How Australia’s IT leaders are rising to the innovation challenge

As businesses switch their focus to building digital solutions, the challenge has been to rapidly marry what is technologically possible, with what will meet customer demand. With that shift has been a pivotal change in the role of CIOs, and their influence on business outcomes.

We’ve partnered with CIO Australia for their annual CIO50; a list that recognises IT leaders who are making the most of today’s opportunities and thought it timely to share three of the leadership qualities we’re anticipating in this year’s winners when they’re announced in November.


1. Successful IT leaders are partners in value creation

As organisations transition to customer centric and digital-first operating models, the CIO role has changed from a supporting function to a key contributor of new product development and revenue generation.

With an increasing number of channels, a diversity of technologies, and consistent evolution of customer behaviours and needs, both opportunity and complexity are rising exponentially. Business stakeholders need help navigating the range of choices, or to define their requirements.


“Tech teams need to be uplifted with the skills to build customer empathy and insights to find and pick the winners. It’s about early testing of a hypothesis to give the organisation more confidence in the deployment of capital into your product roadmap”, says one of our founders, Paul Velonis.


With disrupters moving quickly, organisations are faced with a landscape that requires an approach of rapid experimentation and discovery, rather than certainty and repetition.


2. They are focused on improving the speed of delivery

Value creation is only one skill required by today’s IT divisions. Successful IT leaders have already understood the need for urgency and speed of delivery, and are actively shaping the business’s ability to implement small and frequent changes, through investment in cloud enablement architecture, and the introduction of agile methodologies.

While it’s possible to have identified the right areas to develop your product, if your technology ecosystem encumbers your ability to get to market quickly, you will get out innovated.


3. They are constantly exploring how to leverage technology

IT leaders are now bringing intellectual property to the table through a focus on constant discovery.

We see this through the exploration of the potential of new technology such as artificial intelligence, IoT, big data, blockchain, social movements, collaborative consumption and automation.


“IT needs to be constantly investing R&D into disruptive technologies and proactively bringing this to the strategy discussion. This will benefit the organisation by turning tech from a service provided into a partner in the process of value discovery and creation.”



IT leaders are enabling their teams with agility, removing the friction and restrictions that prevent them from being more innovative.

With the right IT leadership in place we look forward to seeing more organisations gain the competitive advantage of speed, agility, and the capability to take products to market which will see both company, and IT thrive.

Best of luck to all the nominees. We look forward to meeting the winners of Australia’s CIO50 on November 21, and learning about their journeys.