A Changing Landscape
There's no room for complacency for Wotif's CIO
Online accommodation specialist Wotif has been on a steep growth trajectory, with CIO Paul Young charged with delivering the information infrastructure to support the business. "One of the very challenging things is the entire changing landscape — combined with the need to do more with less, more accountability and more transparency," Young says.
"What CIOs find is that what works at one scale doesn't work at another, so you are constantly reinventing yourself and have to throw away everything you've done before. There's nothing wrong with it — it just doesn't work at the scale you need it so you have to throw everything away and adopt a new paradigm.
"At the same time you realize you can't make this happen without people but you have to adapt to the skills shortage, keeping the older people and change the working week to keep younger people and change the way the business works to cope with that, which is a challenge because they may have opposing aims," he adds.
"Also there can't be just a token re-education of your staff — you need to reinvent yourself and that is mirrored down the line."
Young believes the pressures that CIOs face actually change according to the sector in which they operate and the maturity of the business. "It depends on the stage of your company and the organizational maturity. If we were established and had a slow growth rate then there would be different challenges. In the Web 2.0 area it's a rapidly exploding business and the CIOs play a much more strategic role so we don't tend to and can't afford to go for run-of-the-mill technologies.
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