With the second annual CIO50 in full swing and nominations open until August 17, it’s time to meet our esteemed judges. CIO Australia has assembled a stellar cast of industry leaders to weigh in on this year’s stories of business transformation, innovation and leadership.
From executives of big brands to CEO and CIOs of private and not-for-profit organisations, and well as heads of research and think tanks, this colourful cast of characters will determine this year’s CIO50 list, which recognises those who are leading the IT function and are driving innovative technology projects that have created real value.
No doubt, our judge expertise ranges from a former chief digital officer for the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Office (and now an ‘expert in residence’ at an independent fintech hub) to chief digital officers, CEOs of industry, directors of technology, and many that have held a number of strategic ‘c’ level roles and board positions.
In determining this year’s Top 50 leaders, the judges will no doubt understand that the successful CIOs will be business leaders who enable their organisations to meet the needs of their customers or communities through technology.
Unmistakably, CIOs are transforming to become business strategists, cleverly adopting innovation and continually shifting towards an ICT visionary role. The CIO’s responsibilities have switched from managing cost centres to a stronger business orientation.
Indeed, it is a pivotal time in the life and times of a CIO, and now more important than ever to recognise and applaud the ICT leaders shaping the future of industry and government, according to Marc Bailey, CEO of Intersect Australia.
He said the role of the CIO has transformed, and it’s tough for CIOs to get noticed.
“The CIO is the newest seat at the executive table, and the pace of change for the CIO in just one year can exceed that of the entire career of some of the other people at that table,” Bailey said.
“Recognition can be hard to come by, and internal visibility (when things are going well) is not guaranteed. In fact, ‘Chief Invisibility Officer’ might be a reasonable surrogate title when executed perfectly, or at least that's the conventional wisdom. In a field as horizontally diverse as information technology there are also few opportunities for comparison and exposure across organisations.
“Industry awards and peer recognition like CIO50 are one way of changing this dynamic, and of recognising exceptional organisational, professional and personal performance - as perceived by an independent panel of experts.”
He said the role of the CIO has changed significantly - a story he is expected to see in this year’s nominations. He highlighted a few trends to sweep the industry.
“The transformation is transformation itself. Changing society used to define changes in tech. Today changing tech defines changes in society. The 1990s were characterised by being able to integrate disparate technologies together cleverly.
"The 2000s were about conformance, compliance and homogenisation as we saw standardisation drive commoditisation. This decade has been about the delicate balance between democratising technology and making it safe. The 2020s will balance consumerisation of AI against relevance of professions.
And CIOs and CTOs are now more important than ever, he added.
“Our corporations lean on our CIOs and CTOs more than ever to chart safe passage through these changing times, and being 'most technical in the room' is no longer sufficient to deliver. The CIO, more than anybody, has to understand both destination and the journey, has to communicate and lead with authenticity, and has to be the standard bearer for relevance - not just alignment.”
Suncorp CEO of strategic innovation, Pip Marlow, also highlighted the importance of the CIO50.
"As digital technology continues to shape and shift business models, CIOs are helping organisations stay ahead and consider new opportunities. The CIO50 program celebrates our thought leaders – these are our most progressive leaders driving innovation and showing us what good technology strategy looks like," Marlow said.
Like Bailey, Marlow said the role of the CIO has shifted from overseeing technology to influencing and driving strategy.
"With many CIO’s now reporting to the CEO, they are championing cyber security, robotics, data analytics, mobile applications, as well as overall digital transformation. Overall, they are shaping how their organisations can thrive in a connected world."
Meanwhile, Bridget Gray, managing director of Harvey Nash, also discussed the changes to the CIO remit - and how the CIO50 brings industry recognition to the monumental twists and turns.
"No role on the executive team has changed more than the CIO. The CIO50 does the very important job of shining a light on these changes, and celebrating what makes successful CIOs tick. Being a CIO can often be a lonely job; the CIO50 helps build an important knowledge base and community for tech leaders to grow," Gray said.
