago, Fleming spoke with his CEO when the first iPhones were becoming popular. "I said, we have a choice here: We can either attempt to lock this down, guard the walls and continue to only let authorised devices get anywhere near our network. Or we need to start thinking about BYOD," says Fleming.

"He very quickly came into the view that we need to educate our people on what is appropriate in terms of how we use the device, what we do with data, and we would be crazy not to ride that wave.

 

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