Get ready for CIO 2.0

Integrating Web 2.0 technologies into the workplace leads to new buzztag – the CIO 2.0.

CIOs must relinquish their fears of Web 2.0, and adopt a new approach to harness the intuitive skills of these technologies and the workers driving their adoption and popularity, a forum has heard.

The annual “IT Trends” forum, conducted by Females in IT and Telecommunications (FITT), was this year entitled “CIO 2.0 – Power to the People”. The forum examined the Web 2.0 boom and how CIOs can better embrace the technology to further their business.

Manager of marketing for FITT and a twenty-year IT veteran, Mary McCleod, said the forum drew a diverse audience from many different functional disciplines within organisations.

McCleod said the general consensus regarding social media tools, hosted enterprise applications and other Web 2.0 technologies like blogs or wikis, was that they should be harnessed for the betterment of the business and not just technology for technology’s sake.

Most importantly, CIO’s must not be afraid of relinquishing their control over the flow of information in an organisation, provided the right security measures are put in place and all legal implications – like the movement of customer data within Web 2.0 technologies - have been explored.

“There needs to be an understanding that you don’t have to have control anymore. Having that control is about the fear of losing control, but if you drop that fear and let these tools proliferate and be used to the benefit of the business then you will get greater returns out of that,” she said.

Forum attendants recommended CIOs considering Web 2.0 technologies to start with small deployments in environments where change is acceptable. Education of senior management may also be required to bring to light the benefits of technologies younger generations are using and what they can offer to an organisation.

With the current skills shortage facing Australia’s ICT industry, forum attendees agreed that organisations looking to attract and retain generation-Y workers would do well to adopt the latest technologies that the Gen-Y “digital natives” are so familiar with and attracted to.

“The CIO that embraces Web 2.0 will be more of an employer of choice,” McCleod said.

“[CIOs] need to embrace the Web 2.0 technologies, not have a fear of them, and let go of the emotional need to be in control. They need to manage it in a consistent way, however, understand that change requires agility.”

“The role of the CIO could be very different in the next five to ten years, and this notion of CIO 2.0 looks like becoming a different skills set and understanding of where the drivers of change are coming from,” she said.

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