Roger Jones, general manager, business technology group at Auckland Transport, has held various ICT leadership roles across sectors.\nBut it was his initial career as a police officer that opened the path for him to move into information technology, and provided him skills that allowed him to work in different industries, including health, dairy and airline..\nJones says he would have found it \u201ca lot more difficult\u201d to move industries during his\nICT career without a law enforcement background.\n\u201cThe police teaches you lots of things," he tells CIO New Zealand. "It teaches you leadership skills, to work in different environments, and to quickly understand the different environments and business models.\u201d\nJones started using computers while working as a police officer in Waikato.\nThat sparked his interest, and he undertook two papers at the University of Waikato as an introduction to computing.\n The police teaches you leadership skills, to work in different environments, and to quickly understand the different environments and business models.Roger Jones, Auckland Transport\nHe then received a full Bachelor of Science degree, studying part-time while working as a police officer.\nJones was seconded to the IT department, and moved up from business analyst to strategy and planning advisor, as part of the six-member management team for the Police IT Group.\nHe switched sectors after working on various projects across the police \u201cexcept INCIS\u201d. His next two roles were technology and information manager at Health Benefits, and business services manager at the Capital and Coast District Health Board.\nJones then moved to the private sector, working for Air New Zealand and Fonterra. In 2006, he joined the government transport sector, moving to his current job nearly a year ago.\nJones sees the benefits of taking on different roles and across sectors.\nRelated:Lessons in transformation\nPage Break\n\u201cIf you progress on one career path, you can become blinkered,\u201d he says. \u201cDiversity in life experiences makes the difference.\u201d\nJones keeps in touch with his former police colleagues and is aware of other officers who moved to IT, but as far as he knows he is the only one who moved to the rank of CIO.\n If you progress on one career path, you can become blinkered Roger Jones, Auckland Transport\nThere are two skills CIOs need to acquire, he says: Financial management, and program management certification.\n\u201cWhen I came through the ranks, you didn\u2019t need that [program management certification], you just needed to have practical experience. Now companies look for certification to get past first base,\u201d he says.\nJones recommends upskilling through executive courses, webcasts, reading articles and attending industry and vendor briefings. \u201cYou have to stay current,\u201d he says. \u201cThere is still a learning component not only from a technology point of view but also from a people component.\u201d\nJones says he and his team are working on 60 projects concurrently, with 30 more \u201cin the pipeline\u201d.\n\u201cAs I finish more, the list will never go down.\u201d\nHaving a good relationship with the business and key stakeholders is important in this type of environment, \u201cso they buy into your prioritisation of those projects and align them where the company is going and wants to do\u201d.\n\u201cThe important thing in a management position is you have got to make a decision based on information you have at hand,\u201d he says. \u201cIf you sit on things and wait for complete facts every time, you can slow the organisation down.\u201d\nCraig Soutar of the NZ Transport Agency on the three dimensions of the CIO role\nRelated:High-definition leadership\nMetService's forecast: Innovation\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.\nJoin us on Facebook.