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5 best tweets / quotes / things we learnt - Glasgow CIO Event 2017

Held at Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, almost 100 technology leaders gathered to hear the results of the 2017 Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey.

Our photographer was there to capture it all. Take a look in our photo album.

The panel were:

  • Claudette Jones - Chief Information Officer, University of the West of Scotland
  • Gillian Docherty - CEO, The Data Lab
  • Rob Mustard - Director of Digital, Scottish Water
  • Scott Liddell - Head of Channel and Digital, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank
  • Tony McClelland - CIO, ACCA
  • Dwayne Pascal - CTO, Xedo Software

Panel host: Albert Ellis, CEO, Harvey Nash Group

2017-09-14 @vballas.jpgVagelis Ballas‏ - @vballas
Digital transformation and change are not finite but rather continuous and iterative. Mindsets need to change. #HNKPMGCIOSURVEY

2017-09-14 leaskc.jpgCameron Leask@leaskc
"People don't come to work to do a bad job" - - Gillian Docherty, Data Lab #hnkpmgciosurvey

2017-09-14 @alastairrennie.jpgAlastair Rennie@alastairrennie
Don't spook people out with analytics by telling them things you know but they didn't know you knew #hnkpmgciosurvey

2017-09-14 @Actn4ChildrScot.jpgAFC Scotland‏ @Actn4ChildrScot
Chair of @ByteNight Scotland @RhonaHu shares Tom's journey from our youth homeless service to his career at @HNScotland #HNKPMGCIOSurvey

2017-09-14 @Digital_MW.jpgMartyn Wallace@Digital_MW
Two great videos referenced tonight you should watch & #hnkpmgciosurvey #TEDxGla2017


On agile versus traditional approaches...
Scott: The biggest disruption is actually in how you fund the project. We don't have projects in a traditional sense, and this approach allowed us to launch a new cash ISA product in 8 weeks.
Rob: We need to get everyone talking the same language, does everyone agree what Minimum Viable Product is, for instance?

Jonathan: It's got to be horses for courses. One project I worked on involved installing nuclear fuel rods; I wouldn't use an agile approach on that!

Tony: Traditionally people wanted to get everything into the first release because of fear that once launched the budget and investment will be gone. We need to change that mindset.
Claudette: An agile approach actually needs culture change from the very top.
Dwayne: We are a small company, my focus is how do we get the best from our team.

Tony: Nothing is so bad that you can't make it worse! In other words, it's never as bad as you think and you should factor that into your attitude to risk.

What strategic questions are you using data analytics to answer?
Tony: What tools are effective in helping people in their careers? What helps people pass exams? You need to be careful about the conclusions....cause and effect - do learning materials help people, or is it just successful people tend to use them?

Scott: We are using analytics improve customer experience. Ultimately everyone will eventually have a good app / website - the difference will be the data. How can we give people time back?

Gillian: You need to be conscious of bad interpretation. If you have 10 mins watch Dr Liberty Vittert's TEDx talk: How to win the lottery and get away with murder

Scott: Be careful with analytics. You can spook people out a bit about how much you can know about people.

How do you help push through the skills required for all the key things?
Rob: We have 9 programmes, one of which is being run by HR. We are planning until 2040. We are building a digital skills academy within Scottish Water.

Claudette: It's quite easy to get talent because I'm at a university. The challenge is getting soft skills. Everyone needs to interact with a customer.

Tony: If you are helping the business transform, you also need to transform yourself. You need to invest in your own team.

On artificial intelligence...
Audience member from local gov: If we get the data right we can then get the AI to work. It needs investment. Hackney council are experimenting with Alexa for interaction for instance. There are also union issues with people displacement acting as a brake.

Gillian: AI is going to happen whatever, and I would rather be on the front foot embracing it than letting it happen to me.

Albert: The pace of change is not giving us time to reskill. In Finland they are thinking about universal wage - they will tax machines...

Gillian: If you think Brexit is polarising you, universal income will do just the same!

On diversity and inclusion...
Albert: Technology teams are enormously diverse from an ethnic and nationality perspective, the lack of diversity is gender based.

Rob: It's an issue. We are 50/50. Sometimes it's about use of language.

Tony: We need to make childcare easier.

Gillian: Diversity of thought is so important. Even my 7 year old girl feels that tech is a boys thing...I don't know what the answer is...quotas are an issue 'you're only there because you are a woman'...I have more men in my team working flexibly than women - dads miss their kids as much as the women. As Robbert Rietbroek, CEO of PepsiCo says, I want leaders to leave the office loudly and saying I am leaving to pick up my kids.

Rob: It's a leadership issue. Within Scottish water we have a number of groups, including Women in Scottish Water. We are asking our teams to help us.


1. Uncertainty creates opportunity.
Whether it was the surprising result from the U.S. elections, or Brexit, or the increasing levels of more localised political and economic change in Latin America and Asia Pacific, it seems CIOs have become more used to unpredictable circumstances in the last year.
64% said they have changed their tech plans due to uncertainty.
The focus is building stable IT, but also a more nimble organisation to adapt to an unpredictable future.

2. CIO influence grows.
In unpredictable times the strategic influence of the CIO continues to grow.
For the first time in a decade, more than seven in ten respondents (71 percent) believe the CIO role in their organization is becoming more strategic.
A couple of years back we reported on the rise of the CDO and the growth in shadow IT, speculating whether the influence of the CIO is ebbing.
What this year's survey shows this is very much not the case, perhaps buoyed by the board's priority for the CIO to get back to basics. Something that CIOs are very good at.

3. But who drives innovation?
Despite the growing influence of the CIO, there is still much more work to do.
When it comes to innovation there is a clear gap between the role CIOs want to perform, and the role they are actually performing.
Sixty percent believe the top IT leader should be leading innovation across the entire business, when in fact only 26% actually are.
The reality right now is that many IT leaders are having a pivotal role in the technical element of innovation, but not the business element.

4. Cyber threat grows.
Although this CIO Survey was taken before the WannaCry attacks, it does reflect an ongoing trend of increasing threat.
Almost a third of respondents (32 per cent) reported that their organisation had been subject to a major IT security incident or cyber attack during the past 24 months, up from 22% 2014. Insiders are the biggest growing threat.

5. What sets the 18% 'most digital' organisations apart? A Digital Leader...
Builds a stable and secure infrastructure. For the CIO to lead on other things they must lead on technology. And that requires a razor sharp understanding of technically how things fit together.
Makes aggressive investments in agile and disruptive technologies. Digital are investing far more aggressively in cloud and forcing the pace of adoption across all elements. This is really important as cloud is the core foundation to enable all other elements of digital. Cloud forces a different operating model - driving away from direct control, with budget being driven in many different places.
Aligns business and IT strategy, from front to back office, Digital leaders are tilting the model from functional siloes to end to end processes and journeys.

Is focused on innovation and growth. Its about driving the discussions around what 'might be' not 'what is'. This is only possible when you have done the other three things. You need to have a stable platform, automation driven to the highest level and the architectural capability to understand how to dissect business opportunities to a technology solution.

Thank you to everyone who took part, and who continue to make the CIO Survey events a great way to share knowledge and insights.

Byte Night: As we mentioned on the night Harvey Nash Scotland are sleeping rough in aid of Action for Children's Byte Night. We'd love it if you could make a donation

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