Social media keyboard

Last week we ran a short article about Matt Ballantine and stamp London's #socialCEO report, which found that 26 of the FTSE 100 chief executives were active on social networks.

The article was well received and caused a small social media ripple itself, with plenty of reaction on LinkedIn and Twitter. This prompted us to take a look at what the CIOs have been sharing and commenting on. If we were being kind to ourselves, we'd probably call it a limited anecdotal qualitative study around Matt's far more impressive quantitative investigation.

Indeed, one of the first to mention the news story was Sabine Everaet, Europe Group CIO for the Coca Cola Company.

Sabine, however, wasn't even the first to comment. When Ballantine had mentioned the top line stat the previous day, he had already started a Twitter conversation with CIO at JLT Group Ian Cohen.

Ian Cohen Google+ post

But one social network wasn't enough for Cohen, who also gave us a +1 on Google+ in an article about European CEOs reporting that technology was now very much the differentiator in their industries.

Cohen ranked highly in recent editions of the CIO 100, particularly praised for championing social technologies at JLT, and Ballantine explained to CIO the evolution of social channels and their importance to C-suite business technology leaders.

"In the days before social networks, networking was a dirty word. It's what salespeople did," he said.

"But things have changed. Digital social networks give us access to information, expertise, business opportunities and communities the likes of which were unimaginable before. In this week alone I've conversed with a national newspaper journalist [Ballantine putting Guardian Technology editor Charles Arthur to rights on why Google Apps isn't open source - ed.], found a new potential business partner, researched a new area of software, and explored ideas with people across the planet.

"Whether in the enterprise or all over the internet, social channels are changing how we work. If you don't engage, you just won't get that."

Another story prompting converstation was news that former Travis Perkins CIO JJ Van Oosten had left the company to become chief digital officer for online German retailer REWE Group. The emergence of the CDO role is a bit of a trendy topic and Van Oosten's move to the digital sphere is evidence that leading IT executives are in an ideal position to drive digital transformation. Indeed, many CIO 100 submissions show leading business technology executives are already in charge of the digital remit, and Barclays CIO Anthony Watson described Van Oosten's move as a loss to the UK.

The big news this week came from BBC. The organisation was the subject rather than the distributor in this instance however, when they confirmed that CTO John Linwood had indeed been sacked over the 'failed' £100 million Digital Media Initiative.

Former Daily Mail General Trust CIO David Henderson echoed the views of other C-level IT leaders that Linwood was being made a scapegoat, while CIO at Staffordshire County Council Sander Kristel, an active social networker, shared the news that Linwood had hit back at the BBC, starting legal proceedings and saying aspects of DMI were in use.

It is certainly not the end of this one, and it will be interesting to see how CIOs react to updates about Linwood's dealings with the BBC.