Tag Archives: Globalisation

World of hurt if CIOs fail to think globally

My latest feature for silicon.com shows how major economic growth projected for regions such as Southeast Asia will reshape the technology models companies adopt and transform the role of CIO itself:

Economic recovery usually leads to an upsurge in investment in Western economies as businesses aim to start growing again. This time it is different, says esure head of IT and operations Mark Foulsham.

Two years after the UK recession of 2009, Foulsham believes the recovery is much slower than might have originally been expected. Proof comes in the form of economic indicators, with the Office of Budget Responsibility downgrading UK growth projections for 2011 on three occasions from a high of 2.6 per cent to a current expectation of 1.7 per cent.

The slower rate of growth leads Foulsham to suggest that CIOs need to think differently about the mix between new investments and existing resources. But he believes there are big opportunities for technology leaders who can think about intelligent ways to grow the business through smart IT.

To read the rest of the feature, please click here.

Summer 2010 edition of CIO Connect magazine

The summer 2010 edition of CIO Connect should be hitting IT leaders’ desks this week. Cover star is Deloitte UK partner and CIO Mary Hensher, a people person with a passion for the potential of IT to change business. Other articles include cloud computing, innovation, governance and a review of IT leadership from India.

As ever, thanks to all the CIOs, business leaders and technology experts who contributed their time and opinions. Below is a full list of featured participants:

  • Mary Hensher, Deloitte UK partner and CIO
  • Richard McGrail, head of IT at Baillie Gifford & Co
  • Steve Webster, IT director at Admiral Group
  • Peter Ingram, IT director at Addison Lee
  • Martin Ferguson, head of strategy at Socitm
  • David Hopkins, manager of business development at Siemens Enterprise Services
  • David Wilde, head of IT at Westminster City Council
  • Patrick Smith, local government client executive at IBM
  • Richard Mahony, director of telecoms research and analysis at Ovum
  • Philip Virgo, secretary general of the European Information Society Group
  • Ian Wilcox, principle IT consultant at Hampshire County Council
  • Peter Bassill, chief information security officer at gambling giant Gala Coral Group
  • Chris Head, principal associate at Socitm Insight
  • Robin Johnson, global CIO at Dell
  • Peter Breunig, CTO at Chevron
  • Mike Bevil, manager of IT Innovation at Merck
  • Ruth Spellman, chief executive at Chartered Management Institute
  • Zafar Chaudry, CIO at Alder Hey
  • Peter Bauer, chief executive at Mimecast
  • Rajendra S. Pawar, chairman of technology company NIIT
  • John Suffolk, UK government CIO
  • Saurabh Srivastava, chairman of CA
  • Filippo Passerini, president of global business services and CIO at Procter & Gamble
  • Dana Deasy, group CIO at BP
  • John Torrie, UK chief executive at Steria
  • Michael Gogola, director of information services at HCA International
  • Francis Jellings, head of IT at Virgin Trains
  • John Robinson, group IT director at Morse
  • Mark Foulsham, head of IT at insurance specialist esure
  • Stuart McGill, CTO at Micro Focus
  • Maurice van Sabben, president of National Geographic Television International
  • David Head, director of LFA
  • Adrian Joseph, Google’s European managing director
  • Dominic Batchelor, partner at Ashurst LLP
  • Inbali Iserles, professional development lawyer at Ashurst LLP
  • Danièle Tyler, solicitor at Ashurst LLP

No football club has a divine right to success

Football is a business. Actually, it isn’t – it’s a sport. But there’s a chance you might have forgotten, given the media’s obsession with football clubs and their cash concerns.

There’s one type of cash concern in football, like Accrington Stanley struggling to survive. And there’s another, where big clubs are struggling to stay as big clubs. Take Liverpool, for example.

Ex-footballers gracing screens with their oh-so-obvious banter keep telling the watching populace that Liverpool “simply have to qualify for the Champions League”‘ because of cash concerns and a need to attract the best players. But it’s a sport and I couldn’t give a stuff about who needs to be in a specific competition because of business issues.

Then there’s the big club justification – “Liverpool are a massive club that deserves to be in the Champions League”. Liverpool, of course, are a massive club with a “brand” (another dreadful term that has become associated to Sky-era football) that commands global recognition. Good for them. But such prestige does not mean Liverpool – or anyone else – has a divine right to be successful.

Look at Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, et al – all of whom are big clubs, finding they have no divine right to be in the top flight, never mind Europe.

Football is cyclical, you see and teams drop from the elite. Nothing is more sure. Liverpool are struggling, Manchester United have their own financial concerns – Manchester City are spending big, Spurs are on the up. Things change.

Look at the Villa. We were the biggest club in the world in the late ninteenth and early twentieth century; we were the global “brand”. Post-Second World War football in Aston has seen some high points and quite a few low points. At the minute, the Villa are thinking about being successful again. We shall see.

But no club has a right to success. And no club “has” to be in any competition, despite what the pundits would have you believe.

