What 2023 CIO Awards judge Storme McDonald looks for in a CIO

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Storme believes agility and resilience allow one to future-proof a business.

Storme McDonald, chief operating officer at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a versatile leader. She is a qualified CA(SA) who has spent the majority of her career in finance and banking, and occupied both the CFO and chief technology and operations officer (CTOO) roles.

In her tenure as the financial institution’s CFO, Storme successfully implemented robotics technology at RMB to support her team, and believes she was able to achieve this by combining her technology and chartered accountancy skills.

Storme, who is always ready to learn and grow, is now adding engineering to her repertoire.

Storme believes that agility and resilience enable the CIO to evolve and future-proof the organisation. The CIO’s position has evolved over time, with rising expectations to provide new business solutions that contribute significantly to expanding market share, profitability, and overall business impact.

It is equally important for a CIO to continue to learn and develop their skills, and stay abreast of the latest technologies. “It is always important to stay in touch with reality, being adaptable to changing business needs,” Storme says. “The benefits of multiple generations in the workplace today afford us the opportunity to blend fresh innovative thinking with invaluable industry experience.

“Today, the world is very connected with conferences, networking platforms, courses, and news that allows IT professionals the chance to continuously learn and sharpen their craft.”

While some of the key functions of the CIO are to introduce new technologies that bring efficiency to the business, they also have to play an active role in addressing some of the issues such as climate change, healthcare, and cybersecurity. According to Storme, this is not only the CIO’s responsibility – it is everyone’s concern.

“We all should be wearing a society and shared prosperity hat in looking at how we function and how we enable other functions,” she adds.

Storme is looking forward to networking, connecting with industry leaders, and young talented thought leaders at the awards. She also shares some advice for aspiring IT professionals who are just starting their careers, and the qualities required for longevity and long-term success in this field.

“Never stop learning and investing in the future,” she says. “In order to make the most of your career, IT professionals need not only focus on building their technical capabilities within IT. Yes, that's important, but equally important is building out a commercial toolkit and understanding of business across clients, products, operations, sales, and marketing.”

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