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Morrisons Chief Technology Director Anna Barsby believes leadership and developing a winning culture are emerging as the major components of the CIO role, and that one of her biggest priorities is balancing how to help grow the business in a safe environment.

The former CIO 100 leader was in conversation with CIO UK's Hannah Williams at the 2018 CIO Summit at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard, and was joined by Morrisons Technology Graduate Saakshi Barman. Barsby had been a keynote speaker at the event, and discussed why leadership and developing the right culture were some of the most important traits for CIOs.

"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," Barsby said. "That was a very consistent theme with some great hints and tips, and practical stuff that people are doing."

CIO priorities

Barsby had earlier delivered a presentation sharing her personal story, discussing authentic leadership and finding your purpose as a business technology executive.

"My absolute priorities are about capability, it's about making sure the team feel fulfilled and valued - those are the absolute priorities," she said.

"Alongside that it's our technical assurance, and making sure that we keep the controls as our business is moving at such a pace. A big part of my job is keeping us safe and a big part of my job is enabling growth and trying to do the two at once is often tricky but an absolute priority."

Data strategy

Morrisons Technology Graduate Barman said that she enjoyed hearing the perspectives from FSA Director of Openness, Data and Digital Julie Pierce, Places for People Chief Data and Information Officer Norma Dove-Edwin, and Royal Borough of Greenwich Director of Finance, Kevin Gibbs, who had shared their views on putting data at the heart of an organisation's strategy.

"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 good to align data strategy with corporate strategy and get a uniform view on it," she said.

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