Managing your own workload as well as that of your team is a challenge for any busy executive, and CIOs shared their advice on which technologies and techniques can make a demanding role more manageable.
Here CIO UK looks at 13 CIOs who have discussed strategies and technologies to improve their own productivity as well as manage the productivity of their department. [See also: Seven ways to improve your IT team's productivity]
“As a CIO and in my personal life I have a lot to do with productivity tools such as Office 365 which I use for everything and across every mobile device. I am bit of an Apple geek where I have a whole bunch of Apple macs and iPhones so getting access to email and making notes for when I am on the go is great.
At 02 we do provide a range of devices to employees and we are pretty focused on stability and working practices which can help drive productivity to the business and the customer. Another great tool for me is To Do It which helps monitor my activities and lists and works across all platforms and devices. “
Brendan O'Rourke, Telefonica 02's CIO
"I find participating in specialist LinkedIn groups very useful and time-efficient. My workload often prevents me from attending round table events, peer group discussions or workshops. I do make it from time-to-time. Often I am also asked to talk at events and seminars about my own experiences. I do have a healthy network."
Ferenc Vezer, 2 Sisters Food Group's CIO
"I think there are great flexible and mobile working solutions today - as long as you can get online (I still find mobile-user experience a challenge outside urban areas) and there is a culture that working from home occasionally can be more productive than open plan offices, especially for tasks that require focus. I've just signed up for Office 365 Delve analytics - I'm a bit of a personal productivity geek, I can't wait to see the stat on how much time I spend in meetings per week, my work/life balance, numbers of email I receive, and so on."
Alan Crawford, City & Guilds' CIO
“Majority of it is around unified communications so I spend a lot of my time in meetings while I am at work and I am constantly on link to be able to chat to my management team while they have the ability of updating me on things. I am a big Apple supporter at work and the fact it enables me to be in contact or on contact with anyone at any time.“
Duncan Gooding, TalkTalk Businesses' COO
"The rollout of Okta (online identity management tools) for Single Sign On across the entire group has led to improvements in employee satisfaction, a significant reduction in helpdesk traffic and workload through increased automation of processes surrounding all areas of account management. This has helped to managing my time more effectively and making my workload lighter."
Dominic Shine, News Corp's CIO
"We use Trello to manage digital projects across the organisation with lots of teams collaborating. Sometimes we'll opt for Basecamp if it gets more complicated. Motivii allows my team to track their motivation and set their focus for the coming week. Slack and WhatsApp promote quick concise messages rather than lengthy emails. I love the range of productivity apps that work across smart phone, tablet and laptop. While I can't wait to get an Amazon Echo to help manage my work and home life in a more integrated way, in reality, I'm often to be found taking hand written notes in my Bullet Journal."
Jo Wolfe, Breast Cancer Care's Head of Digital
“Communication is key to improving efficiency in any workplace, from a hospital to an office. As we did at the Trust, we’d recommend beginning with technology that enables operational efficiency. This can be achieved through flexible cloud-enabled infrastructure that makes communication easier, secures important data, and allows fast, reliable connections. We need to deploy technology which people can pick up and use, not sit down and be trained.”
David Walliker, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS Trust's Director of IT
"What really makes the difference is people having the same shared vision of when you set the culture correctly and helping to lighten the workload of a CIO because then you don’t have to interfere anymore. People will then do things that you want them to do of the direction you would drive the business. A culture for what is necessary. Communication tools such as Slack help me and my team to communicate in working to Centrica's business goal."
David Cooper, Centrica's CIO
"Social tools we are using today are Sharepoint, which is a sort of informal collaboration, as far as technologies Jive and social enterprise. Mobility we are also starting to run and use on laptops and work stations which can help mobilise also."
Matt Cardieux, Red Bull Racing's CIO
"I try as a CIO to experience what our users will experience so if we planning a new technology I will try and get those on my desk first so I can actually live and feel that and articulate that across the board. At the minute I am using a virtual desktop environment which I am able to use at home also so I have that consistency in what I do."
Steve Bloor, Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's CIO
"I think our cloud strategy is fundamental to that in helping to reduce my workload and my team's workload in sharing and managing data. It's not just fork lifting our data services out to another but enabling the whole organisation in working to deadlines and making SGN more agile."
Andrew Quail, SGN's Director of IT
"I think an Agile project management tool where all of our development requirements are gives me confidence in capturing everything we need to do and which been addressed I am aware of any issues which help me demonstrate the value I am bringing and delivering to the organisation.
"The third is collaboration, where we put a focus on the platform in place we often collaborate with colleagues and primary care in Somerset. Also with TrackCare, we have established a community where connections and other team members can work together to share their experience."
Jason Maclellan, Yeovil Hospital NHS Foundation's CIO
“For us technology is a key part of that with Office 365 stack continuing to expand pace and we are making as much use of that stack as much as we can to deliver into areas people have not traditionally people picked upon in the university, whether that be Facebook, Trello or Slack. We want to try and make sure we have good governance rather than depriving others to go into those other tools so we are encouraging people to use those tools.
We have seen an uptake of services like bots where we have moved from traditional on premise files stored through to our file share platform which have really changed the way people use our approach from sharing and managing of data to help provide a multiple stack of platforms across mobile devices.”
Jonathan Monk, University of Dundee's CIO