"By almost every measure, the CIO role has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Whether that's who they report to (increasingly the CEO), how technology is delivered (increasingly using cloud and third parties) or what their core function actually is (increasingly focused on innovation and the customer rather than internal operations).
"But what hasn't changed is what makes a CIO successful. The CIOs that I see moving forward in their careers have an inherent understanding and passion for technology, have an objective view of the world not affected by gimmicks and fashion, and are able to work with and influence multiple parties through their integrity, and charm."
Similarly, Mark Gay, CIO of ME, agreed there's massive change sweeping the industry, particularly banking, and the CIO is front and centre in driving transformational change.
"During the course of my career, technology has morphed from a mere enabler into a core operational component of many businesses. Many banking companies, for instance, are arguably now technology companies that lend money rather than the other way around. A series of new partnerships between banks, aggregators and tech-savvy operators is changing the way home loans are distributed in Australia, and this has monumentally changed the way financial institutions in Australia operate. Today’s CIO needs to be a business leader who uses technology to continually innovate, manage risk and grow their organisations."
He praised the CIO50, saying there aren't many programs that enable CIOs, or heads of tech, to find recognition.
"The sector that ME operates in is undergoing rapid technological advancement not seen in over 30 years of banking in Australia. It is an exciting time, but technology change can be tough to enact on an organisation-wide level and is, at times, a thankless task. As a community, it is important to take the time to celebrate our successes and learn from one another so we can develop better collaborative outcomes and strengthen the technological underpinnings of the industry as a whole."
Certainly, Bailey, Marlow, Gray and Gay, along with their fellow group of judges, are eager to hear this year’s stories about how CIOs and leaders of tech are demonstrating IT’s business value, innovation and leadership.
To nominate for the CIO50, visit https://www.cio.com.au/cio50/nominations/ or click here.
Let’s meet our Judges:
Expert in residence, Stone & Chalk
Paul Shetler is the ‘expert in residence’ at Stone & Chalk, a role he accepted in June 2017 to help drive Australia’s fintech startup ecosystem. Paul is the former chief digital officer for the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency; as well as the former chief executive officer for the Digital Transformation Office. He is also a former chief digital officer in Britain's Ministry of Justice in 2014 and 2015. Paul is a technologist and entrepreneur with two decades experience working in financial services and digital, 17 years of which involve senior and board-level management for private sector and supranational organisations. In the past 20 years, Paul has managed and delivered some of the world’s largest IT integration programs/organisational change programs. He has built world-class international organisations within very large global technology firms to define, implement, sell and market products and services based on networks, mobile technologies and very large-scale systems integration and modernisation.
CEO Strategic Innovation, Suncorp | ARN Hall of Fame
Pip Marlow was appointed Suncorp CEO, strategic innovation, in December 2016. She is responsible for Suncorp’s strategic role in market disruption, and identifying, establishing and cultivating new external marketplace partners to meet the needs of customers. Pip is a highly-recognised leader in her field. She brings a wealth of international experience and has a strong track record of delivery, most recently through her six-year tenure as managing director of Microsoft Australia. Pip has more than 21 years’ experience in the IT industry. One of her first roles was at Samsung Information Systems, where she was responsible for building the company’s semiconductor distribution business. Before joining Microsoft in 1995, she was part of the founding team at Agate Technology, which became one of Australia’s largest storage distributors. Pip is a non-executive Director of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), sits on the Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Board at UTS and is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW), an organisation committed to supporting and growing women in executive positions. She is also a member of the Business Council of Australia’s Innovation Task Force advocating for an integrated approach to creating an effective Australian innovation system and promoting the productivity and competitiveness of Australian industry.
