Bridget Gray's Blog

Bridget blogs about Media, Digital & Communications

Bridget Gray

Managing Director
Harvey Nash

Collaborative, entrepreneurial, innovative: that’s the Australian CIO

For the last 15 years, Harvey Nash has conducted leading market research on the role of the CIO. In 2013, we had over 2000 CIOs from a wide variety of sectors and companies worldwide take part in the research.

I launched the Harvey Nash brand in Australia in early 2012, talking to many Australian CIOs to understand the context and environment that they operate in. This has ensured our 2013 survey asked the right questions so that we could give CIOs real insight into the evolving state of the role, collective challenges and solidarity as community focusing on similar top priorities.

We’ll be showcasing this research and the full results at our Sydney CIO Event, on 15th August 2013 at The Four Seasons; however I wanted to highlight a few key interesting trends that came out of the survey.

Australian CIOs actually trend towards more entrepreneurial and innovative characteristics. Evolving through the tough climate of the last six years has given Australian CIOs strong business facing skills and the ability to collaborate, more so than the CIOs in USA and Europe.

Two-thirds of CIOs see their role becoming more strategic and their ability to be flexible and innovative has changed the face of technology in Australia. More CIOs in Australia have ‘mobilised’ all or most of their online assets than the global average.

CIOs in Australia are managing complex portfolios, with internal and external focuses: internally focused priorities projects to drive improvement on business process and efficiency and externally focused priorities to drive profit, competitiveness and improve time-to-market.

Given the complexity and ambiguity that Australian CIOs are operating in, employers can always be doing more to engage their top technology talent. A significant number of CIOs plan to move roles within two years, a number that could decrease with the right engagement and development strategy. To aid our clients in staff retention, we have created a new portfolio of leadership services, including psychological assessment of employees’ bright sides, dark sides, motivations and values – by accredited consultants – all of which will enable companies to better design individualized plans to better engage, develop and therefore retain their staff. Given that well over four fifths of Australian CIOs worry about retaining their talent, this will surely be a top priority over the next 12 months, especially in this competitive landscape for core technology and digital skills.

These are just some brief reflections and we’ll be delving into the research more at the CIO Event in August, with help from our panel, including Diane Fernley-Jones, CIO of Leighton Contractors; Tim Thurman, CIO of Australian Securities Exchange and Paul Jones, CIO of Qantas. Please contact us if you would like to attend the event – we’d be delighted to welcome you.

I’m so excited to be leading Harvey Nash in Australia, with some of the world’s most innovative, entrepreneurial and collaborative technology talent. I look forward to seeing you at the event very soon!