With the CIO's role evolving and taking a more strategic place in the organisation, Silicon.com has identified five skills needed to excel.

Communication skill is one of the hardest to develop, but should enable leaders to influence at all levels. It was suggested that traditionally CIOs were told what to do and didn't take enough risks. Entrepreneurialism therefore, is part of the new skill set, and good communication skills can help to win over colleagues to new ideas.

These ideas also need to be conveyed to the CIO team, which is where strong leadership skills are important for motivating and inspiring the team, as opposed to merely managing a team.

It is all well and good coming up with new ideas, but they will be of no benefit if they are not relevant to the organisation. It is therefore important to be tech-savvy enough to know which technologies to exploit for the benefit of the organisation, and have a level of commercial awareness to understand business and customer needs.

I completely agree – and they are skills I generally aspire to, though whether or not I succeed is quite another matter!

Monday

Most of the ICT Management Team and portfolio managers spent the day at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre at Thames Valley Park. (I was very pleased to note that they spelt ‘centre’ correctly – the Microsoft house language is normally US English!) We were there for a session to ensure we were all up-to-speed on Collaboration, Unified Communications and Rights Management.

I was greeted with news of Microsoft account management changes affecting Newham. We are now one of five Strategic Accounts, together with Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Transport for London, managed by Rich Gwyther.

That sounded like good news in terms of the Microsoft focus on our business and continuing the development of our partnership.