Basil Botoulas knows where the next generation of CEOs will come from -- the ranks of current chief information officers.
"The best CIOs will be the CEOs of tomorrow," says Botoulas, vice president and general manager, ANZ, Hitachi Data Systems.
While he points out that a number of technology companies now have CEOs who have this background, he believes this career ascent will also apply to CIOs in other sectors.
These are the CIOs that are currently working on data analytics pulled from the Internet of Things, he states, referring to the rise of connected devices.
"Analytics is the most important thing, that will make the difference [for businesses] going forward," says Botoulis, who spoke at the Minter Ellison Rudd Watts' Technology, Media and Telecommunications Summit in Auckland.
"It is the 'Internet of Data' that matters," he says."How do you focus on analytics, how do you use those analytics to deliver the outcomes?"
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He believes the most successful CIOs are using analytics to "get a 360 degree view of the business, not just the customer or operational views".
"The delivery strategy around information technology is so important for the businesses' vision and mission," he states.
"The most innovative CIOs today are the ones embedded to their company's mission and vision and how quickly they are taking those technologies to market."
These CIOs relate the requirements of the market to adopt technology, and deliver tangible benefits to the business.
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"All these are changing the demands on the IT department and they also need to evolve."
They are bridging the gap between technology and the changing business environment, he states.
"CIOs are becoming advisers to the rest of the business on providing new capabilities on the use of technology from internal and external resources."