The CIO Show: Aussie C-suite face-off

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Depending on who you ask, it's probably safe to say that over the years, chief information officers and other c-level execs have had somewhat of a love/hate relationship.

In the past, the IT group has been viewed as a cost centre that is prone to overspending on tech projects and worse, asking for money for equipment and services that may not end up delivering any value to the business at all.

That’s a bad situation for everyone involved.

But in recent times, things have improved. In 2021, technology is more pervasive across organisations that it has even been, the opinions and ideas of senior tech execs are certainly shared at board level and form a vital part of any organisation's growth objectives.

In this week's CIO Show, execs from a few sides of the C-suite fence share their thoughts on how their relationships have changed.

Rowan Dollar, chief innovation officer at The Public Sector Network, says a big learning for IT in recent years and since the COVID pandemic hit last year, is that the business doesn't care which platform is used to deliver solutions, it just wants an outcome.

James Lockyer, director, finance at Arts Centre Melbourne, says there has been a shift in the construct and dynamics of leadership teams. The individual specialisations of each member of the C-suite are not sufficient to meet the needs of impatient customers, he says.

Sweta Mehra, chief marketing officer at ANZ Bank has had an unusual career trajectory. She started coding a young girl, earning an engineering degree before heading back to college to study marketing. Mehra is adamant that you can't be a great marketer without understanding technology.

Her 13-week-old puppy dog also took the time to voice her own opinions but we are not quite sure if she agrees of not.

Finally, Bobby Lehane, the former chief executive officer at CHU Underwriting Agencies, who was also a senior tech leader at Multiplex Group and Zurich, says the ability for organisations to win, change and transform is absolutely dependent on the CEO/CIO relationship. If there is no partnership between the two, the CEO will "risk manage" and make every decision based on what they know about technology, which is often very little.

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