Tag Archives: Other media

Autumn 2011 edition of CIO Connect magazine

The autumn edition of CIO Connect magazine hit CIO desks during the last week of October. Cover star Dan West, IT director at ASOS.com, talks about his priorities for transformation and innovation at the online retail giant.

The release of the magazine was held back to include a special report that summarises the best practice evidence on consumerisation emerging from CIO Connect’s annual conference in London. As usual, thanks to all participants and contributors:

  • Dan West, IT director at ASOS.com
  • Cliff Burroughs, group IT and lean director at United Biscuits
  • Bill Chang, executive vice president at SingTel
  • Rajneesh Narula, professor at Henley Business School
  • Neil Farmer, IT director at Crossrail
  • Adam Gibson, CIO at Odgers Berndtson
  • Rob Gibson, director of business systems at the Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Michael Chui, senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute
  • Jon Page, advisory principle at EMC Consulting
  • Sanjay Mirchandani, global CIO at EMC
  • Tony McAlister, CTO at Betfair
  • Jonathan Earp, CIO at Informa
  • Julian Self, group operations and IT director at IPD
  • Simon Meredith, UK and Ireland CIO at IBM
  • Mark Foulsham, head of IT and operations at esure
  • Mark Leonard, executive vice president at Colt
  • Steve Jeffree, operations director and group CIO at the Law Society
  • Mark Settle, CIO at BMC Software
  • Marcus East, CIO at Comic Relief
  • Alistair Russell, advisory practice director at CIO Connect
  • Andy Bristow, director at Hays Information Technology
  • David Head, director at La Fosse Associates
  • Lewis Martin, change manager at Brit Insurance
  • Sean Harley, technology operations manager at Sky IQ
  • Adam Banks, CTO at Visa Europe Services
  • Deepak Jain, senior vice president at Wipro
  • Dominic Batchelor, partner at Ashurst LLP
  • Inbali Iserles, professional development lawyer at Ashurst LLP
  • Danièle Tyler, solicitor at Ashurst LLP
  • General Sir Mike Jackson, former head of the British Army
  • Roger Camrass, independent consultant and former CIO
  • Katie Bell, marketing director at Middlesex University
  • Sally Fuller, director of strategic propositions at Kcom
  • David Fosberg, vice president at Samsung Electronics
  • David Smith, ex-people and IT director at Asda
  • Ian Watmore, chief operating officer at the UK government
  • Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks
  • Jason Hill, business solutions strategist at VMware
  • Ian Sherratt, director of corporate business strategy at SCC
  • Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist

Autumn 2010 edition of CIO Connect magazine

The autumn edition of CIO Connect magazine has been out for a couple of weeks now and we’ve been receiving some great feedback from members and non-members.

It’s a bumper edition, which features profiles of London Olympics CIO Gerry Pennell and BBC CIO Tiffany Hall. There’s also exclusive content from CIO Connect’s recently held annual conference, ‘Business as Unusual’, and the first part of our annual Horizons research, which explores the future of the CIO role. As ever, thanks to all interviewees and contributors. A full list of featured CIOs and business leaders is provided below:

  • Gerry Pennell, CIO at London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
  • Mark Foulsham, head of IT at esure
  • Tiffany Hall, CIO at BBC
  • Rajiv Hingoo, chief operating officer at CLSA
  • Jon Curry, director of HR and ICT at The Eden Project
  • Poornima Kirloskar-Saini, head of IT at Women Like Us 
  • Neil Brooks, CTO at Business Monitor International
  • Bill Brindle, CIO at Hogg Robinson
  • Toby Clarke, group IT director at Abbey Protection Group
  • Tim Fillingham, chief operating officer at Torus Insurance group
  • Neil Pamment, IT director at Denton Wilde Sapte LLP
  • Chris Miller, CIO at Avanade
  • David Felstead, CIO at the Forestry Commission
  • Vincent Kelly, CIO at Orange Business Services
  • Stuart Curley, chief technology architect at the Royal Mail
  • Mark Quartermaine, managing director of BT Global Services in the UK
  • David Bradshaw, research manager at IDC
  • Barry Jennings, solicitor in the commercial department at Bird & Bird LLP
  • Ganesh Ayyar, chief executive at MphasiS
  • Srikrishna Ramakarthikeyan, vice president at HCL
  • Vin Murria, chief executive at ACS
  • Nathan Marke. CTO at e2e
  • Dominic Batchelor, partner at Ashurst LLP
  • Inbali Iserles, professional development lawyer at Ashurst LLP
  • Danièle Tyler, solicitor at Ashurst LLP
  • Nick Kirkland, chief executive at CIO Connect
  • Nisha Pillai, BBC World News anchor
  • René Carayol, leadership guru
  • Chris Hadfield, executive coach
  • Ellis Watson, chief executive of Syco Entertainment
  • Roger Camrass, general manager for Europe at Wipro Consulting
  • David Smith, economy editor at The Sunday Times
  • Trae Chancellor, vice president of enterprise strategy at Salesforce.com
  • Jeremy Vincent, CIO at Jaguar Land Rover
  • Tom Herbich, director of business applications and information governance at Deutsche Bank
  • Margot Katz, executive coach
  • Nigel Moulton, director of product and solutions marketing for EMEA at Avaya
  • Chris Barrow, EMEA solutions marketing executive at Avaya
  • John Lawler, deputy director of information systems services at Trinity College Dublin
  • David Valentine, general manager for UK and Ireland at Micro Focus

What CEOs expect to get from a top-performing CIO

What type of skills does the CEO want from his or her CIO? My latest feature for silicon.com draws on the experiences of a group of senior executives to discuss the leadership traits that will make a CIO stand out from their peers:

The starting point, says Jardine Lloyd Thompson CIO Ian Cohen, is to understand your personal attributes or strengths and those of your team. Rather than worrying about potential weaknesses, an outstanding leader will focus on their strengths – and those within their teams – and look to exploit them.

“We spend way too much time trying to turn people into something they are not and fix their weaknesses,” he says. “It’s complete nonsense to think that fixing something bad will create something great. If you take ‘bad’ and just invert it – you get ‘not bad’, which is light years away from ‘great’. Find the activities that strengthen you personally, and the people you lead, and look to do those activities more often.”

When it comes to personal capabilities, Cohen is well aware of his own strengths. He says he happens to be good at technology because of the chronology of his career and an employment path that has included senior IT positions at media giants Associated Newspapers and the Financial Times.

To read the full article, please click here.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: But where’s the social CIO?

I’ve been on holiday for the past week. Well, I say holiday – I live in London and we visited Leigh-on-Sea for a few hours one day. The main point is that I haven’t been at work. And during that time away from my desk, a piece I wrote on the social CIO for silicon.com was published. The piece suggests that not enough IT chiefs are championing social media and collaboration:

The media consensus would have us believe that we are on the cusp of an information revolution, where everyone across the world is using Facebook to poke their peers and Twitter to tweet their views. As ever, an element of caution is required. Change is occurring but the revolution is patchy at best.

There might be 500 million Facebook users around the globe but that still leaves almost six and a half billion non-users. What lies behind such figures is a broader socio-economic change. The number of people using Facebook has doubled year-on-year and the up-and-coming cadre ofyounger employees expect to use social technologies in the workplace.

Such expectations create significant challenges for the executive team. The CIO, as the individual with responsibility for organisational IT, should be at the apex of that challenge. That, however, is not necessarily the case.

To read the full article, please click here.