The LinkedIn Premier League of New Economy Job Titles

The nature of work has changed. Want proof? Search LinkedIn and see how many people choose to define their job role with what might previously have been seen as non-traditional, even esoteric, terms:

  1.    4,475,626 results for owner
  2.    3,677,739 results for consultant
  3.    1,911,106 results for specialist
  4.    537,068 results for advisor
  5.    469,201 results for founder
  6.    468,044 results for expert
  7.    405,901 results for freelance
  8.    398,420 results for contractor
  9.    365,215 results for writer
  10.    138,506 results for speaker
  11.    84,840 results for strategist
  12.    61,032 results for ambassador
  13.    50,013 results for thinker
  14.    45,848 results for visionary
  15.    42,614 results for guru
  16.    20,318 results for blogger
  17.    16,270 results for evangelist
  18.    4,582 results for entreprenuer
  19.    3,094 results for gatekeeper
  20.    1,637 results for futurist

Old favourites – like freelance and contractor – are still popular. At the start of the last decade, such descriptions were seen as being catch-all phrases for individuals operating at the fringes of the formal economy and providing an outsourced service to larger businesses.

Twenty years ago, futurologists predicted something called ‘the internet’ would allow us to all work flexibly. Now, in a new economy driven by collaborative technologies, freelancing has become the mainstream. A global economy of contractors is fast-developing, with individuals selling their expertise on-demand.

Old monikers – such as freelance and contractor – do not necessarily encapsulate the act of work. The result is a collection of meaningful/meaningless terms that are used to describe what people actually do, or would like to do.

I wonder how the table will develop as the economy changes? Feel free to suggest other esoteric descriptions.

Spring edition of CIO Connect magazine

I was on holiday last week, during which time the sparkling spring edition of CIO Connect magazine hit the desks of the UK’s key IT leaders. In the lead-up to the release of the magazine, I’ve been busy modifying the content to include more forward-looking elements.

The changes are represented in ‘Foresight’, a new introductory section to the magazine that identifies the business and technology issues that will impact the work of CIOs in the next year-or-so. In short, change in business IT is so rapid that there is little point having a discussion about the here and now. CIO priorities are always about helping the business to work smarter and the ‘Foresight’ section will help IT leaders as they attempt to establish a competitive edge.

There are several other subtle changes in the spring edition, too – including more boxes and summary points in the main features. The aim is to give time-precious CIOs as much information as quickly as possible. As ever, the edition includes a series of exclusive features:

  • Globalisation at Procter & Gamble – featuring Filippo Passerini, global CIO at Procter & Gamble, and Karen Winney, business services director for UK, Nordic and Ireland at Procter & Gamble
  • Innovation and transformation at ITV – featuring Richard Cross, group technology director at ITV
  • Equal opportunities in IT – featuring Intel CIO Diane Bryant, Scottish Government CIO Anne Moises and Christine Ashton, IM strategy and technology director at Transport for London

Finally, here are a list of the IT leaders and business experts that appear in the issue. As ever, thanks to all that contributed their time and thoughts:

  • Richard Cross, group technology director at ITV
  • Jon Inch, CIO at Christie’s
  • John Suffolk, Government CIO
  • Filippo Passerini, global CIO at Procter & Gamble
  • Karen Winney, business services director for UK, Nordic and Ireland at Procter & Gamble
  • Diane Bryant, CIO at Intel
  • Anne Moises, Scottish Government CIO
  • Christine Ashton, IM strategy and technology director at Transport for London
  • Tania Howarth, CIO at Birds Eye Iglo Group
  • Stephen Entwistle, financial director of McKeowns Solicitors
  • John Thorp, chairman of the VAL IT Steering Committee at the IT Governance Institute
  • David Woodgate, chief executive of the Institute of Financial Accountants
  • Robin Dargue, CIO at Royal Mail
  • Karl Deacon, CTO at Capgemini
  • Neil McGowan, IT director at JD Williams
  • Tim Mann, CIO at Skandia UK
  • Olivier Uytterhoeven, director of IT at Starwood Hotels
  • Nathan Marke, CTO at 2e2
  • Tony Eccleston, partner at Ernst & Young
  • Steve Pikett, head of IT at Rothschild
  • Paul Mockapetris, domain name system (DNS) inventor and chairman of Nominum
  • Martin Roesch, founder and CTO of Sourcefire
  • Professor Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Professor of business and technology at business school INSEAD
  • Rob Spencer, senior research fellow at Pfizer
  • Ray Johnston, group IT operations manager at Aspen Insurance UK Ltd
  • Euan Semple, social media consultant and former BBC technology chief
  • Richard Moross, chief executive and founder of online printing company Moo.com
  • Peter Hinssen, programme director for Realising Business Performance Through IT at the London Business  School
  • Dr Martin Clarke, director of general management programmes at the Cranfield School of Management
  • Ian Cohen, former CIO at Associated News and managing director of SimplyGreatConsulting.com
  • Ian Buchanan, former CIO at Alliance & Leicester
  • Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former director general of MI5

Defining innovation

CIOs talk a lot about innovation. Actually, it’s often all they talk about – along with a bunch of related concepts, such as value, efficiency, globalisation, leadership and partnership. But what is innovation?

It’s a question that’s being analysed in a number of ways by CIO Connect and I’m putting together a special feature, speaking to CIOs and senior researchers at blue-chip businesses. Early conclusions? CIOs – and other business executives, more generally – often wrongly focus on the ‘blue sky’ element of innovation.

‘Blue sky thinking’, as well as being a bloody awful phrase, is only one tenet of innovation. It covers the research and development part, the creativity. But there’s another area of innovation that is probably more important, especially in the current economic climate.

Innovation is not just about developing something ‘new’, it is also about the re-use of existing assets in different and exciting combinations. Basically, it’s about regeneration and making good with something bad – ‘brown-field site thinking’, if you will (to borrow and manipulate the phrasing of geography).

Now, which is better – ‘blue sky thinking’ or ‘brown-field site thinking’?