Chief Technology Officer, Yahoo7
Paul Russell joined Yahoo7 in 2015 as director of technology, bringing over 10 years’ online leadership experience with him. Paul is dedicated to change programs and transforming the capabilities of technology teams, taking business to the next level of functionality. Having previously worked with Salmat as executive general manger of Technology & Delivery, CIO at Fairfax Digital and head of technology for Digital Media at Network Ten, Paul has expertise in leading application development, project management and infrastructure for high traffic websites, online video, mobile apps, and internet connected devices. Paul’s experience spans small start-ups to large mature businesses and, combined with his commercial experience, ensures he delivers the most appropriate technology solutions.
CEO, Intersect Australia
Marc Bailey is the CEO of research productivity company Intersect Australia. Formerly, Marc served for five years as Macquarie University's first CIO, director and Treasurer of the Australian Access Federation, director of AARNET, as NSW and ACT chair of the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology and a director of Intersect Australia. He represented Macquarie in the NSW Health and University CIO Forum, the Sydney Basin Fibre Network project board, the Australian Hearing Hub Consortium. Marc is an information innovator driven by making a quantifiable difference. He complements a technical generalist background with variable focus, having worked on three continents for diverse private and public sector organisations for over two decades. He joined MacU from his previous role as CTO for Objective Corporation. He has also informed governmental policy and information management at federal, state and local levels in Australia and New Zealand; whole-of-government change management in the Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly; and standards development for the European Union. As an entrepreneur, he consulted to organisations like Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Telstra, Optus, Mars, Enbridge, American Express, the North-Western Health Care network of Victoria, St Vincent's Hospital, and Charles Darwin University.
Managing director, Harvey Nash
Bridget Gray is the managing director of Harvey Nash in the Australasian region, and also leads the global Harvey Nash Media, Digital and Communications practice. Bridget joined Harvey Nash in 2007, developing the media, communications and digital practice before heading up the flagship CIO practice in Harvey Nash's London head office. She sits on the Management Committee of Females in IT and Telecoms (FiTT) and regularly gives keynotes and participates in panel discussions at client and not-for-profit events. She is also a regular commentator in the media, contributing to discussions on digital, talent, IT, recruitment practices, collaboration, innovation and gender balance in the workforce. She has also worked for Redgrave Partners as a principal, Robert Walters Search Practice as head of search and selection (technology and operations), and as a manager of IT commerce contract and permanent. She is a Hogan accredited consultant, able to deliver constructive psychological assessment of candidates and incumbents in roles to enable better retention, development, succession planning and hiring practices.
Gartner research director
Jenny Beresford is a research director with Gartner’s CIO Advisory team. Beresford has been both a consultant to, and a CIO in, global enterprises experiencing market disruption. She has also served as a vice-president and general manager in consulting and technology firms, as a digital program manager, through to hands-on roles in strategic planning, change management, innovation, enterprise architecture and portfolio management. She has walked in the shoes of the contemporary CIO who is leading digital and bimodal practice, complex change and innovation. She has travelled extensively, moved continents frequently, and worked in the U.K., Europe, India, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Mexico,U.S. and Canada.
Director, CIO Advisory
Garry Whatley has more than 30 years’ IT industry experience and has held a number of strategic ‘c’ level roles and board positions. Garry has extensive experience in digital transformation, IT governance, and major organisation restructuring and change programs. He currently works for CIO Advisor, which provides independent advice to boards and executives. He is also involved with 99tests, a crowdsource testing startup in India, and is Deputy Chairman of Multiple Sclerosis Limited. His executive experience includes: interim CIO at Coffrey International; vice-president, IT and business services for Staples; CIO and business transformation executive at Corporate Express; general manager IT and online solutions for Sony; as well as various other senior roles in consulting, technology and change management.
Mark Gay is the CIO at ME and is responsible for defining and delivering the technology outcomes that will underpin ME’s aspiration to reinvent banking. Mark is a seasoned technology executive who joined ME in early 2015 from GE Capital, where he held a number of senior technology roles both locally and globally including the global head of technology process, chief technology officer for Asia Pacific, and director of FastWorks, Quality and Strategic Programs for their Australian operation. Mark holds a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI) from Swinburne University of Technology, and is a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.
