Friday April 3, 2020

'Technology is only the enabler...not the end game'

Martin Delaney, General Manager of the Innovation Value Institute on digital transformation and the greatest challenges facing modern technology leaders

30th August, 2019

Describe your current role

As General Manager of the Innovation Value Institute (IVI), I direct the overall Digital Transformation research and company engagement of our team. The IVI was established in 2006 by Maynooth University and Intel to meet the need to create a global standard for IT management organisations with proven tools, processes and metrics to measure the total capability of the IT function in order to achieve a value driven and professional approach to IT value management.

A key priority for me is the external involvement with many of our member organisations and encouraging new members to be part of our research and use our program assets.

What are your day to day responsibilities?

To grow membership and funding for our Institute, review progress of the team, help where I can, encourage and build confidence and competence within the team.

What is your professional background?

I have worked as CEO and Vice President of Fujitsu Ireland and Northern Europe. Also, I am involved in and am part-owner of an Irish based technology services company, as Chief Operations Officer, which we sold to Perot Systems. I started my career with Braun as an Industrial Engineer and have a Masters in Organisational Behaviour.

How do your particular areas of expertise manifest themselves in your current role?

The world-wide phenomenon of Digital Transformation is my current focus, understanding how any organisation can efficiently and effectively manage the adoption of relevant technology, and more importantly master the employee mindset and organisational cultural change that is needed. We are experiencing a systemic revolution in how people and organisations work – and we need to be aware and on top of IT.

How do you see your role developing in 5 years’ time?

Continuing to understand this Digital Transformation and how to support organisations.

What advice would you give to someone adopting a CIO role for the first time?

Don’t look back – it has all changed! The CIO looking forward is a very different role and contribution to the business. Much of it is emerging and in discovery. So, we need to look and find, adapt and learn. The other CXX roles are changing also so the CIO role needs to dovetail and integrate with the overall organisation’s changes. Over the past decade we have witnessed the very positive contribution of Agile and DevOps, also Lean and Innovation techniques. Now these initiatives are moving up into the enterprise. This is wonderful and radical, but extremely challenge to land. The emerging CIO in this transformed world needs to get that, be on top of it, master it, and deliver it for his or her organisation.

What are the greatest challenges facing modern technology leaders?

Realising that technology is only the enabler, yes a big one, but not the end game. So, the challenge to bring the technology along with the cultural and adoption changes that convert technology to deliver business results. Not a small ask…!

How do you think a CIO can best support company revenue growth?

Take a holistic approach. Much of the great thinking that is coming out of ‘Flow’ and what many are now referring to as ‘Business Agility’ looks at the business end-to-end. This is essential and if the CIO is bringing along an understanding of what technology can now deliver while being part of the total organisational wide change, then the organisation has an integrated structure, and not a silo, departmental view.

Martin Delaney is Chairing the CIO & IT Leaders Summit on Sept 25th in the Aviva Stadium. Visit for details.

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