You are not Alone

You are not Alone

Giving CIOs the opportunity to come together to share and discuss industry challenges, in an intimate and safe environment, was a key benefit of our Above the Cloud event. It’s nice to know you are not alone when it comes to facing an issue, either with specific technology implementations, integration, legacy systems, or in terms of the broader challenge of continuing to add value to your organisation with technology strategy and solutions.

On the 55th level of the Rialto building, over a gourmet lunch with Melbourne as the backdrop, Managing Director, John Gillam provided insights into the Bunnings success story to a group of fifteen CIOs and IT leaders.

Having a CEO at the table to share his experience, revealed examples of the potential business value that can be realised when a CEO and the whole executive team take a keen interest in the role technology plays and the value it brings to the organisation.

Customers don’t think “technology” when they think Bunnings, yet technology is pivotal to the Bunnings business. Our guests were impressed to hear how much this straight-talking CEO knew about the IT within his company, that he acknowledged the company’s huge reliance on IT, and that he rated IT highly.

Even though John was able to name his company’s IT providers and knew where all the bits and pieces were hosted and held, his message was: rather than looking at technology, naming names and itemising what is spinning in your data centre, as CIO you need to know and name the services the technology delivers. If you are worrying about what your services sit on, you have the wrong focus, says Gillam.

We agree. A business value focus will help tremendously when you’re talking to the rest of the executive team, to the lines of business and the organisation’s stakeholders, working to bring everyone together and seeking buy-in, alignment or understanding as you bring your technology strategy and recommendations to the table.

We were very impressed with John’s trust in IT to innovate without fearing failure and his focus on matching technology to the business, with end user service delivery the driver. It was refreshing to meet a CEO who includes his CIO in business decisions and provides him the freedom to respond to the bigger picture.

Highlights from John Gillam’s speech:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail. See it as a learning experience … a necessity. A CEO must give his/her IT team permission to fail so they are not afraid to do in-house development if there is nothing out on the market to match their needs.
  • Ideas should be given air time because there are no silly ideas. However some ideas may not be suitable at the time so you keep them on hold for if and when the time is right. Some ideas may never have a “right time”. From these you learn.
  • Look ahead. Understand what is possible. Think ahead. Have ideas at the ready. Ensure your technology is flexible so you can adjust it to meet changing needs and attitudes.
  • It’s about the customer, not about the latest technology. Don’t change technology for the sake of change. Old ways are not necessarily bad ways if they deliver a positive customer experience and meet business needs. If something is working for you keep it, and support it, especially if it is quick, easy and does the job. Do not dismiss that it might pay to train people in old technology rather than completely re-platform. Match technology to the business strategy, with a focus on the customer.