Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Tale of Two CIOs (Saturday 2nd October 2010)

One aim of the Information Leader in Organisations module is to understand the differences and similarities in information leader roles in different organisations.

First, Chris Puttick, CIO of Oxford Archaeology presented on 'More with Less'. The charity sector is a great place to look for innovate solutions to provide great IT to a demanding (and often non-mainstream) user base with very little money. His talk invited the MIL students to think about what was impossible and lead to a very interesting discussion of the trade-off between cost-cutting and risk.

The contrast with the last speaker of the day couldn't be more start. Leon Schumacher, Group CIO of Novartis. He presented work he was a part of with the CIO Executive Council, a global CIO network. Their Future State CIO model is a principled analysis of CIO role and competencies. It examines the transitions required between functional IT roles and the transformation/strategic roles that information leaders seek. We are quite grateful that the CIO Executive Council allowed us use of this model as a basis for analysing a number of issues that arise during this module.

Though the companies and budgets they are worlds apart (in terms of budget, Leon's phone budget is probably larger than Chris' whole IT budget), what unites them is a passion and commitment to using information to make their organisations more effective and a broad skill-set that allows them to achieve this. The two speakers embodied that message splendidly.

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