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CIO Summit 2009 Roundtable: The global financial crisis and IT transformation projects

CIO Summit 2009 Roundtable: The global financial crisis and IT transformation projects

The complete panel discussion from the CIO Summit 2009, featuring Gary Whatley, CIO, Corporate Express, Carsten Larson, CIO at ACMA, and Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield-Multiplex.

CIO Executive Council Panel Session. From left to right: Caroline Bucknell, General Manager, CIO Executive Council; Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield Multiplex; Carsten Larsen, CIO, ACMA; Garry Whatley, CIO, Corporate Express.

CIO Executive Council Panel Session. From left to right: Caroline Bucknell, General Manager, CIO Executive Council; Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield Multiplex; Carsten Larsen, CIO, ACMA; Garry Whatley, CIO, Corporate Express.

Carsten: Trust is the most important thing you can have as an IT department. If the business doesn’t have trust in you then you can’t be part of the solution to the businesses’ problems.

Trust starts at the PC. When people walk into the office fist thing in the morning and they switch it on, it works. E-mail and other systems are working. Make sure things work first because if the business doesn’t trust you to do simple tasks -- the fundamentals -- then it won’t trust you with larger business issues.

Make sure things work first because if the business doesn’t trust you to do simple tasks -- the fundamentals -- then it won’t trust you with larger business issues

Carsten Larsen, CIO, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Gary: Trust is one of the fundamental things a CIO has to tackle. You can’t have a discussion with the business if it has issues with e-mail or the infrastructure, as that’s where the discussion will go. You need to have a personal relationship with the management guys and understand what they’re driving towards; understand the business is driving to and then they’ll be ready to understand that you are driving towards business value. Without trust you will struggle in the role.

I started a transformation project many years ago looking at how we could standardise our processes across the business. As an organisation we grew up being very entrepreneurial, so we had 50 ways of doing each thing. I pushed heavily with the board and exec to go down the process route, but there was a great deal of understanding and support for that -- and they did agree to go down that route. That all came down to trust. What I did was to deliver some quick wins to show that we were adding value as part of the new process we were putting in place.

CIO: Is there a disconnect between IT reality and requests from management for new technologies that they find in in-flight magazines -- cloud computing, for example?

Chris: Brookfield and Brookfield Multiplex are still separate entities that have to learn to grow together. We are looking at ways to solve this issue. People ask: can we put a certain service in the cloud or get it as a software as a service? That will open the discussion, but you still have to sit down and discuss what it is people actually need to do their job -- get away from the application discussion and bring it back to what they need to do, then look at the particular system to do that. The CEO may have seen a new technology, but you have to stop them and ask what it is they want to do.

Carsten: I see myself as a salesmen. I’m a CIO but also the head of a sales organisation that sells to the rest of the business. My aim is to outsell all the other guys so that my solution is front of mind for the CEO or whoever else has ideas about a technology they may have seen in a magazine. Have a rational conversation with management, but remember it’s about selling and having more light and glimmer than the other guys. See if you can keep that light going and make sure that the CEO looks to you rather than someone else.

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Tags Corporate ExpressACMAglobal financial crisisCIO Summit 2009Brookfield Multiplex

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