The 2012 CIO Summit promises to put earlier years’ events to shame in terms of the sheer volume of CIOs on the stage. It’s a diverse line-up from many fields in the private and public sector, but each of them have their own story to tell about their experiences in providing transformational IT strategies.
Trevor Didcock earned the admiration of CIO UK’s CIO100 panel of judges, who voted him to the number one spot on the list for his efforts in improving customer service and aircraft telematics at Easyjet.
As IT leader of the budget airline, his primary concern is keeping control of costs. His opex budget is only one per cent of the company’s revenue, and capex is half that.
He joined the company in 2010, spending his career in other transport related organisation like the AA and RAC, but also has a background in confectionary giant Mars, the training ground of other notable CIOs, such as Colin Cobain and 2011 summit speaker Jane Scott.
Didcock sits on the management board, which he describes as a team with intensity and a hunger for success driven by a market that doesn’t suffer business mistakes.
Gerry Pennell, CIO for the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog) is another CIO who has to have a zero-tolerance level for failure. He can breathe a sigh of relief now that he has helped pull off one of the most successful events the nation has held for over 50 years.
Pennell took the role after masterminding the IT behind the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, so he had already proven his ability to operate under a global spotlight.
The key he says is getting a good team together. Just as Team GB comprised the nation’s brightest and best, The London 2012 Olympics has created a groundswell for IT talent, which Pennell helped to create.
What could follow that? Pennell says he won’t head up IT for another sporting event again, but he said that after Manchester, so we may see him in another similare position in the future.
Barclays Retail European CIO Anthony Watson is at an organisation that is also in the spotlight, but for very different reasons. When interviewed by CIO UK, he was surprisingly candid about the troubles Barclays and the wider UK banking sector has been experiencing of late, which shows his leadership integrity to face up to unpleasant realities.
He maintains archaic processes are part of the problem, but it’s something he is there to transform.