Deloitte UK CIO Mary Hensher talks about people and security

Summer’s recently released CIO Connect magazine featured a profile interview with Deloitte UK partner and CIO Mary Hensher, a people person with a passion for the potential of IT to change business. The feature covered the following areas:

  1. Deloitte UK CIO Mary Hensher is only too aware of the fact that she remains a scarcity amongst the rarefied air of UK business leadership; a woman with a responsibility for technology at a leading firm.
  2. There is hope that the balance will once again shift towards women, and that hope comes in the form of social media: “Technology used to be anti-social; now it’s social,” says Hensher, referring to the increasing prevalence of collaborative technology.
  3. “You need pioneers to prove that new models of working are possible,” says Hensher. “Part-time employment will not work in every job but IT should be more accommodating. Employees need to be as flexible as they can. A good working relationship can make new models work.”
  4. Information is everything. It is crucial that a central core of IT experts are retained in-house to ensure that client data is secure: “We can’t afford ignorance and managing secure data is essential,” says Hensher.
  5. Hensher says issues of security and mobility come together and create concerns around connectivity: “The challenge is to connect your people effectively,” she says.

To read the full article please, click here.

Three-wheeled buggies are practical and (kind of) cheap

A former editor suggested to me that anyone who doesn’t buy The Guardian in their 20s hasn’t got a soul, and that anyone who doesn’t buy The Times in their 30s hasn’t got a brain.

It is, of course, an over-simplified generalisation. Like the quote (wrongly?) attributed to Margaret Thatcher which suggests: “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.”

But I digress – and the point I am trying to make is that over-simplifications, however generalised, can sometimes strike a chord. Take the recent column in The Guardian by author Jenny Colgan, which rejoiced in the falling sales of three-wheeled buggies.

The column – which starts with the word “Hurrah!”, possibly the poshest introductory one-word sentence imaginable – explains why the three-wheeled buggy is the noughties symbol of “more-money-than-sense parenting”. The offroad buggy is, apparently, naff conspicuous consumerism: “No longer would a handed-down Maclaren do,” she says.

In our case, Colgan’s kind of right – but not for the reasons she suggests. We have two children who both need to be pushed in a buggy. The three-wheeler allows us to push both at the same time. It’s not possible, you see, for one person to push two buggies.

And naff conspicuous consumption? Do me a favour – our buggy was passed on free by mates, who’d had it passed to them by other parents. So talk to the hand, Jenny Colgan; our offroader is practical and cheap as chips.

Over-simplifications? Like I said at the start, they never work…

Spring 2010 edition of CIO Connect magazine

The spring 2010 edition of CIO Connect magazine was printed and posted during my recent paternity leave. The magazine hoasts the usual mix of business IT features and leadership profiles, including extended articles on sustainability, social media and leadership success.

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 (in order of appearance):

  • Natasha Davydova, group head of strategy for global technology and operations for Standard Chartered
  • Jody Goodall, head of research and development at Trader Media
  • Omar Haque, managing director at AxiomCSG and formerly consultant at RS Components
  • Dave Fleming, head of ecommerce and innovation at Shop Direct
  • Andrew Abboud, CIO at City University London
  • Professor Lee Schlenker, chair of emerging economies and technologies at EM Lyon Business School
  • Scott Herren, managing director and vice president at Citrix
  • Ian Pratt, vice president for advanced products at Citrix and chairman of Xen
  • David Head, director of La Fosse Associates
  • Dominic Batchelor, senior associate at Ashurst LLP
  • Inbali Iserles, professional development lawyer at Ashurst LLP
  • Danièle Tyler, solicitor at Ashurst LLP
  • Robin Johnson, CIO at Dell
  • Stephen hand, CIO at Lloyd’s Register
  • Alistair Russell, advisory services director at CIO Connect
  • Maggie Berry, managing director at womenintechnology.co.uk
  • Bobby Cameron, principal analyst at Forrester
  • David Southern, head of IT at WWF UK
  • Phil Collard, head of business and operational support at Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Tony Young, CIO at Informatica
  • Steve Palmer, CIO at London Borough of Hillingdon and President of Socitm
  • Lorie Buckingham, CIO at Avaya
  • Les Taylor, director for business development and IS at the Disposal Services Authority (DSA)
  • Robbert Kuppens, European CIO at Cisco
  • Dan Matthews, CTO at IFS
  • Myron Hrycyk, CIO at Severn Trent
  • Jane Kimberlin, IT director at Domino’s Pizza Group
  • Phil Durbin, head of IT at UNICEF UK
  • Matthew Pontefract, CTO at Glasses Direct
  • Alistair Cox, chief executive at Hays
  • Ian Woosey, IT director at Carpetright
  • Heather Corby, HR director of BT Innovate and Design
  • Eachan Fletcher, CIO at Sporting Index
  • Ian Cohen, CIO at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group

