Tracking the year of CIO churn

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Tracking the year of CIO churn

[Blog post] Who shone through in 12 months of disruption?

The last 12 months have quite possibly been the most tumultuous year to be an Australian chief information officer, even by the dynamic standards of our technology industry.

The CIO role at a disproportionate number of our top technology employers – banks, government agencies and retailers in particular – has turned over since the last iTnews Benchmark Awards. To illustrate, we’ve listed a summary of those we’ve reported on below.

Earlier this week we opened for submissions for the third annual Benchmarks in a vastly different business environment to that in which we designed the program.

Some have questioned whether we need to shift from crowning a 'CIO of the Year' to something more generic.

After a few years of the analysts and consultants bandying around that ‘SMAC’ acronym as encompassing the great disrupting forces on IT,  we’ve seen it claim some genuine victims over the past six months, for better or for worse.

We’ve seen the proliferation and accelerated adoption of cloud services on Australian soil, providing yet more options for those business execs that see outsourcing as a means of attaining short-term budgetary relief. 

CMOs unsatisfied with the speed at which IT has delivered on their plans for personalised, data-driven services or app delivery, have used the opportunity to stake their claim to technology decisions.

Some organisations, feeling comfortable with the state of their IT posture, have chosen not to continue hiring CIOs. Our last ‘CIO of the Year’ actually carries the role of ‘chief digital officer’.

We won't shy away from bestowing our annual prize on a CIO, a CTO, a chief digital officer, a Head of IT Strategy - the title doesn’t especially matter to us. 

What matters is that the winner exhibited technology leadership in a team that has delivered in a big way. Successful technology executions matter more in the current economic climate – particularly in highly disrupted industries - than ever before.

Genuine technology leadership – regardless of your precise job description – is a quality that few possess and something that ought to be celebrated. 

List of CIO changes, 2014

Banking and finance


Asset-heavy industries

Higher education

Public sector

Vacant and abolished roles, 2014

Any we've neglected to mention? Email us.

The IT benchmark awards will be held during the CIO Strategy Summit. 

Got a news tip for our journalists? Share it with us anonymously here.
Brett Winterford

One of Australia’s most experienced technology journalists, former iTnews Group Editor Brett Winterford has written about the business of technology for 15 years.

Awarded Business Journalist and Technology Journalist of the year at the 2004 ITjourno awards and Editor of the Year at the 2009 Publishers Australia 'Bell' awards, Winterford has extensive experience in both the business and technology press, writing for such publications as the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

As editor of iTnews Brett has led a team of award-winning journalists; delivered speeches at industry events; authored, commissioned and edited research papers, curated technology conferences [The iTnews Executive Summit and Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit and also shares the judging of the annual Benchmark Awards.

Brett's areas of specialty include enterprise software, cloud computing and IT services.

Read more from this blog: The Benchmark Awards

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