A good CIO should connect business and IT

The Blue Events company has decided to enlarge its events portfolio and make the first special conference about the role of CIO and cooperation of IT with other departments in companies. Meeting of a hundred of experts took place in Prague Park Inn Hotel. The outcome of the CIO Agenda 2015 program was result of the Accenture research that shows rapidly changing role of CIO and CTO. The conference touched mutual expectations of CEO and CIO, respecting IT in supporting and communication with clients and implementation of large IT projects. The program was concluded by a panel discussion about IT/CIO as a source of new information. The conference was made more live by humoristic attitude of main speakers and by many inspirational and erudite questions from the audience.

Introductory part of the conference, which was given the highest rate from participants, was moderated by expert guarantor of the conference, Marek Rokoský. Three professionals: CEO, CIO and director of head-hunting agency were speaking from their personal experience about relations, mutual expectations, requirements and ways to contribute to the competitiveness of the company.

Jan Hanuš, CEO, Kostelecké uzeniny, presented what he (does not) need from the CIO: "The debate on the IT shouldn't be about IT, but about users who will work with them." He named his five main requirements for the CIO: "Be able to speak the user language; reliability - especially when planning capabilities; feel for the economy - because I do not want oversized toys; mobility and functionality on the go - tailored applications with the appropriate information protection and data availability. I also expect CIO to be calm: IT is not my core business!"

Petr Beneš, CIO, Česká spořitlena, on the contrary shared what he (does not) need from CEO. Because the Česká spořitlena has five data centers and the pressure on IT is enormous, they focused on increasing the flexibility of teams, agile and vertical organizational structure, relays, home office and hot desking. He sees future in casting the communication junctions with user traffic. "People perceive IT as a giant black box, slow, expensive, full of technically oriented introverts thinking in zeroes and ones. CIOs must be part of top management of the company - working on the definition of business strategy, explaining that a structured approach reduces operational problems. They must be evangelists: the future belongs to people who can spread ideas."

The formation of the team around the CIO and his role as leader of the team were the focal points of the presentation of Josef Papp, Managing Partner, Stanton Chase Prague: "What CEO expects from CIO? Customer, staff and vendor management with a positive impact on the business of the company. Diplomatic behavior, emotional intelligence, building alliances, connecting people, cooperation and common sense." The role of the Internet of Things, collaborative robots and autonomous machines will significantly increase by 2020. Number of communication lines will increase by 400%, the growth of smart phones is expected by 200 % and growth of smart watches even by 355%. It is expected there will be 50 times more stored data. The connectivity will become a key, each role will have to adapt to it. The competitiveness of companies will not be decided by the data, but by innovation, communication and sharing. "The future CIO will be a hybrid - embracing, understanding all the requirements, capable of fast adapting and shaping the strategy."

The second part of the conference, Respected IT, was moderated by Tomáš Volek, Managing Director, Delivery Centre Bratislava, Accenture: "For a long time already CIO does not care only about the functioning of hardware and software. His role is, in collaboration with other departments within the company, to ensure that the necessary information is at the right quality on time at the right place at optimal cost. CIO helps in boosting sales and communication with clients and participates in the formation of internal communication and the development of corporate culture."

Be in IT is always one step ahead. If not a step, then at least a breast, says Peter Nobst, Economic Director, Pleas. He brought a CFO's preview on the story of implementation of all business processes in a multinational company operating in five countries: "A good and detailed description of processes is helping you to understand them. Software for supporting the description of the process is just as good as its users are. CIO must be a member of management, must have a single strategy for internal customers and never tell them it's impossible. And above all, he should teach his IT colleagues to talk!"

CIO's role as a co-creator of the value of a product was presented by Martina Kirchrathová, General Manager CZ & SK, from Ingenico CZ, a leading worldwide provider of payment terminals and payment solutions. "What more do we expect from the CIO? Help in transforming arguments in the value menu. Raise the need for technological innovation. Bring tools for improving efficiency. Form tools for people and improve their lives. And most of all, work!"

Pitfalls of the budget process in collaboration with IT were described by Jindřich Larisch, Head of Controlling, GRAMMER Automotive CZ. "Controlling separately will not produce IT budget." According to Larisch the cooperation with CIO is a prerequisite. CIO prepares a substantive plan of IT operations and is able to assign resources to them. He is willing to cooperate with controlling on financial description of the technical aspects of IT activities. He is active in searching for alternatives and is able to orientate in cost.