Principal analyst serving CIOs, Forrester
Mr Sheedy helps business and IT leaders across Asia Pacific drive better customer outcomes using technology. Tim helps clients focus on business technology (BT) and identifies opportunities to drive real business outcomes through the use of BT. In the age of the customer, companies that embrace the right disruptive technologies are better positioned to meet their customers' needs in that time of need. Tim's role is to help clients set their technology strategy and embrace the digital disruption. Tim comes to Forrester with more than 10 years of ICT analyst experience with ICT vendors and IT research providers. Most recently, he was the research director of IT solutions at IDC in Australia, where he assisted ICT vendors in designing solutions to better fit market requirements and assisted user clients with their strategies to improve the effectiveness of their IT functions.
Group CIO, Transaction Services Group
David Kennedy is the Chief Information Officer of Transaction Services Group, a global payment solutions provider with headquarters in Auckland. He was voted #4 in the NZ CIO 100 index and also nominated for CIO of the year in 2017. The TSG role covers being the Group CIO for 6 companies in the UK, Australia, US and NZ. Kennedy is a member of the editorial advisory board of CIO New Zealand. He is a director for Computer Culture (a Christchurch-based company), Chairman of the advisory board for the Future CIO Programme at the University of Auckland and advisory council member for Beyond Trust, an American security product company. He is also Chairman of the IT Leaders forum who specialise in providing opinions on the tough questions in today’s economy.
Centre for Digital Business, managing director and chief digital officer
Marie Johnson has extensive senior executive experience in the public and private sectors in Australia and internationally in technology and innovation. As a federal government agency CIO, chief technology architect and services transformation strategist, Marie has delivered significant technology, innovation and digital services transformation programs across taxation, business, social services, payments and immigration operations in the Australian Government. At Microsoft, she was the worldwide executive director of public services and e-government based in Redmond, Washington. In this role, Marie was Microsoft’s chief e-government strategist leading a global team driving public services and e-government initiatives worldwide. She has also been awarded by the United Nation’s for her groundbreaking work in e-government, and named ‘Innovative CIO of the Year - Australia’ in 2006-2007 and one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ in 2013.
Founder and executive chairman, Brennan IT
Dave Stevens is founder and non-executive chairman of Brennan IT. He has more than 20 years’ experience in senior management and director roles in the technology sector. Dave also co-founded business performance and transformation firm State of Matter in 2016, and is a director of FastTrack Technology, a leading IT services provider in which Brennan IT has a 50 per cent stake. Dave currently heads up Brennan IT’s mergers and acquisitions activities. His focus is on implementing a strategy built around organic growth and acquiring complementary capabilities. Founded in 1997, Dave has grown Brennan IT into a household name in the Australian IT industry. The company has been named the number one managed services provider for eight years consecutively by MSPmentor, and has won numerous industry awards over the years. Dave was inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame in 2015. He is a judge for various IT awards, and a regular speaker at IT and business conferences and events. In addition to his business interests Dave remains a keen cyclist and motor sports enthusiast, and has won numerous world titles and set two world records.
Craig Wishart is the CIO of KPMG Australia. Formerly, he was the group CIO and CTO of UXC as well as the CIO and executive GM of customer care at Service Stream. Craig’s mandate as CIO is deliver and execute a conjoined business and ICT plan and operational service management across the business. Craig’s experience extends from mining/resources, media, telecommunications, government, and banking and finance. Craig has achieved significant results throughout his career, leading global business transformations, management of large scale customer facing operations (national and international) and has provided management consulting to many ASX listed and global organisations. Craig has delivered large scale digital business transformations, cloud services implementations (SAAS, PAAS, IAAS), legacy decommissions and service operations change programs (AWS, Azure). He is an experienced cloud, digital transformation, collaboration, mobility, and agile business architect. Additionally, he has experience with the implementation of outsource and offshore programs (in India, Philippines, Vietnam, NZ, Australia, Israel) across ICT teams, contact centres and business teams.