by Mark Chillingworth

Why transformation matters to me

Feb 15, 20123 mins

The new CIO 100is judged on the transformation agenda that the leading CIOs in the UK exhibit. Along with the judging panel that analysed the finalists we all felt that transformation was the most important aspect of a CIO’s role in any organisation. 
As I’ve said elsewhere on the CIO and CIO 100 titlesjudging CIOs by the size of estate, budget or organisational weight just has no reflection on the world we live in. And I don’t just mean the world of being a CIO, but the world of being a customer, user, employee and leader. 
As a country boy through and through who spends too much  time riding mountain bikes up hills, down dale and through every wood I can find I see the damage to our environment that has been and is taking place. 
As a father of two I worry about the long term impact of this downturn and what it will do to the standards of education and healthcare on offer in Britain and of course the long term employment prospects for my girls. 
As the Editor in Chief of CIO UK though I am filled with hope because I really believe technology and in particular the internet is another example of how mankind can use its ingenuity to tackle the above problems we face. In this role I also know that CIOs are at the forefront of enabling organisations to adapt to these challenges. This is why we have re-modelled the approach of the CIO 100 to reflect the growing importance of the transformation role of CIOs. 
The leaders in this year’s CIO 100 are tackling these concerns of mine and the wider world. Ensuring a utility company survives a dramatic set-back and rejuvenating it and then improving processes so that its costs and impacts are lower is exactly the transformative approach I believe in. 
In this depressed economy and even further depressed daily headlines easyJet shows that the British economy is still populated with entrepreneurial leaders and teams that can take on established markets. Our position in global markets may sound diminished, but organisations like Thomson Reuters and JP Morgan invest in this country for very good reasons and are leading their technology transformations from our shores. 
Our retail sector has been clobbered by the downturn, but the zeal to re-invent demonstrated by Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Tesco and pure online retailers is an exciting epoch in retail’s history. Online retail can potentially reduce the impact of consumerism at certain points of the chain and the challenge now is for policy makers to reflect this in the way they deal with the nation’s high streets. 
The scale of the task facing CIOs and all of us is without doubt daunting, but if CIOs grasp the transformation agenda the opportunities for our organisations and wider society are endless. This is why I believe in transformation