The part named IT and Online Marketing Inside Out moderated by David Seibert, Sales & Marketing Director, Jansen Display, was based on his numerous experience with transformation of many large companies. Jansen Display Company is a supplier of displays - mostly aluminum frames - which are used for communication. It has been operating 20 years on the European market, has three large internal and e-shop systems in four countries and two e-mail systems. It does not have any IT. "The problem is a big mess, nobody understands what's going on between systems. Change requests never end. We are governed by our suppliers. E-shops allow customers to see inside the company. We therefore decided that we need a CIO who would create IT strategy, suggest target IT architecture, introduce transparent transactions and drive suppliers. But still we do not want any internal IT department."

The afternoon part, Large-scale projects with the participation of IT, was moderated again by Marek Rokoský.

Project management in practice - how to succeed? was defined by Jan Doležal, Managing Director and CEO, PM Consulting, author of books and articles, an expert on the management games. "Project management has five steps: 1. Identification - what we want to achieve? 2. Input, specification - What will it all need? 3. Planning - How should it be done? 4. Implementation - How to manage it? 5. Termination - How it tighten it correctly? It is good to follow this order, because it will reduce uncertainty. The main obstacles are: incompetent project managers (cowboy, theorist), incompetent sponsor (unknown, unavailable, micro-manager) and incompetent organization. You cannot manage the project well in a hostile environment. Project management is a mind setting and approach to solving problems, a craft just like any other, and you must know it."

The most common mistakes in implementing the outsourcing of printing solutions in the enterprise (From intention to pass a print solution in the company to a third party till its successful implementation) was showed by Aleš Bráza, PPS Brand Services Category Manager - Central & Eastern Europe, Israel and Russia, Hewlett-Packard. "Outsourcing of printing environment is not just an IT project. It should map the major internal and external factors and define responsibilities. The most common internal faults are that nobody asks finance and operations, RFP (Request for Proposal) and further negotiations are the responsibility of the purchase. Documents are prepared by IT. At the end of the implemented project it is necessary to evaluate the costs and what we have achieved."

How not to select the ERP system or the biggest mistakes when choosing an ERP was summed by Miroslav Benda, ERP Consultant, AB Andersson. He brought experience and recommendations from practice: "Bad solutions of selecting IS for larger enterprises have some things in common: the key users are inactive, management does not support the project, the system requirements are unclear, expectations are unrealistic, users do not participate, requirements and specification change. Also it is because users are learning during the selection process."

The final panel discussion on IT / CIO as a source of new innovations was led by Petr Šídlo, Managing Director, Direct People and Chairman of the Board Česká inovace.

The discussion was focused on that the IT manager is (or should be) an innovator who can bring information about new technologies so that they lead other colleagues within the company to internal and business innovations. Panelists shared stories of success and fail stories of their daily practice.

The discussion was attended by: Jiří Donát, IT Director EMEA, Canada, Latin America, Edwards Lifesciences - maker of heart valves, Martin Pohl, Customer Care Director, Etnetera, Martin Polepil, ICT manager OKIN GROUP (a global company providing services to the building management) and Ondřej Tomas, CEO, CleverAnalytics (cloud software).

Jiří Donát believes that: "The IT department should not interfere, it should promote the company and enable it to operate normally, but it is not the motivator of development."

Martin Pohl thinks: "The projects are becoming fail stories by not connecting IT, sales, marketing and PR, by inability to speak the same language and by misunderstanding of the business."

The main partner of the conference CIO Agenda 2015 was the company Accenture, which is one of the global leaders in management consulting, technology services and outsourcing. It monitors and promotes the transformation of contemporary companies to digital. The conference was organized by Blue Events, the market leader in the field of marketing conferences. The expert guarantor of the conference was Marek Rokoský.

Media Contact:
Aneta Zímová, Blue Events
Tel.: +420 222 749 841, e-mail:

More news

There’s always something going on with us. Read more hot news from the world of Blue Events.

Efficient Company Management20. 06. 2022

Neprodávejte produkty, ale řešení potřeb zákazníků!

O nových formách prodeje pro novou dobu diskutovalo v polovině června bezmála 150 expertů z oblasti obchodu na konferenci Sales Management 2022.

Efficient Company Management30. 05. 2022

Konference Sales Management ukáže, jak úspěšně obchodovat v nových podmínkách

Prodej je jednou z hlavních činností každé firmy a obchodní ředitel je významný člen top managementu. Jak se ale B2B prodej změnil za poslední dva...

Efficient Company Management23. 05. 2022

Keep your minds opened, calls on CFOs Tomáš Kouřil from O2

Almost two hundred CFOs discussed how to deal with situations they had not faced before in finance management at the eleventh CFO Congress held on...