Deloitte endorses Strategy and Leadership Award

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Omeshnee says leaders need to be recognised for the invaluable contribution that they make to the industry, which is why Deloitte has decided to sponsor this award.

In the build-up to the highly anticipated 2023 CIO Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of IT”, Deloitte’s Omeshnee Naidoo, CIO programme leader and director: digital engineering at Deloitte Africa, explains why they have decided to sponsor the Strategy and Leadership Award. This award recognises a CIO who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in developing and implementing effective IT strategies. The recipient should have a proven track record of aligning technology initiatives with business objectives, driving innovation, and achieving measurable results.

For Deloitte, formulating a plan is one aspect, but executing it is an entirely distinct and vital skill for a leader. “Effective leaders are able to both define and execute their strategies,” she says. “Deloitte is a firm believer that it is important to recognise such leaders both for their personal achievement and as a showcase to the industry.”

Effective strategy and leadership can also help grow and increase an organisation’s value, but those at the forefront of that strategy should embody it and not just preach it, says Omeshnee. She underscores the adage that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, highlighting that for strategy to become effective, it requires leaders to showcase how they can live and breathe the strategy for it to influence the culture and ultimate success of the strategy.

Omeshnee suggests that the role of the CIO has evolved from being a technical specialist to that of an influencer and trusted strategic advisor. In this context, the focus shifts from technical expertise to a deep understanding of business and the strategies required to drive it forward.

“CIOs have become an integral part of shaping strategy,” she observes. “This is a move away from being just an enabling leader, but a leader that very much shapes and leads with peer executives on strategy thinking for the organisation.

“Digital is pervasive across organisations and is at many times critical to success for organisations winning against the competition,” she adds. Omeshnee advises CIOs not only to embrace and enhance their technical expertise but also to grasp the broader strategic business landscape.

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