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.


Your thoughts

How can a CIO today be an effective advocate of the business, when they don't come from the business?


That is an excellent question. First let me say that most CIO’s that I have met are different. There are various archetypes that you meet in various enterprises both large and small.

But the overarching thing to remember is that in today’s world the CIO has to wear at least two hats. One hat is that as the leader and head of IT. The second is that he or she is expected to be a business leader.

In that regard, a CIO is in a unique position to be able to see the enterprise from numerous lenses. A CIO can see the whole end-to-end business process and also can view the information flows between internal and external parties.

However the key is to be able to use this position to gain insights that others are not in a position to see or fail to see. Then it is about their ability to ‘act’. If they see issues and then don’t advocate to address these then it is a ‘failure to act’.

Unfortunately many CIO’s may think it is safer to leave it alone, which it may be in the short term. But it just means that real issues are not being tackled. When the CIO, doesn’t regard themselves as a business leader then they can indeed opt out of taking accountability.

In short, this is all about role modelling the right behaviour to the enterprise and your own team. When the CIO, is acting as a change agent then asking the team to also do this is 100% consistent and magic can happen.

- David Gee, Transformation & Digital CIO