The 2016 CIO100 report: Full speed ahead

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John Emerson, global CIO at Tait Communications, says the company’s move to the cloud has further cemented the ICT team’s role as a strategic partner across all business units. “As a result of moving to the cloud, just over 50 per cent of IT staff are involved in delivery of products and services to Tait customers.

“We are providing leadership to other parts of Tait – including RD, products and services – as the cloud is becoming the global delivery platform of choice,” says Emerson.

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The role is 25 per cent IT, 75 per cent change management. Don’t be tricked into thinking that it is any other way.Deane Johns, Co-op Money

A consistent focus

CIOs interviewed underscore that success in moving towards more digital platforms hinge on how they will make use of the data produced and how these can be transposed to better customer services, improved products and other insights that places them above competitors. In the case of public sector agencies, data is being used to provide better services to citizens.

“Being at the nexus of current technology changes – social, mobile, cloud, analytics, Internet of Things – retailers face an exciting challenge of keeping pace with customer expectations while continuing to deliver 24x7x365 reliability and service,” says Simon Kennedy, CIO at the Warehouse Group.

Liz Gosling of AUT says while working on a recent project the team looked at global and local organisations that did “web experience really well”: Air New Zealand because of its customised, personalised easy to navigate website; Marks and Spencers in the UK for providing pop up information to users on items they may be interested in; and Amazon, whose recommendation engine also provides a similar experience for users.

AUT CIO Liz Gosling

Deane Johns of Co-op Money sums it up best on what it means to be a CIO today: “The role is 25 per cent IT, 75 per cent change management. Don’t be tricked into thinking that it is any other way.”

Next: Key areas to navigate and lead through the digital era

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Top 10 trends of 2016

1 TAKING THE LEAD IN THE ORGANISATION’S DIGITAL FUTURE CIOs are leading the shift to become digital organisations. They are doing this as a chief digital officer, as a CIO-plus, or a GM of IT. Their role in the move towards digitalisaton ranges from leading the team that is defining the digital strategy, to leading and executing the programme.

2 THE CIO ROLE IS FLEXIBLE AND ALWAYS CHANGING The redoubtable task of leading ICT teams in major enterprises has provided CIOs with the experience to take on other executive roles. Two CIOs profiled in 2015 are now CEOs. CIOs are also taking on another CIO role but in an entirely different sector of market.

3 SHIFTING GEARS TOWARDS BIMODAL I.T. CIO100 organisations – whether in the public, private or not-for-profit arena – are taking on this approach of ensuring they have the ability and the structure to work simultaneously on the traditional IT portfolio and innovative projects that are meant to be delivered faster.

4 PREPARE TO WORK ON DIVERSE PROJECTS More than ever, CIOs and their teams are working with other departments, external partners, startups and even competitors on a range of business technology projects. Programmes of work range from ERP applications to working on mobile apps, and moving newer technologies like 3D printing and drones beyond pilot to actual business use.

5 LINE OF INSIGHT This year’s research found business intelligence and analytics topping the technology initiatives that will drive the most ICT investments this year. The goal to become more insight driven is cited by CIOs in both government and private sectors.

The Ministry of Social Development says improving the quality and consistency of data collected will help the Ministry to better understand clients’ needs and the results it wants to achieve, and measure the effectiveness of services over time. Nigel Rickerby, CIO of Silver Fern Farms, says the continued focus on business intelligence and analytics will help the organisation deliver actionable business insights in order to stay on top of a challenging global market.

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In addition to our standardisation agenda we recognise the rising exposure to security compromise.Selina Omundsen, Datacom

6 THE NEW TALENT MIX CIO100 ICT leaders are ensuring their teams are prepared for the digital environment. Thus they are restructuring and upskilling their teams to incorporate a range of skills in DevOps, Agile and Lean methodologies, as well as in technologies around customer and user experience.

7 A SHARPER CUSTOMER FOCUS Many CIOs this year are investing in customer experience technologies and ensuring simplicity is ingrained in processes for both staff and customers.

For Chris Reid, general manager of IT at Hallenstein Glasson, agility and speed in deploying different business technology projects across the group is key, but so is adopting a very customer centric approach to the task ahead. CIO of Barfoot Thompson Simon Casey notes, “In past years our digital focus was delivery of new system features and designs. Now our digital focus is meeting customer expectations and delivering a great customer experience.”

8 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS CIOs this year talk about how their focus has been shifting towards business development. Co-op Money NZ’s Deane Johns says this is one of the greatest shifts he has seen in the CIO role over the past few years. “You think more in terms of business growth, it is almost like, ‘How do we operate as a business?’ We have got our valued existing members and customers who we have built this capacity for. How do we expand a bit more to better leverage use of this capability for the benefit of our credit union shareholders?”

9 INCUBATING INNOVATION CIO100 organisations are leading the way in setting up innovation labs, or building cross functional teams that will work on projects using emerging technologies. They tap startups to work with their teams on these projects. The viable projects transcend the pilot stage.

10 CYBERSECURITY: THE EVERGREEN, EVOLVING CONCERN Cybersecurity continues to be a critical concern as the organisations transition to digital businesses. “In addition to our standardisation agenda we recognise the rising exposure to security compromise,” notes Datacom CFO Selina Omundsen. At Orion Health, the IT team is helping roll out the Security Operations Centre that will provide real time security monitoring of those parts of the network that can access personal health information. Kordia is now also providing cybersecurity services and has seen an unprecedented growth in demand for services in this area.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Security vs. innovation: IT's trickiest balancing act