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A New Dance Step
18 March 2015

CSUB446-A-New-Dance_Step (594x262)

It’s called the shuffle or re-shuffle.  It is a move made by several CIOs in the last twelve months.

In 2014 five bank CIOs left for other pastures, the Commonwealth, National, ANZ, ME Bank and Westpac all had a change at the top.  AMP also had a change with their CIO retiring from the position he held for twelve years.

In the government sector, the Department of Finance CIO moved on to an analyst position at Gartner, the role will not be replaced.  February 2015 the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet CIO departed in a restructure.  In both cases, and the National Bank, the role of CIO was abolished.

Andy Rowsell-Jones, a director in Gartner’s CIO and executive research group, says the digital juggernaut is likely to trigger more changes at the top in 2015 and is key to the more “traditional” role of the CIO either changing or disappearing.

cio notes

“The job that a CIO who has been in the post for a few years … is probably coming to the end of its useful life,” Rowsell-Jones says.

It is now a commonly held opinion that the days of only managing infrastructure and applications is over and technology chiefs are marketing savvy and business strategists to suit the changing demands of business, customers and staying ahead of the competition.

Information technology has always been a rapidly changing industry and the General Manager for Peoplebank in NSW, Jeff Knowles says “CIOs typically stay for three to five years and this year’s moves were partly regular renewal and partly a changing of the guard.  It is hard to attribute these to a single reason, however, it seems to me that a number of the changes were from long-term CIOs, so I suspect it has just been time for a change,”

IBRS analyst Alan Hansell points out being the person with whom the high-tech buck stops has never been a job for the faint hearted.  “A hidden reason for the turnover, which rarely gets mentioned, is burn-out,” he says. The CIO role can be all-consuming. Managing constant changes in technology is draining.”

The role has much in common with that of a high profile professional sports coach, Hansell adds.

The South Australian restructure has meant the end of the government CIO role and the Office of the CIO, with all activities now re-organised to come under the new role of Director of Digital Government, which signals the government’s commitment to transforming their online presence for the benefit of all South Australians.

The National Bank also abolished the CIO role however the former CIO is now the Executive General Manager for Enterprise Transformation.  In its statement the bank said the new position would be “accountable for driving NAB’s transformation agenda, including the NextGen program, enterprise architecture and enterprise project services”.

“These changes best position NAB to deliver its transformation agenda and meet the future opportunities technology provides to meet the needs of our customers.

These changes are certainly in line with Gartner’s view and being in the “Age of the Customer®”.