What do over 100 round table sessions and personal talks with over 1,000 CIOs tell us about today's CIO agenda? That is the question to which Hotze Zijlstra (Editor-in-Chief of CIO Magazine) and Rob Beijleveld (Managing Director of ICT Media) wanted to find an answer. Together they tried to summarize all formal and informal meetings held during the past four years. What were they generally about? And what should they be about in the future?
Certain 'basic' subjects were found to crop up time and again during the talks and discussions. They are not highbrow matters, but items of daily business for most CIOs, such as standardization, centralization, applications rationalization, talent management, sustainability, capex & opex issues and flexibility. In other words: keeping the basic IT facilities going. From a purely CIO agenda-based point of view, these challenges always seem to be approached along two axes: personal (leadership, communication and creativity) and functional (position, level of maturity, knowledge and experience).
A further conclusion was that lots of discussions in organizations are conducted within a kind of triangle relationship, i.e. based on the pillars of architecture (infrastructure and applications), innovation (transformation of IT and business) and sourcing. Furthermore, specific subjects, such as cloud computing, embracing social media or how to handle information, turn out not to be suited to one-dimensional discussions, but need to be discussed in conjunction with other subjects as adopting a technology or an approach often has consequences for the company's strategies in several fields. Furthermore it was found that, contrary to the functional matrix on the basis of which the ICT organization is set up, discussions are almost always defined by clear themes: information management, strategic sourcing, connected enterprise and innovation/transformation. Or in other words: beyond the borders of functional separation!
It is not surprising that the activities of ICT Media - a company whose main task is facilitating the CIO community and related professional fields - are completely in line with this classification into themes. In addition to organizing exclusive round-table sessions in ICT Media's own Bossche Boardroom, the annual congresses are programmed on the basis of these four themes. This is in order to go more deeply into the subjects and themes, based on the starting point that they have been identified as such from the demand side.
To optimize this envisaged in-depth approach, ICT Media is currently working on facilitating two content matrices: one on the basis of workshops (sharing knowledge) and one on the basis of master classes (certification). Both fully in line with subjects to be identified by the CIOs themselves, resulting from the round-table sessions. The meetings are also a part of the activities of ICT Media and in line with the objectives of the CIO Academy foundation: drawing up standards, certification and registration on the basis of the e-skills competencies matrix.
Further to the functional story, we provide a similar form of support to CIOs in their personal capacity, both with public events, such as the themed congresses, but, if so required, also in a closed setting, for instance the specific and exclusive ‘CIO only' round-table meetings. These are, of course, always fully supported by our CIO Magazine and CIO Portal publications. Not only that, but the CIO Day and CIO Academy also offer plenty of room for the functional and personal agendas of Chief Information Officers.