Football finance and the folly of championship dreams

There’s a debate on the finance of football taking place now on BBC News and a bunch of other public broadcast channels (actually, is such repetition a new way for the Beeb to cut costs in light of announced programme cuts?).

The debate’s been quite interesting so far. Not brilliant, but quite interesting. The most pertinent fact has been that 53 English clubs have gone into administration since 1992. That’s unbelievable; administration has simply become a business norm for football clubs.

Now – given the travails of Portsmouth – everyone is saying the debt associated to British football clubs is far too high. Apparently, everyone has now recognised that debt is wrong; it’s a means of cheating your way to success.

But if it wasn’t for Portsmouth, and the wider global financial crisis, would anyone have cared less? Numerous clubs have bought their way to success, unbalancing the balanced playing field of top flight football. When I was kid, I genuinely used to think the Villa had a chance of winning the League every year. Now, such thinking would be just folly – and it’s got nothing to do with the wisdom of age, and everything to do with the level of debt swilling around in football.

So, while I agree football needs to get its house in order and apply good governance (which seems to be the watchword for tonight’s debate), I can’t help thinking it’s far too little far too late.

I-journalism and the cult of first-person reporting

“Never use ‘I’ in columns,” was one of the first lessons I received as a journalist. Oh, there I go – breaking the rule…

Still, my errant behaviour is a small ripple in comparison to the first-person obsession of modern journalism. The thinking behind not using ‘I’ is simple; the reader wants to read your opinions on a subject, not the story of your life. Few people are interesting enough to write in the first-person (God, yes. The Queen, maybe).

There’s another reason for not using the word ‘I’. You’re writing a column, so everyone knows it’s your opinion. In other words, you’re stating the obvious. And it’s boring.

Which makes the national media’s obsession with first-person accounts slightly baffling. The Mail, for example, presents a daily collection of extended rants – telling the reader how the journalist bravely gave up fish paste for Lent. Or something of that ilk.

No paper is immune. This weekend, The Guardian Magazine on Saturday splashed with one man’s story of why he doesn’t eat meat anymore (there was another cover story from the same author in today’s G2). I don’t eat meat either; can I have a book contract?

So, what’s to explain the rise of I-journalism (see Steve Jobs, I can be clever with ‘I’ too)? Probably a combination of factors: limited resources; the rise of celebrity culture, where every one is famous for 15 minutes; and the cult of the individual, where everyone believes they have something interesting to say – and everyone is meant to find it interesting.

Which begs one final question. Why am I writing this self-obsessed blog…?

Apple iPad is unlikely to provide a relaxing read

My wife knows nothing about technology. She doesn’t have a Facebook account and watching her search the web is more frustrating than watching Aston Villa fail to score in four successive Premier League matches.

She cares nothing for the bits and bytes of technology, like much of the world (an oft forgotten detail). But she did mention that she’d heard Apple had released some new technology.

“The Apple iPad,” I said, recognising that while she cares nothing for Steve Jobs’ latest device, she is equally unable to avoid media hype. The iPad – depending on your chosen review – is either a big phone, the greatest innovation ever (since the last Apple innovation, anyway) or the saviour of the publishing industry. Such hype suggests we’re all about to start reading books and papers on our iPads ; my wife’s response to that suggestion?

“Reading is all about relaxing, so why would anyone choose to read a computer screen?”

Quite (now get your own Facebook account and stop using mine to connect with your mates).