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Top CIO Quotes: Covering Digital Transformation and Leadership

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In this post, we look at some of the most inspiring CIO quotes from the world’s top digital leaders – we’ll learn about digital transformation, digital adoption, and how to lead change in today’s digital-first era.

Top CIO Quotes Covering Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a term that is thrown around a lot these days – it’s gone from a buzzword to a strategic imperative. 


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However, it’s also a phrase that is often used carelessly. 

The result? More companies “invest” in digital transformation without fully understanding the scope of the term.

CIOs, fortunately, are in an ideal position to educate other business leaders on the purpose and definition of digital transformation.

Below, we’ll look at some quotes that can inspire leaders and help guide them into the digital-first “new normal.”

  • “Technology has been transforming companies for decades, but where in the past it may have been a change to a department or a division, it is now important enough to change their entire business model. It was a subset of industries, but now it is most industries.” –Brad Strock, CIO, Paypal
  • “CIOs that have both a technology role and a business role…some CIOs have been responsible for the customer experience or the customer support function. Some of them are chief digital officers in addition to being chief information officers.” –Linsdey Anderson, Chair, MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
  • The CIO role is ever-changing and ever-evolving…there has already been a transition from more traditional, back-office infrastructure management to a focus on enterprise platforms and creating business process optimisation. Now I believe CIOs are moving more towards driving actual business outcomes.” –Akash Khurana, CIO and CDO, McDermott International
  • “We are constantly talking to people and trying to get feedback on what we should do next…some technology would be fun to do from an IT perspective, but unless it’s what our guests want, then we’re not going to do it.” –Richard Tallboy, CIO, Wagamama
  • “[The transformation of the technology team] is fundamentally built around building a team that has trust at the heart of it…and that team has important levels of diversity, not just in terms of nationality and gender, but also in terms of background and skillset.” –Michael Ibbitson, CIO, Dubai Airports
  • “When scaling legacy infrastructures, you’ve got that habit to be as big as the ‘peakiest’ hour of your ‘peakiest’ day, which makes it a big and expensive challenge. So we are driving a proper digital transformation and moving to consumption-based infrastructure.” –Chris Ashworth, CIO, Hermes
  • “Being the CIO is all about the quality of the relationships you form and the credibility you have with key stakeholders.” –Ian Buchanan, CIO, Barclaycard
  • “I want to be a catalyst for change. I want to have established the foundational capabilities that will help senior business leaders harness the power of digital analytics to better deliver on their objectives. Then I can step back and watch take-off.” –Ted Colbert, CIO, Boeing
  • “Most d is happening within the smaller organisations with specialist capabilities.” –Mike Wright, CIO, McKinsey & Company
  • “I think the easiest thing — but the worst thing — would be to freeze in this time of uncertainty and not move anything forward…stopping commitments would be the wrong thing for CIOs to do.” –Milind Wagle, CIO, Equinix
  • “The pace of change is so quick, the winners are going to be the ones that can understand that and adapt the most quickly.  It’s not always comfortable but now more than ever IT needs to be comfortable being uncomfortable.” –Michael Carlin, VP Business Technology Solutions & CIO, AbbVie
  • “We continue to foster a dynamic workforce and encourage people to think differently. It’s not about what you know coming through the door; it’s having a good attitude about where you want to be, how you share your experience, and how you learn differently in different environments. We’re trying to encourage our workforce to apply critical thinking to find solutions to challenges.” –Amy Tong, CIO, California Department of Technology
  • “Someone once told me one time that IT can be broken down into three basic components, technology, processes and people. For me, I’ve always believed that if you lead with your heart and invest in people, the Technology and Processes seem to always fall into place.” –Barry Shurkey, CIO, NTT Data Services
  • “Any organisation has to evolve continually, but it has to be led by the business otherwise people just feel like they’re having yet another IT initiative foist upon them. Good IT should make life easier; our job is to demonstrate that we can deliver that efficiently.” –Neil Acworth, CIO, GRCI Group
  • “To me the organisational culture and structure, including the mindset of the CEO and the board is key to driving positive innovation initiatives and outcomes in business.” –Viv Da Ros, CIO, Caltex Australia

These are just a few of the many CIO quotes that can be found covering digital transformation and innovation. For more quotes that come directly from CIOs, check out our list of CIO blogs.

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