This month we take another look at one of the CIOs who volunteers at ICS to give us insight into the motivations and challenges of IT professionals right now.
|Name:||Kevin Sweeney, CIO, Intuition Publishing|
|Bio:|| Kevin recently joined Intuition Publishing after 9 years leading IT for CPL Recruitment Group. Kevin has held senior IT roles for large corporates in manufacturing, financial services, telecoms and energy.|
He initially spent 15 years working in the U.K and the U.S following his graduation in Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin.
Kevin is recognised for his specialist expertise in IT Service Management, Data Protection, Supplier Management and Business Analytics.
Kevin has personal interest and qualifications in childhood education and many years of experience in sports coaching.
He achieved National IT Project of the Year in 2016. He holds an ITIL certification and is a qualified Primary School Teacher.
“My number one motivation is helping others to value IT’s services and skills,” began Sweeney. “I’m driven to ensure that IT capability is lined up with the business needs and that the rest of the business understands the importance of the IT department.
“The importance of acting as flagbearers for IT is paramount. In many organisations, it is actually the IT personnel that are the business flow experts. The more an IT person can translate their technical expertise into business insight, the more the profession is recognised for the critical role it performs.”
Setting a personal example as a CIO
It’s clear that Sweeney has hit the ground running in his new role as CIO at Intuition Publishing. “I’m a very hands-on CIO and as a leader I believe setting a personal example is paramount,” said Sweeney.
“Teamwork is all about building relationships and setting an example based on mutual respect. If you achieve this, you’re well on the way. When people believe they have the permission and your personal support to try new things, they take ownership and work together.
“I strongly believe that learning has to be blended between formal lessons and self-led activities,” said Sweeney. “The hunger and curiosity to learn is the most critical component. Exposure to learning outside your own company environment is highly beneficial, giving you the opportunity to learn from others’ successes and failures and develop learning partners.
“I believe you always need to have the benefit of bringing in new diverse team members through initiatives like graduate training programmes but most important is keeping your existing experts engaged and continually developing,” continued Sweeney.
Being an engaged CIO has led Sweeney to be highly active within the Irish Computer Society as well. He was awarded Fellowship in 2012 and joined the CIO Forum shortly afterwards. He has been a committee member and contributed to member events, conferences and courses. He joined the CIO Advisory Board to provide his expert voice to help shape the future of the IT sector and act as an advocate for the needs of the IT profession across the whole economy.
“I joined Intuition Publishing after 9 years leading IT for the CPL Recruitment Group.
“Intuition Publishing positions our IT solution as a competitive advantage to build on our recognised industry leadership in knowledge solutions. We constantly strive to provide new capability across multiple platforms that can be deployed in any global location.
“Like many other product solution providers, it is always a challenge to find the right balance in developing our own product as a generic up-to-date offering whilst ensuring we can meet the specific needs of all our customers,” said Sweeney.
Trends come quickly in IT and we’ve always got to be ready to react and adapt to the latest developments.
“Within Intuition we employ many agile and collaborative practices that allow us the agility to develop solutions across many diverse teams. The nature of our product release schedule ensures we have fixed client deployment schedules so a high level of project management and control is vital,” Sweeney explained.
According to Sweeney, the biggest upcoming trend within IT is: “the demand to produce additional insight and predictive capability from IT systems, which is at an all-time high. This is highlighting the importance of reverting to “old fashioned” disciplines of modelling data flows and entity relationships in order to gain any benefit from the latest exceptional AI toolsets.”
Keep broadening your experience
As a final piece of advice for aspiring CIOs, Sweeney said: “Continually broaden your experience in terms of industries, countries, tech platforms and support models.
Keep a close eye/ear on what is happening in our industry as our role is often to interpret and guide others in a constantly changing world. Find opportunities to let others see what you have done.”