A 2018 CIO Summit special edition podcast featuring interviews with a number of leading CIOs hosted by Computerworld UK Editor Scott Carey and CIO UK Editor Edward Qualtrough revealed the themes from CIO UK's annual conference.
At the Shangri-Hotel in The Shard, CIO speakers from News UK, Unilever, Morrisons, Trainline, Global, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the FSA, Royal Borough of Greenwich and Places for People discussed some of the biggest challenges facing CIOs and UK organisations. They were joined by representatives from sponsors ANS Group, Rackspace, Google and Silver Peak.
CIO Asia's Cristina Lago and CIO UK's roving reporter Hannah Williams caught up with CIOs for a debrief to discuss the day's themes - among them authenticity, leadership, and putting data and culture at the heart of an organisation's strategy.
Morrisons Chief Technology Director Anna Barsby, Ascential CIO Sean Harley, Serious Fraud Office CTO Ben Denison, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust CIO Stephen Docherty, Places for People Chief Data and Information Officer Norma Dove-Edwin, former Conde Nast Director of IT Nadine Thomson, and Exeter University Chief Information and Digital Officer Alan Hill shared their thoughts on the 2018 CIO Summit, CIO UK and Computerworld UK's Workplace of the Future research, as well as their thoughts on what the upcoming report on AI in the enterprise should hope to provide CIOs.
At the 2018 Ryder Cup we also caught up with CIO and CTO in the sports and stadia sphere, Mike Bohndiek, to discuss the fan experience and the challenges and innovative technologies taking hold in the sporting arena.
2018 CIO Summit reflections
"It's great that we are all here to learn from each other, to understand what's going on in different sectors because I believe applying different principles from different sectors into your own can make a big difference.
"The whole theme around authenticity is really important because as leaders you can get caught up in noise and distractions; you have to stay on course but more importantly you have to stay true to yourself."
Stephen Docherty, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust CIO
"I do think there is a real generation of CIOs at the moment where leadership and people are the most important things, along with culture - and I think that really came out today. That was a very consistent theme with some great hints and tips, and practical stuff that people are doing.
"My absolute priorities are about capabilities, and making sure the team feel fulfilled and valued."
Anna Barsby, Morrisons Chief Technology Director
"For me what was most interesting was the session regarding data, and getting a different perspective on the importance of data, its different uses and how it's important to align data strategy with corporate strategy and get a uniform view on it."
Saakshi Barman, Morrisons Technology Graduate
"I think the conference was great; I always think that if I learn three things and meet at least two interesting people then I've had a great conference - and I've exceeded all of that! It was great to learn about the leadership and principles, and assurance to know that you are on the right track as the same themes came out about artificial intelligence and machine learning, the value of data and the cloud strategy. I feel reassured that I'm in the same ballpark as everybody else."
Norma Dove-Edwin, Places for People Chief Data and Information Officer
"I think that Trainline CTO Mark Holt made some very interesting observations about culture, and one of the things that particularly resonated with me is creating a technology vision. It means that people can then have the space within that, know where they're going and then you can get out of the way and let them actually execute on that."
Ian Golding, Natural History Museum interim CIO
"I think a lot of the speakers - Christina Scott from News UK, Anna Barsby from Morrisons, Jane Moran from Unilever - spoke a lot about culture and people. I think that's an interesting evolution within the IT conversation. We are no longer having these big conferences to talk about technology although technology is obviously very important. We are talking about creating the right culture and high-performing teams."
Nadine Thomson, former Conde Nast Director of Technology
"What I like about the CIO Summit is the real stories from real people.
"I think the biggest challenge of the workplace of the future is culture - understanding the people who are going to come in to your environment, what they need and how they operate. It just isn't a technology problem; it's a business problem."
Sean Harley, Ascential CIO
"The session that I found most useful was the one on data which is a challenge I face in my role so it was interesting to hear from other organisations how they are dealing with it and what technologies they are using, and seeing the similarities between that and what I do."
Ben Denison, Serious Fraud Office CTO
"I really enjoyed Unilever CIO Jane Moran's talk. The clarity she brought to platforms and a platform approach was really interesting - it's been really helpful to clarify some of my thinking. She described platforms as an integrated technology to support a business capability, and I can see how that platform approach really enables staff to own something and get focused on it and I've been thinking about quite a lot on how we do our business.
"The workplace of the future is about centralising around a digital environment, but making the physical environment fit to whatever comfort or style they want to work in. I have to think about that if I want to recruit youngsters because I need to create a work environment they are comfortable with, that they want to come to, and where they can do work of real value."
Alan Hill, Exeter University Chief Information and Digital Officer
"With any technological deployment it lives and dies with adoption - the people, the process and the technology as a three-pronged attack to make that happen. When you are talking about culture and take the example of the workplace becoming more mobile and people being less chained to their desks, when that cultural change comes from the board down, the CIO or CTO sitting on that is then the enabler of that piece. Maximising productivity then becomes a CIO's responsibility to future-proof that kind of delivery based on which way the company is going. One pretty much drives the other, the culture has to come first otherwise what you'll see is well known - is putting things in against the culture of the organisation and the people resist it, adoption rates will be low, the technology will die, the change project will fail and it will be another one of those elephants in the room when the CIO next comes back to the boardroom."
Mike Bohndiek, PTI Consulting
Launched in January 2018, the CIO UK podcast is a monthly discussion featuring CIOs, commentators and technology executives thrashing out the key issues relevant to the UK's business and technology leaders - as well as the tangential and irreverent musings of guest CIOs.