What is the Future of the IT Organisation?

Searchlight’s panel of business technology leaders discuss

Cloud impactA global audience gathered together on Wednesday 8th March for our panel discussion on the impact of Cloud and Digital on the Future of the IT organisation, hosted on the Cloud Industry Forum’s BrightTalk channel. Tech leaders from every continent (apart from Antarctica) joined us to explore some of the most pressing issues faced by CIOs today.

Our expert panel – ex Britvic CIO and visiting professor at Birmingham City University Rob Pritchard, Nick Skelsey, IT Director Europe, Harding Retail and Liberty Global/Virgin Media’s Director of Performance and Metrics Nick Good, considered a range of questions and shared their experiences, thoughts and opinions in what proved a fascinating discussion.

It’s clear that the function of the IT department and the role of the CIO is changing with the possibilities offered by new technologies. But whereas some have predicted the demise of the IT department as the shift to “everything as a service” takes many traditional functions out of house, our panel saw a more complex future.

One of the most exciting possibilities was the potential to shift IT from being a cost centre to a value centre. By championing cross-functional change and innovation, leading the debate and aligning IT and business strategy, CIOs can play an increasingly essential role. As Rob Pritchard said: “This is a time when CIOs need to see themselves as business leaders with accountability for tech, not as tech leaders who have been asked to take a seat at the big table.”

I was particularly taken with Nick Skelsey’s description of the future CIO as a “curator” as it seems to me that the contribution a tech-savvy board member can make in bringing a whole range of cross functional factors together to add value to the business, is increasingly important.

The panel discussed a wide range of topics from current and future challenges, to outsourcing, soft skills and the merits of, or organisational preference for, funding investment through Op-ex and Cap-ex.  Our experts were able to give different perspectives on each, as representatives from medium and large businesses, and consulting.

I’d like to thank Rob, Nick and Nick for their thoughtful and thought-provoking contributions. They’ve provided a valuable contribution to the debate on the Future of IT and were an absolute pleasure to work with on this project, as was Breda Beyer, Director of Membership at the Cloud Industry Forum, who I’d like to thank very much for hosting this exciting webinar.

You can hear the discussion in full at

Bryan OakWhat is the Future of the IT Organisation?