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Podcast: CIO Trends

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What are the responsibilities of the modern-day CIO? How can you see the role evolving alongside the future of work? What does a business and technology leader need today to capitalize on digital technologies? And how should CIOs work alongside the C-Suite to generate business value and wider purpose?

With Peter Stojanovic moderating, the speakers of this roundtable debate include:

  • Milind Wagle, CIO, Equinix
  • Dax Grant, CIO, HSBC
  • Charlotte Baldwin, CDTO, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Paul Coby, CIO, Johnson Matthey
  • Ian Cohen, Chief Product and Information Officer, Acacium Group

The responsibilities of a “modern-day” CIO

“I don’t know what a modern-day CIO actually is”, said Chief Product and Information Officer at Acacium Group, Ian Cohen. Over the years, Ian has taken on a variety of IT roles like CTO, CIO, IT Director and many others. He says that he has done the same thing throughout these roles to “drive a business forward”. Despite this, he doesn’t count himself as a modern-day CIO. “There are organizations who need a tech-leaning individual, there are organizations who need a product-leaning individual. Some still need almost traditional infrastructure”, he said. However, Ian now believes that organizations need technology leaders who are more customer-centric. 

Recognizing aptitude within CIO roles

Moderator Peter Stojanovic asked the panelists: Do you think the rest of the senior leadership team recognizes this new environment for the CIO? Or the added personability despite the challenging environment?

“Having those frank conversations is really key”, said HSBC’s CIO, Dax Grant. She explained that it’s now the CIO’s job to manage all these new teams and make sure they stay successful. Dax linked this back to the human connection rather than the physical connection. “In a hybrid environment there will be a little bit of both”, she added. Her hopes are that if she enforces a good environment, that will “ripple out” to the communities that they serve at HSBC. 

What tech leaders are focusing on

“It’s a team of modernization”, said Equinix’s CIO Milind Wagle. He explained that the rate of technology is changing swiftly these days, making it difficult for CIOs to consume this change. Milind mentioned that the modernization of apps and service delivery is something they are focusing on in his organization. “The stuff that makes this work is the talent and people you have on your team”, he said. He placed emphasis on the fact that there is also a lot of focus on developing the Equinix team to the next level.

This roundtable podcast debate was created in partnership with Equinix and filmed at The Studio.