Three future CIOs win tickets to CIO Day

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Hear from the CIO Day ticket giveaway winners, and a sneak peek for what’s in store on 6 July.

In the build-up to CIO South Africa’s first-ever CIO Day, Principal Partner Makwa IT opted to give three aspiring CIOs a seat at the table, and an opportunity to mingle with top-notch IT leaders for one exciting day. Makwa IT sponsored three tickets to this day of networking, learning, and knowledge-sharing.

Simon Fishley, Vaughan Nayagar and Zaffy Loot heeded the call to motivate why they deserved to mingle with some of South Africa’s formidable IT minds on 6 July by submitting a 100 word motivation, and the result – three well-curated motivations that secured their tickets for the day.

Simon Fishley, head of IT operations at Luno, couldn’t contain his excitement when he was notified that he had won a ticket. “In a word, thrilled!,” he said. “Moreover, I am excited now that I have had a chance to look through the list of attendees. Some of the most well-known and successful brands in South Africa are going to be represented. It’s a learning and networking opportunity second to none.”

In his motivation, Simon expressed his aspiration to become an exceptional CIO in the future. According to him, an ability to provide visionary leadership, demonstrate strategic thinking, and being an effective communicator are some of the attributes that define a top-notch CIO.

Meanwhile, Vaugan Nayagar, Vitality’s divisional manager: application maintenance and support, believes that it is crucial to provide more opportunities for aspiring CIOs to have a seat at the table.

“The CIO role is now seen as critical for the strategy and direction of a business vs a mainly supporting/servicing IT role as it was in the past,” he says. “Setting up future CIOs for success therefore requires a seat at the table to get the necessary exposure and context early to contribute effectively to executive decision-making and strategising.”

Vaugan intends to use the opportunity to expand his network, pick the brains of IT’s leading minds, and learn what it really takes to occupy the CIO role, as well as the good and the bad that comes with that journey. His advice for other ambitious CIOs is simple: always be optimistic, opportunistic and develop a growth mindset.

For Zaffy Loot, lead: enterprise architect at the South African Reserve Bank, the interactive conversations are what he is most looking forward to at CIO Day. “I'm really excited about the roundtable talks about AI, cybersecurity, and hiring based on skills. As an architect, these are topics that hit close to home for me and it'll be awesome to discuss them with other professionals in the field, like Josh Souchon, Debra Marais, and others.”

It’s also about putting yourself out there, of which this kind of opportunity presents. “I think it's imperative for future CIOs to get exposure earlier on,” he says. “Just like being a CEO or a CFO, the job of a CIO is more than technical enablement – it’s about partnering with the whole organisation and contributing to the strategic business goals.

“Opportunities like these, allows one to understand the complexity and uncertainty of the issues that need to be dealt with at this level.”

All the winners thanked Makwa IT for making this opportunity possible, and all agreed that this initiative provides support to business through exchange of ideas and thought leadership, as well as the individual growth of aspiring CIOs.

What’s to GAIN! on 6 July

CIO Day is the essential networking and knowledge sharing event where South Africa’s IT executives enjoy great company, superb hospitality and five-star food and drinks at the wonderful Leonardo.

The theme for the exclusive day is: Brain GAIN! The ultimate dialogue about talent and skills in times of AI. We’ll be brainstorming talent and skills challenges and solutions, retention strategies and building “AI-ready” IT teams, and unpacking the goal to accelerate digital skills tenfold among young South Africans to build a digital powerhouse.

Moreover, CIO Day will also tackle ways to build a cybersecurity-aware culture and consider the IT talent landscape across the whole of Africa through an engaging roundtable discussion.

There will also be a delicious three-course meal from one of the finest restaurants in Jozi, Aurum at the Leonardo, and the night will end with drinks and networking at Alto234, the highest urban bar in Africa.

This exclusive day is supported by CIO South Africa’s Principal Partners EOH, Makwa IT and Liquid Intelligent Technologies. Executive Partners are BCX and Workday, and Associate Partners are Communication Genetics, OneConnect, iiDENTIFii, Perpetuuiti, and SAS.

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