Australian CIO Summit 2019

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  • Making the Shift from Technologist to Business Enabler


    Jason Millett, a speaker at the marcus evans Australian CIO Summit 2013, on how CIOs can become true leaders.

    Interview with: Jason Millett, Global Head of Technology, eCommerce & Transformation, Billabong International


    There is a need for a mindset shift in Chief Informational Officers (CIOs), says Jason Millett, Global Head of Technology, eCommerce & Transformation, Billabong International. “CIOs need to think more like Chief Innovation Officers, and support business performance, leadership and transformation,” he adds.

    A speaker at the marcus evans Australian CIO Summit 2013, in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 29 - 31 July, Millett highlights the areas that CIOs need to focus on to make their organisations more competitive and successful.

    What mindset shift is required in the Information Technology (IT) function? Why?

    IT must move away from an order taker to a business partner, and become an integral enabler of business performance and outcomes. IT has traditionally sat back and waited for the business to say what it needs to do. For technology to be relevant today, CIOs need to think more like Chief Innovation Officers and constantly push the boundaries of how their art can support the business. They are more than technologists. They need to be talking about customer delight, revenue uplift and margin management; not just the traditional measures, such as cost.

    How can they make this shift?

    It is a fairly simple path. They have to be more business savvy, understand every lever, driver and nuance of the business they are supporting. They tend to lapse into thinking it is all about the technology, but it has to be more about the outcome and how technology can enable it. CIOs cannot contribute at the top of their game if they do not understand the key financial, customer and business drivers of their organisation.

    How should they design the IT roadmap for their business?

    This is about understanding the business strategy and plan, and getting in early with business partners. What capabilities need to be made available and when? What are the parameters and constraints from a financial or operational perspective? They need to discuss these to create a roadmap that will make the organisation more competitive and successful.

    What new technologies or trends should CIOs consider?

    It is their responsibility to look at what is new and important, but they must do that through a business lens. It has to be a trend that is enabling a better customer outcome, a lower unit cost, making the business simpler or driving value to the top line, and as a result to the bottom line.

    Everyone is looking at mobility, big data and cloud services today. There is nothing special about these technologies unless CIOs adapt them and create an advantage for their business. How can they be applied to create a disruption which then drives business benefit? I am focusing on mobility, agile point of sales systems, technologies for operational staff to better engage customers, utility computing to drive down the overhead component of the business operating cost, and data analytics and unstructured data buckets to help drive customer insights.

    Any final words of advice?

    If CIOs also invested in educating their business partners, they would become the source of innovation. This is not about good ideas coming out of IT, but about presenting a series of enablements that would allow the business to go to the next level. That is how they would become true leaders.

    Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

    Tel: + 357 22 849 313

    About the Australian CIO Summit 2013

    This unique forum will take place at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, 29 - 31 July 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit features presentations on IT process optimisation as well as insights on how to pinpoint high-value innovations, prove value to stakeholders and turn knowledge into profits.

    For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at

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    The Information Technology Network – marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations.


    Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About marcus evans Summits

    marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

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