Ask a CIO

David Gee

Transformation & Digital CIO

David is a well known Transformation & Digital CIO, he consults as an CXO Advisor in Financial Services.

With 18 years as a CIO, David has deep experience in digital change. At CUA he successfully led a major transformation of all systems and technology, this culminated in him winning CIO of the Year in 2014 for Financial Services.

He is heavily embedded in the Fintech startup ecosystem as an Advisor to Sapien Ventures, Tyro Fintech Hub, Venturetec Accelerator and also advises a number of startups.

David is a popular writer for a number of IT publications including CIO, Computerworld and CSO.

Q

My job may be at risk as restructuring is occurring

I’m feeling a little vulnerable, there are growing business pressures at play and I think there is a restructure that is going on. I fear for my role and not sure I can do much to control this. What advice can you provide, I’m just not sure…..

A

I suggest you take a deep breath…..I sense your anxiety.

From my experience IT and Business restructuring are nearly a normal part of business. First just realise that you are in a job now and that’s a strong place to start. The feared restructuring will definitely happen the question is only ‘when’.

More important what you don’t know is are you directly effected by any change. Given this I would use the time you have now more effectively. Re-examine your own brand both internally and externally. This is not about getting Linkedin recommendations or endorsements, but think about how you are perceived in the marketplace and take a real look at what the job market looks like by talking to someone who’s not employed right now. Once you understand, what the opportunities there are externally, even when you are not necessarily ‘active’, there is nothing wrong with having a coffee with a few recruiters to hint that perhaps you are ready for a change.

Remember that things never move as fast as you want. But if they know you are perhaps on the market, then they will start to call you. Also look internally and understand what happening on that front. Having internal coffees can never hurt and it is also part and parcel of your job – the only difference is that you increase the intensity.

Take a hard look in the mirror as to what skills would be valued or considered missing by a new employer. If you can take time to join evening Meetups and learn about the latest “Microservices” or other topical subjects, this can only help you.

‘Sharpening the Sword’ is what you are doing. Don’t forget to go and look at the extensive range of MOOC programs that are on just about every topic from ‘Design Thinking’ to ‘Cyber Security’. It can only help your current job and perhaps your investment of time will help save your present position.

Seek feedback – no really I mean go and see your CIO and tell him or her that you really want to re-invent yourself. That you have a real passion for trying to make a difference, and want personal guidance and coaching. By acknowledging that you see the world is changing and that you want to be part of that change is a great admission. Just don’t ask for any guarantees or favours, moreover can you get involved in that new innovation or cloud project.

In short, take charge of your career and don’t be a victim. This is the time to sow new seeds and plough new grounds – complacency will only ensure that you are left out.

- David Gee, Transformation & Digital CIO