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Newcastle CIO Event 2017

On Wednesday 6th September a group of like-minded individuals gathered for a discussion around key findings from our CIO survey.

Our panel this year included:
Susan Bell, CEO. Waterstons
Simon Parker, Digital Deputy Director for Child Maintenance. DWP
Kuldip Sandhu, Interim CIO Advisory. Durham University and British Transport Police
Nigel Watson, CIO. Northumbrian Water Group

Our panel generated interesting discussion around the changing nature of digital, the role of CIO and GDPR.

Given the changing definition of digital this year's CIO survey highlighted the CIO is the agent of change and digital is the means to make changes. Therefore the CIO is now taking roles beyond IT and ultimately leading in business process change.

Simon raised interesting discussions around the definition of digital highlighting the need to be flexible whilst responding quickly. Digital is a constantly evolving, complex topic combining two elements of focus. Firstly digital is automating business process, combined with customer service. Essentially technology is a means to enable customer service as ultimately technology and digital can enable change. Therefore Susan highlighted that organisations need to ensure digital and IT strategies are aligned with business needs. Therefore many organisations need to sustain momentum to take their business digital whilst navigating uncertainty.

Discussions around GDPR proved a huge talking point having created increasing uncertainty for many organisations. Ultimately discussions highlighted GDPR has to be a business led initiative as ownership and accountability need to be from the top. Essentially GDPR is viewed as an IT problem whereby in actuality it is an impact to an entire organisation. We held open discussions around the role of the CIO and how this will transform in the coming years, it was viewed that the role of business and technology would be virtually indistinguishable.

We focused on the changing nature of the role of digital leaders
• Build a stable and secure infrastructure
• Make aggressive investments in agile and disruptive technologies
• Aligns business and IT strategy from front to back office
• Focused on innovation and growth

General advice concluded that each organisation must:
• Consider what they are doing now around GDPR and data mapping
• Do you have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) ..the convergence between IT, Customer and Compliance
• Is your organisation focused around the customer?

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to a thought provoking discussion.

If you would like to find out more about Harvey Nash please visit, or contact

Beth Reynolds
Associate Consultant
Harvey Nash