CIO role should merge with chief digital officer and chief data officer

A CIO can implement more consistency in regulatory responsibilities, says digital consultant John Creese

23rd February, 2017
Time to merge roles? John Creese

What's your name?

Jos Creese

What’s your company and describe your role?

I run an independent digital consultancy business which specialises in helping the public and private sectors to work together better. Clients range from the largest IT businesses, to start-ups, community interest companies, and many public service organisations.

My main clients tend to be c-suite executives and politicians, as well as IT decision-makers, digital leaders, CTOs and technical architects involved in designing modern, flexible technology platforms in public services. But I also support marketing and sales professionals wanting to position products and services better, and to help them to understand market conditions.

What is your professional background?

I have worked across the public sector for 30 years before starting my own business two years ago. I’ve always worked in IT and business consultancy, public sector based - central and local governments - running technology teams as business units, not as internal suppliers. But I started out as a statistician - ‘big data’ analytics was how I got into IT.

What are your day to day responsibilities?

My day job is varied and unpredictable - I have a large client list of organisations who can call me at any time. Much of my time is therefore spent troubleshooting or doing advisory work. This includes undertaking research, writing white papers, briefing teams, and running events or leading roundtable discussions. All my work is based on short activity – troubleshooting and skills transfer, rather than longer assignments and interim commissions.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I like running and cycling, a bit of tennis and a lot of walking. I am a keen violinist, playing in a number of groups and orchestras including the City of Southampton Symphony Orchestra. Apart from that, you’ll probably find me in the kitchen.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I restore old violins.

You are speaking at the 2017 CIO Summit. What are you speaking about?

Many IT leaders focus on barriers to technology adoption e.g. 'how secure is the Internet of Things?'. While this is a valid question, there are many other barriers which could derail an organisation’s digital ambitions. I’m going to speak about the unseen barriers that all organisations face when trying to adopt digital operating models for products, channels and governance - and detail the key questions leaders should ask in order to address those barriers.

What challenges do you see for your business/sector and the CIOs role with in?

I see many challenges - new technologies, new ways of working, new customer and citizen’s expectations, less money, Brexit, GDPR, the pressure on public services, global competition. Yet in all of these there are also big opportunities as well, as long as leaders in general and CIOs in particular approach it in the right way.

Where would you like to see the role of the CIO in 10 years’ time?

I’d like to see the role better understood, with more consistency in regulatory responsibilities and sufficiently mature so that it can merge with chief digital officer and chief data officer roles.

Jos Creese will be delivering the Morning Keynote Address at the CIO Summit on March 30 at the AVIVA Stadium. See CIOSummit.ie for tickets and information.

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