CIOs are doing it for themselves

Australia's best and brightest IT executives will be able to network with their peers throughout the world when the local chapter of the CIO Executive Council is formally launched in July.

Featuring global peer-to-peer interaction and a knowledge base derived from hands-on experience of top CIOs, members of the Executive Council will have direct access to their peers in a forum free of a political agenda or vendor involvement.

By comparing notes on issues such as vendor selection and best practice, CIO Executive Council of Australia executive director Con Colovos said members will be armed with the information they need to make the right decisions ultimately improving project success rates and avoiding costly mistakes.

"At last we have a place for CIOs to work as a collective group without vendor interference," he said.

"It has been proven in the past that relying too much on vendors has been detrimental to overall project success rates; often their solution to a problem is to spend more.

"As a CIO, the buck stops with me so I want access to the best information and the council provides online, telephone, peer-to-peer, instant messaging and face-to-face interaction with members. This is in addition to regular conferences and access to member case studies."

Since formation of the Australian council was announced last month, Colovos said interest has been keen, with more than a dozen local CIOs coming on board.

Earlier this month, Colovos met with the US Executive Council which is a year old and made up of more than 250 of the most prominent CIOs in North America. Councils are also being established in the UK, Canada, Scandinavia, Germany, Israel, Brazil, China, Japan and Italy.

He said membership isn't restricted to the CIO title as there is a strong mentoring component to the council's program. "We need to look to the future and provide guidance to the next generation of CIOs in this country," Colovos said.

"The CIO's influence within their organizations is growing; it was a big topic in the US. At the conference they were discussing how the CIO can evolve into the CEO position, they have their eye on the top prize.

"While there I went to a session on the 'Ideal CIO', which drilled down into each task and responsibility."

Colovos said collectively the council can provide members with standards, methodologies, governance and best practice programs to execute in a more consistent and holistic manner. Colovos cited the organization's mission statement: "To leverage the collective strengths of a large, powerful coalition of chief information officers for the purpose of achieving change within our own organizations and influencing key industry, academic, media and governmental groups."

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